TikTok to Expand E-commerce Operations into Mexico and Major Western European Markets

Technology Author: Notrice May 14, 2024 04:08 PM (GMT+8)

EqualOcean has learned that due to ongoing scrutiny of TikTok, the short video platform owned by ByteDance(字节跳动), in the United States and the European Union, TikTok is preparing to expand its e-commerce business, TikTok Shop, into Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.


TikTok, a globally popular short video platform, has already begun inviting merchants from countries like Mexico to participate in beta testing for TikTok Shop, with the in-app feature expected to officially launch this summer. Currently, TikTok Shop has tightened its criteria for merchants. For example, merchants in Mexico must have a locally registered entity and would initially be restricted from selling certain types of goods such as food and jewelry.

This move will significantly broaden the operational scope of TikTok Shop, covering a total of 13 markets globally, allowing users to directly purchase goods from the TikTok platform. Previously, TikTok had initially planned to launch TikTok Shop in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain in 2022, but the plan was temporarily shelved due to underperformance in the UK and failure to attract target users.

According to information obtained by EqualOcean, as of the end of 2023, TikTok reported strong growth momentum in its TikTok Shop business in the United States, with over 500,000 merchants selling goods to US users on its app, more than double the number from three months earlier. As of December last year, TikTok Shop had over 15 million merchants globally, with over 6 million new merchants added in the second half of 2023 alone. In 2024, TikTok set a global total merchandise value target of USD 50 billion.

In recent years, although TikTok has achieved remarkable results globally, its global operations have not been without challenges. On April 24, US President Biden signed legislation stipulating that TikTok would be banned in the United States unless it divested its business in the country. Additionally, last month, the European Union initiated an investigation into TikTok's Lite application, months after announcing an inquiry into whether TikTok violated online content rules aimed at protecting children and ensuring transparent advertising. Two days after the investigation into its Lite platform was launched, TikTok suspended the app's rewards program.

On May 7, TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, jointly filed a lawsuit in US federal court to block the implementation of a US government bill that would force the sale of TikTok.