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TikTok Set to Invest Billions of Dollars in Southeast Asia to Rival Shopee, Lazada

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As it doubles down on the region amid increasing international scrutiny over its data security, China’s ByteDance, the owner of the short video app TikTok, announced on Thursday that it would invest billions of dollars in Southeast Asia over the coming years.

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew confirmed this at a forum it organised in Jakarta. 

Although TikTok did not disclose a full breakdown of the budget, it did state that it will spend money on advertising, encouraging aspiring small business owners, and providing training.

The online store for the popular short-form video app TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance of China, is called TikTok Shop.

Businesses, brands, and artists can advertise and sell their products to people using the shopping app.

Shopee is growing its presence in Malaysia and continuing to expand its operations in Brazil after leaving a number of European and Latin American regions.

According to data from web analytics company Similarweb, Shopee is currently the largest online marketplace in Southeast Asia, accounting for 30% to 50% of all traffic in the region over the last three months.

Lazada is in second position, accounting for 10% to 30% of all traffic.

“We’re going to invest billions of dollars in Indonesia and Southeast Asia over the next few years,” Chew said.

Chew claimed that as the platform’s user base grows and it moves beyond advertising into e-commerce, enabling customers to buy products through links on the app while livestreaming, the platform’s content is growing more diverse.

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