TikTok is planning to launch an e-commerce platform in the United States in early August, according to the Wall Street Journal. The platform will sell China-made goods, and TikTok will be responsible for storing and shipping the items.**
The move comes as TikTok is facing increased scrutiny from U.S. officials over data security concerns. The company is fighting to prevent a ban in the country, and the e-commerce platform could help diversify TikTok’s revenue stream away from just advertising.
The e-commerce platform will be available on both the iOS and Android versions of the app. The platform will initially offer a limited selection of products, but TikTok plans to expand the selection over time. It will not charge sellers any fees to list their products on the platform but take a commission on each sale.
The e-commerce platform will expand TikTok’s existing TikTok Shop program, which allows users to shop directly from Lives, videos, and creator or brand profiles. However, the new platform will see TikTok take on a more active role in the retail process, purchasing products from suppliers, marketing them, and storing and distributing them.
TikTok’s entry into the e-commerce market is likely to be seen as a challenge to Chinese companies Shein and Temu, which have found great success in the US. The company will need to overcome concerns about data security and its lack of experience in the retail sector if it wants to be successful.
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.