TikTok-Tokopedia widens opportunities to Indonesia’s MSMEs

JAKARTA, Apr 30: In just four months after merging with Indonesia’s giant e-commerce Tokopedia, Chinese social media platform TikTok has presented better online business opportunities for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the Southeast Asian country.

As of April 25, Tokopedia, whose majority stake is now controlled by TikTok, reported to have more than 21 million active registered sellers in the platform, a significant increase compared to only 6 million in 2019, with only one to two million increase every year.

Vice President of Corporate Communications of Tokopedia Nuraini Razak said recently that the integration between Tokopedia and TikTok has posed significant positive results, particularly during Ramadan session, and those who benefitted a lot were the local products by MSMEs.

“Fashion, skincare, and snacks are the three most-wanted products for our consumers. The sales across the platform have increased up to three to nine times,” she said.

Even so, she said Tokopedia did not have any target about the number of sellers they had. “We only focus on providing opportunities for local businesses to sell their goods in easy ways, without needing to rent physical stores,” Razak said.

Akram Amrullah Rajab, the owner of Hijrahfood Meatshop, one of the sellers in Tokopedia, said that during Ramadan season, his sales of meat jumped up to 10 times compared to normal days. “I sell my products on Tokopedia, then I use TikTok social media to promote them and gain exposure to attract customers,” he said.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Informatics expected that the integration of the two digital platforms would protect local MSMEs and benefit the development of the digital industry in Indonesia.

The Ministry’s Director General of Public Information and Communication Usman Kansong said that the merging also showed that TikTok complied with Indonesian government’s regulations.

He also said that TikTok was a popular social media platform with a huge number of users, while Tokopedia is a big e-commerce platform in this country. Thus, the completion of the integration of both platforms will surely protect MSMEs in Indonesia and increase the sales of MSMEs and domestic products.

Based on data from PT GoTo Gojek Tokopedia, as of February 2024, TikTok had around 125 million monthly active users in Indonesia, while Tokopedia users reached more than 100 million users.

“The collaboration between TikTok and Tokopedia will also benefit the digital industry in the country and spur the development of start-ups in Indonesia as well as encourage the country’s young generation to develop the digital industry,” Kansong said.