From The Information:
"TikTok has ambitions to transform its app into a U.S. shopping destination and is open to working with big retail partners including Walmart to make that happen, according to TikTok’s head shopping executive in the U.S."
According to the story, Sandie Hawkins, TikTok’s general manager of U.S. e-commerce, says that "the company has been focused on partnering with brands and creators to jump-start its Shop service, which allows people to make purchases in the app … TikTok is also piloting an affiliate program in the U.S., in which creators can partner with brands to get a cut of TikTok Shop sales."
Some context from the story:
"After experiencing explosive growth in the past three years, TikTok has focused on e-commerce as integral to keep users engaged on the app and to drive revenue through advertising and commissions.
"Commerce 'enables people to stay on TikTok and continue to have that entertaining part of their day and not leave the app,' Hawkins said.
"TikTok’s ambitions contrast with those of other social media companies like Instagram that have pulled back from their own commerce efforts, in part because of the effort required to build out compelling shopping features and brands’ reluctance to share purchase data with other platforms.
"But Hawkins expressed confidence that TikTok would be available to convert American users to social commerce, in part because of its grip on their attention and the fact that many of its users have already tried live shopping."
- KC's View:
This depends on TikTok either being able to persuade the US Government that it should be allowed to operate in the US under its current/Chinese ownership structure, or spinning off the US business to satisfy those concerned about the national security implications of its US operations.
That said, there are 150 million Americans on TikTok. They're voters. And they're consumers. You'd think they would be able to work all this out.