Beijing (PingWest)- Douyin, the Chinese version of short video app TikTok owned by ByteDance, plans to ban links to external e-commerce websites on its live-streaming channels in a move that will prevent merchants from generating revenue to popular e-commerce websites like Alibaba's Taobao and JD.com.
To be specific, KOLS will not be able to offer links to external platforms starting from September 6, but external links that are charged a few and placed through Douyin’s KOL-run service still be allowed.
Starting on October 9, Ban on all third party product links on livestreams will take effect.
The Douyin representative said the change does not affect short video posts, where users can still link to third-party platforms.
In order to protect the rights and interests of consumers, “we will strengthen the management for promoting products on livestream shows,” according to a statement from Douyin’s representative.
“We are not surprised at Douyin’s move to ban external links to e-commerce sites, the rumor with regard to the ban has spread among insiders for a while,” a Guangzhou-based MCN operator said.
Industry watchers indicated that ByteDance has shifted its center of strategic focus to live-streaming e-commerce, so it is quite logical that Douyin ban links to famous e-commerce site such as Alibaba’s Taobao and JD.com.
Douyin has accelerate the development for its e-commerce businesses during covid-19 outbreak that most of people shopped at home and spent time on live-streaming platform amid lockdown. ByteDance has formed its e-commerce department ahead of the mid-year 618 shopping festival this year to capitalize on delayed consumption from Chinese shoppers.
Douyin is “cutting ties” with third-party e-commerce platforms to prepare for the Singles’ Day shopping festival on November 11 – the largest shopping event in the country, according to Ma Shicong, senior analyst at research firm Analysys.
Chinese tech giants are scrambling for market share of the booming live-streaming sector.
Douyin rival Kuaishou announced in June that it will invest CNY 3 billion to build its live streaming e-commerce headquarters in Chengdu, a move that signal Kuaishou’s determination to make big bet on the live-streaming e-commerce that has flourished during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The announcement comes a month after Kuaishou signed a cooperation deal with JD.com that allow consumers to make purchases for selected products directly from Kuaishou without being redirected back to JD.com.
The number of live streaming video users in China is expected to reach 526 million this year, up from 504 million in 2019, according to iiMedia Research.
Taobao’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) grew more than 100 per cent year-over-year and live-streaming sessions hosted by its merchants accounted for around 60 per cent of Taobao Live’s total sales, according to the Alibaba’s financial statement for June quarter.