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Tick-tock for TikTok? Ban for e-commerce sales on social media in Indonesia

A woman conducts live sales via streaming at a store in the Tanah Abang textile market in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 28, 2023.
A woman conducts live sales via streaming at a store in the Tanah Abang textile market in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 28, 2023. Copyright Tatan Syuflana
Copyright Tatan Syuflana
By Euronews with AP, AFP
Published on Updated
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From now on, people can still see ads when scrolling on their phones, but not directly purchase the products they see on their screen.

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“E-commerce cannot become social media. It is separated.” declared the country’s trade minister Zulkifli Hasan during a news conference on Tuesday.

“Any government would protect local small businesses,” he added.

The move, effective immediately, comes amid complaints by local business owners they are losing significant revenue to online competitors.

“The government had to innovate to face this situation” 60-year-old jeans seller Stevanie Ahua told AFP. Her income suffered a 60% decrease in a few months, following increased competition coming from social media.

TikTok regrets the decision

While never directly named, TikTok is one of the platforms targeted by the ban.

In a statement sent to the Associated Press, TikTok said it regretted 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.”

Chinese giant ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, will likely take a big hit following Indonesia’s ban: the country is its second-largest market, with 125 million users, according to the company.

TikTok has been banned from government phones in several countries, such as Britain, New Zealand and the US.

Although the video-based social media platform denies it ever shared or intends to share data with Chinese authorities, it faces suspicions from many national authorities.

Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, has yet to react to the Indonesian e-commerce sales ban.

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