Indonesia entrepreneurs cash in on TikTok live selling spree

Christine Febriyanti, an Indonesian livestreamer, stood in a room filled with clothes in Jakarta, marketing colorful items to hundreds of viewers on a TikTok livestream for a local fashion firm.

“For the Vitamin C kind of girls, you’ll fulfill all of your nutrient needs with these orange pants,” the 25-year-old told the sales session.

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Her pitch is part of a TikTok shopping frenzy in Indonesia, where users spent more money on the app last year than anywhere else in Southeast Asia.

Following months of intensive scrutiny in the United States and other countries over user data security and the company’s apparent ties to Beijing, the area is a bright spot for TikTok, which is owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance.

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew stated last week plans to invest billions of dollars in Southeast Asia, where the company has 325 million users, 125 million of which are in Indonesia.

TikTok Shop is becoming increasingly popular, with Indonesians purchasing more than a third of all goods sold in Southeast Asia in the last year, and entrepreneurs are flocking to the platform to market a variety of tech, fashion, and DIY products.

They are attracted to TikTok’s e-commerce services, which enable them to sell via livestreams or build online stores.

According to spokesperson Nadya Paramitha, Febriyanti’s 20-person online retail firm Monomolly reported a 30 percent rise in income since launching a TikTok livestream promotion last year.

The platform’s algorithm has jumpstarted the company’s business, according to employees.

It has allowed sellers to “reach new markets randomly” instead of relying on interest-based search results on rival apps, said TikTok sales manager Chelvyana Onggo Winata.

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