TikTok said to be mulling ban on external e-tail sites links

TikTok said to be mulling ban on external e-tail sites links

Translated by

Nicola Mira

Chinese video platform and global phenomenon TikTok is said to be mulling the ban of links to external e-tail sites, like Amazonsocial commerce

Tiktok Shop

TikTok’s plan has been confirmed by specialist website The Information, which mentioned a source with direct knowledge of the matter. TikTok’s strategic shift is said to be chiefly motivated by the negative performance currently forecast for TikTok Shop. The latter is very expensive to develop and run, and is expected to lose $500 million on the US market alone this year.

TikTok videos are teeming with clips containing product recommendations. They generally contain links to external online marketplaces, especially to America’s largest retailer, Amazon. Lending credibility to the rumour that TikTok could remove links to external sites is the fact that there is precedent for this: in 2020, TikTok’s Chinese counterpart Douyin banned links to AlibabaTaobao

With beneficial effects, since last year Douyin is said to have generated a sales volume of approximately $200 billion on its e-commerce site. According to The Information, TikTok has forecast it will reach similar volumes by 2028, generating between $40 billion and $60 billion on the U.S. market alone. In the U.S., TikTok is said to be currently producing sales worth $4 million per day, and is hoping to reach $10 million daily by the end of 2023. In Southeast Asia, the figure is reportedly already over $50 million.

The fact that TikTok is considering cutting the connection with other online marketplaces is the latest example of how social shopping is still searching for a viable long-term model. The transformation of social media platforms into direct selling tools has been heralded for the last 15 years, but is struggling to become reality. The success enjoyed by direct-selling videos during the pandemic suggested that live shopping, a huge success in Asia, could make social shopping popular in the West too. This isn’t the case. A year ago, the Meta group announced it was ditching live-shopping

To bolster its commercial aspirations, TikTok has confirmed it is currently testing in the UK a new rubric called ‘Trendy Beat’, showcasing the deals available on the platform. TechCrunch has also reported that TikTok it trying to attract Amazon vendors by promising them three months of commission-free sales.

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