FILE - This Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, file photo, shows as logo of a smartphone app TikTok on a user post on a smartphone screen in Tokyo. Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify said Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, it’s made a deal with TikTok enabling merchants to create “shoppable” video ads that drive customers to online stores. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

FILE - This Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, file photo, shows as logo of a smartphone app TikTok on a user post on a smartphone screen in Tokyo. Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify said Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, it’s made a deal with TikTok enabling merchants to create “shoppable” video ads that drive customers to online stores. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

Video app TikTok leans into e-commerce with Shopify deal

ByteDance, the Beijing-based company that owns TikTok, already runs a thriving social media marketplace

The popular short-form video app TikTok, still under U.S. government scrutiny for its Chinese ownership, is moving closer to becoming a marketplace for buying stuff.

Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify said Tuesday it’s made a deal with TikTok enabling merchants to create “shoppable” video ads that drive customers to online stores.

The partnership was announced Tuesday amid stalled negotiations for Walmart to buy a 7.5% stake in the video app. Walmart’s planned investment is part of a government-forced deal that would rescue TikTok from a threatened ban by President Donald Trump and advance Walmart’s ambitions for the world of “social commerce.”

“If you’re watching a TikTok video and somebody’s got a piece of apparel or an item on it that you really like, what if you could just quickly purchase that item?” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC earlier this month. “That’s what we’re seeing happen in countries around the world. And it’s intriguing to us, and we would like to be part of it.”

ByteDance, the Beijing-based company that owns TikTok, already runs a thriving social media marketplace on Douyin, its twin video app for the Chinese market. Buying products through social media websites isn’t yet as common in the U.S., though Pinterest and Facebook-owned Instagram have made some inroads and TikTok last year began making it easier for businesses to link to themselves from the app.

Shopify said its merchants will be able to select which product they would like to promote. Then, video ads will be automatically generated that could show up in a TikTok user’s video feed and drive customers to Shopify for checkout.

TikTok said in a prepared statement Tuesday that Ottawa-based Shopify will be a “perfect partner to help us grow and expand our commerce capabilities globally.”

It’s not clear what the partnership means for TikTok’s negotiations with Walmart. Walmart and Shopify are on good terms, having teamed up against Amazon in June on a deal that enables Shopify’s small businesses to get listed on Walmart.com.

Trump said over the summer he would shut down TikTok unless ByteDance sold its U.S. assets to an American company, citing concerns about the potential for the Chinese government to spy on users’ data.

ByteDance in September proposed to U.S. authorities a partnership with Walmart, California tech company Oracle and other American investors designed to relieve national security concerns about the app. Trump expressed support for the idea but officials haven’t formally approved it.

Trump’s attempt to ban TikTok was also delayed until after next week’s U.S. presidential election after the company sued in federal court to halt the order.

Matt O’Brien, The Associated Press

TikTok

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Phillip Tallio was just 17 when he was convicted of murder in 1983 (file photo)
Miscarriage of justice before Phillip Tallio’s 1983 guilty plea in girl’s murder: lawyer

Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin

A third-party crew cut the Telus fiber line on Tuesday, Nov. 17, resulting in a nearly 24hr communications blackout for the Valley (Black Press Media)
Recent outage highlights vulnerabilites in local communication infrastructure

A third-party crew accidentally severed the cable on Highway 20, resulting in a valley-wide communications outage

The Bay Hotel burned to the ground last night (Christina Hoppe photo)
Bay Hotel burns to the ground in early morning fire

The building was abandoned and had been falling apart for years

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

So far Northern Lights Wildlife Society has received five grizzly bear cubs from Bella Coola this year (NLWS photo)
Another sow grizzly destroyed; two more cubs sent to Northern Lights Wildlife Society

A total of five grizzly bear cubs have been sent to Northern Lights Wildlife Society from Bella Coola

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

Helen Watson, posing for a photo for her 100th birthday, turned 105 on Saturday (Nov. 21). (File photo)
B.C. woman who survived Spanish Flu marks 105 years

Helen Watson has packed a lot into life – including being in two pandemics

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. to test emergency alert system on cell phones, TVs, radios on Wednesday

The alert is part of a twice yearly test of the national Alert Ready system

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Most Read