TikTokopedia? A closer look at the resurrection of TikTok Shop in Indonesia
- TikTok plans to invest US$1.5 billion in Indonesia, to gain control of an e-commerce unit within the GoTo Group.
- Its aim is to revive its online shopping business in Indonesia, which regulators in the region halted.
- The partnership will start with a pilot period, closely supervised and consulted with the relevant regulators.
In a strategic play to revive its e-commerce presence in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, TikTok is making significant waves in Indonesia. Just two months after suspending its online shopping features (TikTok Shop) due to regulatory requirements, the popular social media platform is set to invest over US$1.5 billion and acquire a 75% stake in Tokopedia, Indonesia’s leading e-commerce platform. This move marks a substantial investment and signals TikTok’s determination to re-enter the booming Indonesian e-commerce market.
The strategic alliance, since announced, has been capturing the attention of the digital landscape in Indonesia. The idea that TikTok Shop and Tokopedia are joining forces may well redefine the e-commerce scene in the country.
TikTok’s decision to temporarily shut down its e-commerce services in Indonesia in October reflects the complex interplay between regulatory compliance, market dynamics, and strategic investments.
But the social media giant did say it would recalibrate its approach to navigate the evolving regulatory landscape that’ll allow for its ‘Shop’ operations to continue. This dynamic collaboration promises to reinvigorate TikTok’s online shopping features and reshape the way Indonesian consumers engage with e-commerce.
In fact, Indonesia was so key to TikTok, it was the first country to pilot the app’s e-commerce arm, TikTok Shop. The country of 278 million people was supposed to act as a template for a global expansion from the US to Europe. When talks on the new ruling were making waves, TikTok argued that separating social media and e-commerce would hamper innovation and hurt millions of merchants and consumers.
According to the country’s Director General of Public Information and Communications of the Ministry of Communications and Informatics, Usman Kansong, Tiktok Indonesia has two permits from his ministry. “There are two permits: social media and e-commerce. But with Minister of Trade Regulation No. 31 of 2023, Tiktok must separate social media from e-commerce,” he added.
TikTok resorted to a new partnership to reignite its e-commerce ambitions in Indonesia
When TikTok unveiled its strategic move on Monday, it said the plan was to invest US$1.5 billion in a unit of Indonesia’s GoTo, aiming to salvage its shopping business following regulatory challenges in the country. In a letter to investors, GoTo disclosed that TikTok will secure a controlling 75.01% stake in Tokopedia, an e-commerce unit within the GoTo umbrella.
As a part of this transaction, Tokopedia is set to acquire TikTok Shop’s Indonesia business for US$340 million, expanding its footprint in the dynamic Indonesian e-commerce landscape. “As part of the agreement, Tokopedia and TikTok Shop Indonesia’s businesses will be combined under the existing PT Tokopedia entity, in which TikTok will take a controlling stake. The shopping features within the TikTok app in Indonesia will be operated and maintained by the enlarged entity,” GoTo’s statement reads.
The arrangement will allow TikTok and GoTo to serve Indonesian consumers and MSMEs comprehensively. “GoTo will benefit from the growth of the enlarged entity and will remain an ecosystem partner to Tokopedia through its digital financial services via GoTo Financial and on-demand services via Gojek. GoTo will also receive an ongoing revenue stream from Tokopedia commensurate with its scale and growth,” GoTo noted.
What will unfold next?
According to both companies, the commencement of the strategic partnership will kick off with an initial pilot period conducted in close collaboration with and under the supervision of relevant regulators. The Beli Lokal initiative’s inaugural campaign will launch on December 12, aligning with Indonesia’s National Online Shopping Day (Harbolnas) — a government initiative to foster the country’s digital economy by bolstering local MSMEs.
“This campaign, accessible on both TikTok and Tokopedia, will spotlight a diverse array of merchants, placing a significant emphasis on Indonesian products. Going forward, TikTok, Tokopedia, and GoTo will transform Indonesia’s e-commerce sector, creating millions of new job opportunities over the next five years,” GoTo added. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024.
The coming months will unveil how TikTok’s bold moves will shape the narrative of e-commerce partnerships and regulatory compliance in this dynamic market.
In case the back and forth between the Indonesian government and TikTok reminds you of anything – it’s probably this. And in case you’re not sure who’s who, there’s only one billionaire tech mogul in the scene… And we’re pretty sure TikTok has a Hulk.
22 February 2024
21 February 2024
21 February 2024