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TikTok Denies US Shopping Platform Launch Delay

The social media giant, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, denied a Wall Street Journal report published Wednesday that it was postponing the wider rollout of its US shopping platform.
TikTok.
TikTok. (Shutterstock)

The social media giant, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, denied a Wall Street Journal report published Wednesday that it was postponing the wider rollout of its US shopping platform, which first launched as an invite-only shopping app in November 2022.

“The launch of TikTok Shop in the US has not been delayed,” a TikTok spokesperson told BoF. “We’re committed to our strategy of testing and learning, and we’re excited to continue expanding our test in the US by inviting more merchants to join us as interest in Shop continues to grow.”

The Journal claimed that TikTok had made the decision to pause on the widespread launch of the platform, which was initially intended for early June, due to hesitation from potential merchants and retail partners over a possible nationwide ban of the app in the US, as well as the slow uptake of live-streaming shopping in the country.

TikTok’s future in the US has been called into question in recent months: The FBI and the Federal Communication Commission claim TikTok poses a threat to national security because the app can share user data like location and browsing history with the Chinese government. Since the end of 2022, legislation has been introduced that would prohibit TikTok from being downloaded or the company from operating in the US. Neither bill has passed either chamber, but they have received some support from both parties.

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TikTok and ByteDance have repeatedly denied these allegations. In a written testimony submitted to Congress in March, TikTok chief executive Shou Zi Chew stated that the Chinese government has not made any request for data and that TikTok would not comply with such a request if it was made.

Learn more:

What Would a US TikTok Ban Mean for Fashion

TikTok’s CEO will appear before Congress on Thursday to defend the social media platform as lawmakers pressure owner ByteDance to sell the social platform or risk a ban. Businesses and creators are bracing for impact.


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