The TikTok Tokopedia deal, valued at $1.5 billion, marks TikTok’s return to e-commerce after being forced to shutter its own “TikTok Shop” service due to regulatory restrictions.
The Indonesian e-commerce landscape is once again shaking as TikTok has agreed to purchase a controlling stake in Tokopedia, the country’s biggest online shopping platform. This strategic partnership comes after Indonesia’s ban on social media platforms hosting e-commerce services in September 2023.
The ban has forced TikTok to close its relatively new e-commerce service, TikTok Shop, in Indonesia. However, the new partnership aims to circumvent this obstacle through TikTok Tokopedia acquisition, allowing TikTok to indirectly re-enter the Indonesian e-commerce scene.
The face of Indonesia’s e-commerce is changing with the TikTok Tokopedia deal
TikTok has acquired 75.01% of Tokopedia for $840 million, making it one of the largest acquisitions in the e-commerce industry. With this deal, TikTok’s total investment in Tokopedia reached $1.5 billion, indicating the company’s strong commitment to expanding its e-commerce business.
As part of the TikTok Tokopedia deal, TikTok Shop’s Indonesia business will be integrated into Tokopedia, allowing users to access a wider range of products and services through the Tokopedia platform. The integration is expected to benefit not only e-commerce but also GoTo’s on-demand services and fintech businesses.
Before the full launch, a pilot period will be carried out with regulatory supervision to ensure that the integration meets all legal and regulatory requirements. This approach will allow TikTok and Tokopedia to test the integration and make any necessary adjustments before launching the combined platform to the public.
TikTok previously announced that it will no longer facilitate e-commerce transactions on its platform in Indonesia. This decision came in response to the Indonesian government’s recent ban on e-commerce trade on social media platforms, which aims to protect offline merchants and marketplaces.
According to a statement released by TikTok, the company’s priority is to remain compliant with local laws and regulations. As such, it will no longer allow e-commerce transactions on TikTok Shop Indonesia, its e-commerce platform.
The Indonesian government’s ban on e-commerce trade on social media platforms has been met with concerns from small and medium-sized enterprises, who fear that predatory pricing on these platforms is threatening their businesses.
The company did not clarify whether it would create a new e-commerce app separate from its social media app at that time. However, recent developments have shed light on the subject. Specifically, the recent TikTok Tokopedia deal has revealed that the two companies are collaborating to create a new e-commerce platform that integrates TikTok’s social media capabilities with Tokopedia’s e-commerce infrastructure.
The integration of TikTok’s social platform with Tokopedia’s e-commerce infrastructure is expected to significantly boost social commerce in Indonesia. This will allow consumers to seamlessly discover and purchase products directly through social media, providing a convenient and efficient shopping experience.
Furthermore, the combined entity aims to provide a more personalized and engaging shopping experience for consumers. This could include features like live streaming, interactive product demonstrations, and personalized recommendations, all of which will enhance the overall shopping experience for consumers.
Additionally, by providing small and medium-sized businesses with access to a wider audience and advanced marketing tools, the TikTok Tokopedia deal could empower local sellers and contribute to the overall growth of the Indonesian economy. This will not only benefit the businesses but also provide more job opportunities and boost the local economy.