ByteDance to Debut Independent Export E-Commerce App

The Passage reported on Thursday that Chinese tech firm ByteDance is currently testing an independent export e-commerce platform and plans to release the app in October this year. A source close to the firm said that this independent app is similar to Alibaba‘s AliExpress.

In April this year, it was reported that the e-commerce team for Douyin – the Chinese mainland version of ByteDance’s TikTok – was developing an independent e-commerce app. Kang Zeyu, President of Douyin e-commerce, and other senior executives did not want to excessively attach e-commerce to the Douyin platform, but regarded an independent app as the basis of its e-commerce business and made new explorations in this field.

Since the beginning of this year, ByteDance has not stopped exploring cross-border e-commerce. On December 9, 2020, Zhang Yiming, CEO of ByteDance, mentioned his internal goal that in 2021 he will focus on further exploration in three new business directions, including cross-border e-commerce, enterprise services and office hardware packages. LatePost reported that the export-oriented cross-border e-commerce project is codenamed “Magellan XYZ” within ByteDance.

Previously, some industry insiders have analyzed the reports, suggesting that the “Magellan XYZ” project has three possibilities: First, based on TikTok traffic distribution, harvesting the advertising fees of massive sellers; Second, to build a cross-border e-commerce platform and combine domestic suppliers to open up the overseas chain; Third, it is to be directly embedded in the TikTok app, referring to the closed-loop business logic of domestic Douyin – first content and then e-commerce.

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In addition, ByteDance has achieved a wider layout through investment. On February 26, 2021, Shenzhen Starlink Network Technology Co., Ltd. underwent industrial and commercial changes, adding several shareholders such as Beijing Quantum Yuedong Jump Technology Co., Ltd., an affiliated enterprise of ByteDance. ByteDance also invested in MPOW Technology Co., Limited, a famed Amazon seller, and Fujian Zongteng Network Co., Ltd., a cross-border infrastructure service provider.