TikTok - the popular Chinese ByteDance short-video app - has delayed plans to launch its ecommerce initiative in the US due to increased concerns from merchants about a possible future ban by Biden's administration.
According to people familiar with the situation
The Wall Street Journal
ByteDance has delayed the launch date of "TikTok Shop", which was originally scheduled for spring, to a launch in June. The launch date may be delayed even further because merchants are worried about a possible ban, as the Biden Administration recently requested the Chinese company
Sell the video app in the US or face a ban
TikTok, which has over 150 million US users and over a billion in total worldwide, has launched a shopping feature similar to QVC called TikTok Shop throughout Asia and some parts of Europe. Merchants can now sell directly to users through the new service.
People said that a test launch of the live-streaming feature in the app late last year was an effort to attract new merchants. The people said that the pushback caused the second phase to be delayed until late March.
It's possible that it's more than just the fear that the app will be banned. Most Americans aren’t used to shopping in a QVC style shopping venue, unless they are baby boomers.
According to a recent report by Insider Intelligence, TikTok already makes a lot of money through ad revenues, surpassing the combined sales made by Twitter and Snap. It's now trying to introduce an entirely new revenue stream through e-commerce. The delayed launch will be a major obstacle for the US market, given the rising geopolitical tensions in Washington and Beijing.
TikTok Shop has not been able to gain traction in the US due to a wave state-level bills and orders that ban TikTok on government-issued mobile devices because of national security threats. Biden officials, and other legislators have also threatened to enforce a nationwide prohibition.
Montana's legislature will meet in April.
First to pass a statewide smoking ban
All TikTok users. The bill in its present form faces increasing legal challenges.
A possible US ban has derailed the Chinese company's ambitions to launch its new ecommerce venture in the US, which could directly compete with Amazon. Amazon's Capitol Hill Lobbyists are likely to ensure TikTok Shop is a failure.