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TikTok Hits Pause On European E-Commerce Expansion, Zeroes In On $17.5B U.S. Market Amid Regulatory Heat

ByteDance-owned TikTok has put its plans to expand its e-commerce platform in major European markets on hold, according to a Bloomberg report. The decision affects planned rollouts in Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Ireland, Mexico, and Brazil, which were initially set for July.

Instead, TikTok is focusing on solidifying its position in the U.S., with 170 million monthly users. The company aims to increase its American merchandise volume tenfold to $17.5 billion this year. However, concerns over the U.S. divest-or-ban law have deterred some merchants from joining the platform.

The TikTok Shop feature, which combines engaging video content with impulse buying, has become the app’s fastest-growing segment. The U.K. launch of TikTok Shop in 2021 faced challenges due to an influx of low-cost products from Chinese exporters. As a result, TikTok has prioritized local A-list brands for newer market entries to improve user experience and market reception.

To boost its U.S. e-commerce presence, TikTok has lowered the entry threshold for its affiliate program from 5,000 followers to 1,000. Affiliates can promote products in the TikTok Shop and earn commissions from sales.

Meanwhile, ByteDance is contesting a U.S. mandate that requires it to divest TikTok or face a ban due to national security concerns. The company argues that divestiture is not feasible commercially, technologically, or legally.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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