After months of speculation, TikTok has plans to launch its first online retail store in the United States as soon as next month.
According to a report by Semafor, the ByteDance-owned social media platform will use the store to feature its own line of Chinese products, taking on e-commerce giants like Amazon, Shein, and Temu.
While TikTok's current Shop feature invites brands to pay a commission to sell their products on its platform, this new store will be fully run by the social giant, which plans to purchase its own inventory and leading logistics and customer service.
“Most items, ranging from kitchen gadgets to toys, will come from manufacturers in China,” according to the report by Semafor.
Users will still be able to purchase goods from both TikTok Shop and the new store “through a dedicated e-commerce tab within the app” or “communal hub.”
TikTik Shop has been tested in the U.S. since last November with the goal of importing a version of China’s $400 billion livestream shopping industry to the U.S. However, the feature has yet to gain traction in the West, where there is still no widespread live-shopping culture outside of QVC.
The original TikTok Shop venture launched as part of a larger company initiative referred to by TikTok as “Project Aquaman,” which includes plans for global fulfillment centers (or warehouses) meant to create an ecommerce supply chain with streamlined delivery and returns for customers -- a potential necessity if TikTok truly wants to compete with U.S. e-commerce giants like Amazon.
Last week, the company confirmed it was testing its “Trendy Beat” shopping feature in the U.K., where products and sold and shipped to users by a Singapore-based company owned by ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company.
TechCrunch uncovered a trademark application for “Trendy Beat” in the U.S., signaling that the feature may expand further in the West.