According to NEW YORK (Reuters), the Canadian e-commerce company Shopify announced its plan to partner with TikTok to help its one million-plus merchants more easily advertise their products on the video-sharing app, as it looks to grow its customer base.

The link-up with Shopify, which provides an e-commerce platform and distribution services to mostly small and medium-sized businesses, comes as a proposal for Walmart Inc to buy a stake in the Chinese-owned firm is stuck in limbo.

Shopify said the partnership will allow its merchants to sell product in the form of shoppable video ads, where TikTok users can click on an ad to buy the product.

All transactions will happen via Shopify’s site, helping the Toronto-based firm drive sales online, while the two companies “will also collaborate to test new commerce features” over the coming months, it said.

“We’re thrilled to be the first partner to welcome TikTok to the world of commerce, particularly right now, as our merchants prepare for a busy online holiday shopping season,” Satish Kanwar, VP of Product at Shopify said.

TikTok, which reaches 100 million U.S. users a month, said it was always looking for new ways to connect brands with its users. Therefore, “Shopify is a perfect partner to help us grow and expand our commerce capabilities globally,” Blake Chandlee, Vice President, Global Business Solutions at TikTok said in an emailed statement.

Although, the two companies did not provide financial details about the tie-up.

Walmart has been looking at a deal with TikTok to boost its advertising strategy by helping the world’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailer engage with younger audiences, but the talks to invest remain shrouded in political uncertainty.

President Donald Trump’s administration has threatened to ban TikTok by Sept. 20 and ordered owner ByteDance to sell its U.S. business, claiming national security risks due to its Chinese ownership. The Trump administration requires the US operations of TikTok, which has more than 100 million US users, to be owned by an American owner to protect sensitive data for national security reasons. However, China has recently updated its tech export control rules that require no Chinese technologies will be sold without government intervention and approval.

However, a U.S. appeals court hearing is expected on Nov. 4 which will be a determinant on whether to allow the U.S. government to bar transactions with TikTok, a move that TikTok warned would effectively ban its use in the United States.

TikTok previously filed a legal challenge against the government’s order to ban the video app. If the ban proceeds, TikTok users in the United States would probably still be able to use the app if they had already downloaded it, but wouldn’t be able to get any updates. The parameters of the ban are still unclear, and it is up to the Commerce Department to define them.

In June, Walmart also partnered with Shopify to expand its online marketplace business and capture a bigger slice of the coronavirus-driven surge in online sales.


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