TikTok, Meta, YouTube eye Indonesian e-commerce licences

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Social media giants, TikTok, YouTube, and Meta are considering requesting e-commerce licences in Indonesia, Reuters reports.

This is coming after social media commerce was outlawed in the biggest economy in Southeast Asia, according to those with knowledge of the debate.

A month ago, Indonesia’s trade ministry outlawed online sales on social media, citing the need to safeguard users’ privacy and small- and medium-sized offline retailers and marketplaces.

Based on data from consultant Momentum Works, Indonesia, a country with a population above 270 million, produced almost $52 billion in e-commerce transactions in the previous year.

According to the sources, TikTok is developing a stand-alone TikTok Shop app for Indonesia while being in talks to form alliances with regional e-commerce companies, such as GoTo’s Tokopedia.

According to Reuters, TikTok Shop was delivering approximately 3 million packages per day in Indonesia before it suspended operations there this month.

Alphabet’s YouTube also intends to apply for an e-commerce licence; however, they did not identify the kind of authorization that will be sought.

In order to help creators advertise goods and brands on the network, YouTube launched a shopping service in the United States.

According to Isy Karim, director general of domestic trade at the Indonesian trade ministry, Meta Platforms, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, submitted an application this month for a specific kind of e-commerce licence that permits the marketing of products on its platforms but prohibits direct e-commerce transactions.

Isy stated that Meta is requesting permission for its Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram apps. The permit would allow vendors to do market research and advertise their products, but it would not allow for in-app purchases.

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