ByteDance Establishes E-Commerce Business Group

June 19, 2020 4:17 am

Beijing (PingWest)—On June 17, the eve of China's online shopping spree "618", ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, set up the e-commerce business group, marking the status of e-commerce in the company has been significantly improved, Chinese media outlet LatePost reported.

After the adjustment, the e-commerce department will be one of the first-tier businesses in the company, as important as news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, the short video platform Douyin and the game department. It will report to ByteDance China CEO Zhang Nan and chairman Zhang Lidong.

The newly established department will integrate the e-commerce business with Bytedance's content platforms (including Douyin, Huoshan, Jinri Toutiao), live streaming, operations, brand commerce, and other services. By vigorously developing Douyin stores (抖音小店), the company looks forward to building an e-commerce platform on Douyin instead of becoming a new marketing channel for other e-tailers.

The establishment of this new business unit, composed of the e-commerce division of Douyin and some from international product teams, may be related to the negotiation between ByteDance and Alibaba, said the report.

In 2019, Douyin signed a 7 billion yuan annual framework agreement with Alibaba's marketplace Taobao, including 6 billion yuan in advertising and 1 billion yuan in e-commerce commissions. At that time, Douyin positioned itself as a "traffic provider" in the e-commerce ecosystem and profited from marketing, advertising, and commissions.

According to LatePost, Douyin's cooperation with Taobao expired in March 2020, and a new round of collaboration worth 20 billion yuan is still under negotiation.