By Anirudh Saligrama
(Reuters) – ByteDance-owned TikTok hopes to more than quadruple the size of its worldwide e-commerce operations to as much as $20 billion in merchandise sales this year, relying on growth in Southeast Asia, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The increase compares to last year’s $4.4 billion in gross merchandise value, representing the worth of total goods sold through its online marketplace TikTok Shop, the report said, adding that the company is betting on markets such as Indonesia.
TikTok did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
TikTok’s e-commerce platform lets customers purchase goods through links on the app during live broadcasts.
The development comes as the Chinese-owned company faces scrutiny from governments and regulators because of concerns that China could use the app to harvest user data or advance its interests.
The company is also working to expand its sales in the US and Europe, the report said.
Financial Times had last year reported that TikTok is due to enter a partnership with Los Angeles-based TalkShopLive to launch its live shopping platform in North America by outsourcing its operations.