TikTok has held talks with e-commerce companies in the country about possible partnerships. This comes a month after Indonesia banned online shopping on the social media platform.
TikTok has spoken with five e-commerce companies, including Tokopedia, Bukalapak and Blibli, said Minister of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (UKM) Teten Masduki, Monday (13/11). “Several e-commerce companies in Indonesia have talked to TikTok,” he said in an interview, citing what company executives had told him.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade implemented the ban last month, to protect small traders and ensure the protection of user data. This is a major blow for TikTok, which was forced to close its TikTok Shop e-commerce service. TikTok has 125 million users in Indonesia.
A spokesperson for TikTok Indonesia was not prepared to comment.
Monica Amadea (center), owner of a TikTok sales channel called Monomolly, and her employees offer merchandise via TikTok live streaming in Jakarta. (Photo: AFP)
Tokopedia declined to comment. A Bukalapak representative said the company was not aware of the discussions. Blibli did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
TikTok and YouTube are considering joining Meta in applying for e-commerce permits in Indonesia after Southeast Asia’s largest economy banned online shopping on social media platforms, people familiar with the discussions said. The app, owned by Chinese tech giant Bytedance, is also in talks with a number of local e-commerce players, they added.
Teten, one of the staunchest critics of TikTok Shop before the ban was implemented, said that he was tasked by President Joko Widodo to formulate rules regarding e-commerce. He plans to meet with TikTok Chief Executive Shou Zi Chew later this month. “I want them to commit to having a sustainable business that does not harm domestic SME products,” he said. Teten also said that he had proposed further regulations regarding the flow of imported goods into the country, but did not provide further details.
Before stopping operations, TikTok Shop sent around 3 million packages every day in Indonesia, sources said.
Indonesia’s e-commerce market is expected to grow to about $160 billion by 2030 from $62 billion this year, according to a Southeast Asia internet economy report jointly published by Google, Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and consulting firm Bain & Co.
Other big e-commerce players in Indonesia include Shopee and Lazada. (ab/ka)