Chinese tech giant ByteDance, which owns popular video service TikTok, is running a program called Project S to expand the company’s presence in online retail. At this time, TikTok has integrated Trendy Beat, a new section to buy products from popular videos. All items advertised are shipped from China and manufactured by a Singapore-based subsidiary of ByteDance.
Note that ByteDance is nothing new in online retail. The company has a TikTok shop platform that allows third parties to sell their products by paying royalties to the platform. At the same time, the Trendy Beat feature allows the company to receive all earnings. TikTok has confirmed that the feature is currently being tested. “We’re always looking for new ways to improve our community, and we’re still in the early stages of experimenting with new shopping features.”— said the representative of TikTok.
According to the source, the implementation of the Project S program is an attempt by ByteDance to start selling its own products. In addition, the company organizes an online trading division in order to be able to continue to compete with other big players in this segment. The announcement states that the e-commerce division will be headed by Bob Kang, head of ByteDance’s e-commerce division.
ByteDance also currently offers other e-commerce offerings. For example, Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, sells $10 billion worth of goods annually. The company had merchandising sales of $85 billion in 2022. ByteDance’s core business is social media, and most of its annual revenue comes from advertising. However, ByteDance’s non-ad revenue grew more than sevenfold over the past year thanks to the Douyin app, which integrates many services including food delivery, ticket booking and more.