Despite the soaring ambitions of major tech magnates like Elon Musk, creating a multi-purpose social app like the “Western WeChat” has proven challenging. Various obstacles, such as changing regulatory requirements and increasing skepticism of big tech, are impeding this vision. A recent blow comes as Indonesia, an emerging digital market, moves towards restricting commerce within social media platforms.
TikTok, the short-form video sensation, recently encountered hurdles in its e-commerce aspirations. The Indonesian government is reportedly revising its trade regulations to prevent the sale of goods on social media platforms. This move stems from increasing concerns regarding predatory pricing on these platforms and the potential negative impact of foreign goods sales on local enterprises.
Such a decision would severely hamper TikTok’s e-commerce strategies. While the app has seen tremendous revenue through in-stream sales in its Chinese counterpart, efforts to replicate this success in other parts of the world have been mixed. While Western markets remain resistant to these shopping trends, Asian markets, including Indonesia, have been more receptive.
In fact, Indonesia, with its thriving digital ecosystem, was shaping up as a crucial market for TikTok’s commerce ventures. The platform boasts over 2 million sellers within the nation and has been actively experimenting with advanced e-commerce features, such as the dedicated Shop tab.