The news: TikTok owner ByteDance is reportedly looking to launch an international ecommerce platform, per job postings reviewed by Insider.
What we know: This venture will be separate from TikTok’s ecommerce partnerships with big names like Shopify and Walmart.
The platform will likely be focused on cross-border retail—primarily, shipping Chinese goods to other markets like the US.
What we don’t know: So far, it’s still unclear whether the platform will be standalone or integrated into the TikTok app. Either approach would have different implications:
If the platform was integrated into TikTok proper, it would be the culmination of ByteDance’s long-standing effort to establish itself as a leader in the US social commerce space.
On the other hand, launching a standalone platform may be necessary if ByteDance wants to transcend social commerce altogether and compete with the ecommerce giants of the world.
The bottom line: ByteDance’s decision on how it launches its international commerce strategy will reveal a lot about what it hopes to achieve, which companies it sees as its competition—and ultimately, how it understands the US social commerce market in relation to China’s.
One Liberty Plaza9th FloorNew York, NY 100061-800-405-0844