Industry Insights

Fahmi Fadzil: Malaysia will look into Indonesia’s move to ban TikTok Shop

Last week, on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, TikTok Indonesia decided to officially end transactions on its e-commerce marketplace, TikTok Shop. Across Southeast Asia, the platform has more than 325 million people come to TikTok every month and 15 million businesses use the platform, according to Shou Zi, the CEO of TikTok. He emphasized that more than one-third (125 million) of all users in the region were from Indonesia and that more than two million were selling on TikTok Shop.

Due to the ban action, TikTok regrets Indonesia’s decision. “We deeply regret the government’s announcement, especially how it will impact the livelihoods of the six million sellers and nearly seven million affiliate creators who use TikTok Shop,” said the statement sent to The Associated Press on Thursday, September 28, 2023.

Indonesia’s Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan announced the decision on Monday after a meeting with President Joko Widodo. The ban ”is to prevent the domination of the algorithm and prevent the use of personal data in business interests,” Hasan told a news conference. Additionally, Minister of Communication and Informatics Budi Arie emphasized that TikTok Shop is not the only social commerce site for which the rule is intended. It might also have an impact on well-known local e-commerce businesses like Tokopedia, Lazada, and BliBli.

With the action taken by the Indonesian government, Malaysia will look into the action, said Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil. However, he received complaints from public members who expressed concern about the action. At the same time, several large stores also mentioned the issue of price competition for products that are sold through the platform.

He also mentioned that he will look into the basis of the action taken by the Indonesian government since many Malaysians are using the platforms to sell goods. He thinks that TikTok should come forward and give an explanation about personal data protection, given the concern raised by the public about shopping on the platform.

“So there are some issues that the Ministry of Communications and Digital Malaysia (KKD) and MCMC need to look into, especially regarding the aspects of consumerism or personal data protection. Therefore, I will call TikTok soon to discuss (the issues),” said the minister.

It has become a very concerning issue that companies are no longer spending on advertising through traditional (media) methods but through social media platforms, which affects the media, he added.—BERNAMA

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