The TikTok Shop has launched in the United States as a platform for sellers to reach consumers, as well as for consumers to make purchases through ecommerce through the platform. In the past, this feature was only available to users in the UK and several countries in Southeast Asia.
As of now, it is necessary to receive an invitation in order to participate in this initiative. Several U.S. businesses have been invited to participate in the event.
Through the use of this feature, users will now be able to make purchases directly through the app. The TikTok app, which is owned by the Chinese social media giant ByteDance, has announced that international merchants will eventually be able to start using the TikTok Shop service.
It has been exciting to see the positive impact TikTok Shop has had on businesses large and small, and we are looking forward to continuing to experiment with this new commerce opportunity to support businesses of all sizes,” a TikTok spokesperson told Semafor.
It is worth mentioning that TikTok’s ambitions to enter the American ecommerce market are part of a wider company initiative that is internally referred to as “Project Aquaman,” according to Semafor. According to Semafor, the company hopes to import a version of China’s $400 billion livestream shopping industry to the U.S., where the format is still mostly associated with television networks such as QVC, where it has been operating since the 1990s.
As reported by the Financial Times, TikTok is restructuring its U.S. business as part of the restructuring process. The North America general manager, Sandie Hawkins, will reportedly oversee TikTok Shop in the U.S. as a result of this change. During the development of the Chinese version of TikTok, called “Douyin,” which generates the majority of its revenue from in-stream sales, commerce is a critical part of the development process.
However, there are still challenges facing the company. According to Brendan Carr, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, TikTok should be banned in the United States as soon as possible.
Carr told Bloomberg that he did not see any path forward to anything other than a complete ban as a way forward. The fact remains that there is no world in which you could come up with a sufficiently good way of protecting the data, so that you could have enough confidence that it will not find its way back into the hands of [the Chinese government].”