The crackdown in Indonesia, home to six million sellers on TikTok, could increase the pressure on TikTok Shop in the other countries where it operates. TikTok Shop is available in Britain, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, according to its website. In the United States, the shopping feature began rolling out in August and will reach all 150 million U.S. users by early October.
The Indonesian e-commerce market is dominated by Shopee, a Singapore-based website, and Tokopedia, run by an Indonesian technology company, Momentum Works said. Meta, which also runs e-commerce stores on its social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Indonesia’s new regulations.
Indonesia’s new rule is an obstacle to TikTok’s ambitions to grow in Southeast Asia, where it has about 325 million users. During a visit to Jakarta a few months ago, TikTok’s chief executive, Shou Zi Chew, had pledged to invest billions of dollars into the region over the coming years.
The country’s protectionist measures also add to the government backlashes that TikTok has faced elsewhere. Lawmakers in Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States have restricted access to TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, for political and security reasons. India banned the platform in 2020.
After TikTok Shop closed in Indonesia on Wednesday, the government thanked the company in a statement for complying with its regulations, adding that TikTok and other platforms were welcome to pursue e-commerce separately from social media networks.
TikTok was in the early stages of talks with the Indonesian authorities to obtain a payments license in the country, a spokeswoman for the company said. She added that the company was not aware of any signs that another country might restrict TikTok Shop in a similar way.