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TikTok Owner ByteDance Announces Job Cuts In Indonesia

ByteDance company logo on office building

ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, will cut costs by laying off staff at its Indonesian e-commerce unit.

The move follows a deal that allowed the video-sharing app to reopen its online shop in Indonesia. 

In January, ByteDance acquired a 75 percent stake in GoTo's e-commerce platform, Tokopedia, committing to invest over $1.5 billion in the merged entity.

After the merger, ByteDance identified areas to strengthen the organization and better align teams with company goals.

A ByteDance spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal this led to structural adjustments as part of its growth strategy. 

The spokesperson did not specify the number of layoffs, but Bloomberg reported 450 jobs were cut.

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Jakarta-based GoTo is an Indonesian conglomerate offering ride-hailing, e-commerce, and financial services.

It was one of Southeast Asia’s most valuable tech groups when it went public in April 2022.

The Tokopedia merger is part of TikTok’s strategy to leverage its global popularity.

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Since launching its shop in Indonesia in 2021, the country has been a lucrative market for TikTok. 

However, in October last year, Jakarta authorities banned online shopping on social media platforms.

This was to protect small merchants from e-commerce competition, forcing TikTok to halt its retail services.

The merger has allowed TikTok to resume its shopping services in Indonesia, the world's fourth-most populous nation, where it has made significant inroads. 

Despite this, TikTok faces strong competition from rival shopping apps such as Sea’s Shopee and Alibaba’s Lazada.

Globally, TikTok aims to increase the total gross merchandise value (GMV) sold on its platform to $20 billion this year, up from less than $5 billion in 2022, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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