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TikTok to launch online store in US next month

TikTok is readying an online shop for US customers, according to a report from Semafor.

The storefront would live inside the TikTok app under an e-commerce tab. An array of curated items as well as products listed for sale through TikTok Shop, its existing in-app shopping feature, would be for sale. The feature could launch as soon as next month.

TikTok has been trying to make online shopping happen in the US for a while. The current TikTok Shop feature allows brands to sell products in the app — though rollout has reportedly been slow as the company faces threats by lawmakers of a ban due to alleged national security risks. The company has also tried to launch live shopping via streaming video in the US, but it’s been slow to catch on compared to other regions like Asia.

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But unlike those earlier attempts, the new store feature will have TikTok buying its own merchandise like toys and kitchen items and handling logistics and customer service, sources told Semafor.

The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but the report isn’t entirely surprising — job listings spotted last fall suggested the company was working on building a network of fulfillment centers in the US to compete with companies like Amazon.

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