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TikTok Plans to Build Fulfillment Center in the US

The social media company wants to build an 'e-commerce ecosystem that is innovative, secure and intuitive' for its users

TikTok Plans to Build Fulfillment Center in the US

Short-form video platform TikTok is planning to open fulfillment centers in the United States according to new reports. 

The Chinese-owned social media company has over 1 billion users worldwide and has been credited as the cause of sudden spikes in sales of commercial products.

Axios reports that TikTok is “creating an e-commerce supply chain system that could directly challenge Amazon, as indicated by more than a dozen new job openings posted in the past two weeks to LinkedIn.”

The e-commerce fulfillment center will include “international warehousing, customs clearings and supply chain systems that support domestic e-commerce efforts” and “will eventually perform parcel consolidation, along with transporting goods from one stage to the next and managing free returns,” according to the outlet.

Our mission is to help sellers improve their operational capability and efficiency, provide buyers a satisfying shopping experience and ensure fast and sustainable growth of TikTok Shop,” TikiTok wrote in one job listing. “We are looking for passionate and talented people to join our global logistics team, together we can build an e-commerce ecosystem that is innovative, secure and intuitive for our users.”

TikTok Shop – the platform's live shopping feature – will also partner with third-party companies to launch in North America before the holiday season. The feature allows users to buy products via links embedded in the screens of livestreams. Douyin, the sister app available in China, already has a shopping feature and sold 10 billion products between May 2021 and May 2022. TikTok Shop is currently available in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia and the United Kingdom, per Engadget

The Financial Times reported TikTok is in talks with TalkShopLive, a California-based company that would “provide the underlying technology and support for live streams hosted by influencers, brands and retailers that want to sell their products on the app.”

“The developments come as TikTok faces heightened scrutiny in the US, where politicians have raised fears that American user data is accessible by Beijing, given the platform’s Chinese owners ByteDance — concerns it denies,” reports the publication. “The Biden administration is reviewing efforts by former president Donald Trump to ban the company on national security grounds. TikTok is also working with the government on new data security practices to secure US user data.”

TalkShopLive’s other clients include Walmart and Microsoft. 

Since its rise in popularity among teenagers and young adults, TikTok holds a noticeable influence over commercial sales.

Global sales for feta cheese skyrocketed after a pasta recipe went viral on the app last year. Mascaras, roller skates, and hands casting kits have all sold out at times as the app’s popularity increased in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the limited launch of TikTok Shop, users would leave the app to independently find and buy the viral products – either in a web browser or in person.

“Our community has transformed shopping into an experience that’s rooted in discovery, connection, and entertainment, creating unparalleled opportunities for brands to capture consumers’ attention,” TikTok’s Blake Chandlee said at the launch of TikTok Shopping, per Hootsuite.“TikTok is uniquely placed at the center of content and commerce, and these new solutions make it even easier for businesses of all sizes to create engaging content that drives consumers directly to the digital point of purchase.”

Unlike Amazon, TikTok does not currently show signs of launching a transportation division to assist with shipping.

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