TikTok mulls banning outside e-commerce sites

The company aims to compel people to use its subsidiary arm TikTok Shop
The logo of TikTok Shop.— TikTokshop
The logo of TikTok Shop.— TikTokshop

China-owned short video platform TikTok is planning to ban external website links of e-commerce businesses such as Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, Walmart and Flipkart, according to a news report published by The Information.

The company’s move aims to compel people to use its subsidiary arm TikTok Shop if they want to buy something they saw on the video app, drive more traffic on this app which is not getting enough traction at the moment, and generate greater revenues.

Previously, the creators had the privilege of endorsing those goods that were available on their Amazon store and making a commission if someone from the audience bought it.

However, after the said ban will have come into effect, the creator will not be able to do so. Eventually, the only mechanism for doing business on the platform would have sellers compelled to embed TikTok Shop stores in their profiles from where people would buy stuff. Meanwhile, it is so far unclear when TikTok will execute the ban.

TikTok Shop’s biggest market, as per the report, is Southeast Asia where it has been available since 2021. Its daily gross merchandise volume is around $30-40 million which it aims to expand to $90 mn by the end of this year.

Likewise, the gross merchandise volume of TikTok Shop in the US is around $3-4 million a day, the number it wishes to exceed $10 million.