Walmart Shows Interest in Buying TikTok

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Image source: REUTERS

As the US business arm of TikTok is up for grab, Walmart has joined the queue of intending owners of the short video sharing app.

Walmart is partnering with Microsoft to acquire TikTok in the midst of TikTok’s biggest political and security challenge in the United States.

Analysts have said that Walmart Inc.’s bid for the video-sharing social networking is a way for the retail giant to reach younger consumers, which will be key to the company’s long-term growth.

Walmart believes that the deal, if it comes through, is capable of adding lots of benefits to the company’s e-commerce and advertising business.

We believe a potential relationship with TikTok U.S. in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omni-channel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses,” Walmart said.

We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators,” the retail giant continued.

The retail company claims that its interest in buying TikTok stems from the way TikTok has integrated e-commerce and advertising, and increased its access to customers.

Chinese e-commerce platforms have for years been adding livestreaming to their apps, and video apps have been adding shopping functions.

According to the estimation of Bernstein, a research firm, in all, $140 billion in merchandise could be sold in China this year via livestreaming, more than double last year’s amount.

Chinese commerce giants like Pinduoduo and Duoyin have successfully integrated pop music into their e-commerce websites, allowing pop stars to upload their music video to their online stores.

This has made it possible for shopper to stumble on music they love while shopping; also, while scrolling through, music lovers could stumble on products they desire at prices that fits their budget.

You’re scrolling very quick through content, you will think twice about it, then basically the video is gone already. That’s why I think the Walmart thing is pretty interesting. They can sell their cheaper products directly to that audience in TikTok,” Mr Bern of Bernstein said.

According to NY Times, ByteDance, the company that runs both Duoyin and TikTok, began testing e-commerce features on Douyin in 2018. That was well before the company rolled out a “Shop Now” button to TikTok.

It is believed that Walmart is trying to pursue this model with the acquisition of TikTok, with Microsoft.

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