ByteDance’s Douyin platform, the Chinese domestic version of TikTok, has recently tested a new auction function in its e-commerce business. It is reported that only merchants with legal auction qualifications can carry out this function.
The new feature will allow merchants to auction non-standard goods such as jewelry, jade, beverages and second-hand luxury goods.
The merchants can start using the function through the auction entrance in their Douyin stores, where they can set the activity name, duration, deposit, delay period, commission ratio and activity description by themselves, while users need to pay deposits before participating in the auction.
Kang Zeyu, president of Douyin’s e-commerce division, put forward the concept of “interest e-commerce” on April 8 this year, in which he mentioned the idea of helping consumers actively discover potential interests and helping merchants recommend products to target consumers.
In the country’s present online auction market, the top spot belongs to Alibaba. In 2015, Vice President of Alibaba Group Sun Jungong predicted that auctions might occupy 30% of China’s e-commerce market in the next five years. “There will be online auctions watched by 100 million people on the online auction platforms and more than 1 million auctions might be held at one time, while online auction-related services would provide more than 10 million jobs.”
Although this prediction has not yet been fully realized, online auctions still offer great potential. Alibaba said that in 2018, the transaction volume of Alibaba Auction exceeded 500 billion yuan – twice that recorded in 2017.