TikTok Shop launches in the U.S. as the company bets big on e-commerce

NEW YORK — After months of testing, TikTok is fully launching its e-commerce product in the U.S. in an effort to translate the app’s cultural relevance among young consumers to sales.

The company said today its shopping wing, called TikTok Shop, will include several features such as a “Shop Tab,” a marketplace its been testing on the app since August; affiliate videos in user’s feed that allows creators to earn commissions from products; as well as a logistics arm called Fulfilled by TikTok that stores and ships products for merchants.

TikTok, which has 150 million users in the U.S., said in its announcement that it will continue to offer live shopping, which is big in Asia but hasn’t picked up steam among U.S. shoppers. Earlier this year, Meta owned Instagram removed a live shopping feature from its app.

ByteDance, the Beijing company that owns TikTok, already runs a thriving social media marketplace on Douyin, its twin video app for the Chinese market.

The e-commerce platform is being launched as TikTok continues to negotiate with the U.S. government over its future in the country. Critics have levied accusations that the social media giant could be a tool for China’s government to surveil Americans. The company said TikTok shop will offer a secure checkout process and that all of its U.S. user data is stored and managed by servers maintained by the software giant Oracle.