TikTok violates Indonesian in-app transactions ban, says minister

By Thomson Reuters Feb 19, 2024 | 11:39 PM

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Chinese short video app TikTok is still violating Indonesia’s rule that bans in-app transactions, a cabinet minister said on Tuesday, after it took control of the country’s biggest e-commerce platform to restart its online shopping business.

TikTok had been forced to close its relatively new e-commerce service, TikTok Shop, in Indonesia after the country banned online shopping on social media platforms last year, citing the need to protect smaller merchants and users’ data.

Indonesian tech conglomerate GoTo said last month that TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, had completed a deal agreed in December to buy 75.01% of Tokopedia for $840 million.

Teten Masduki, the Indonesian minister for small-medium enterprises (SMEs), who spoke frequently against TikTok Shop prior to last year’s ban, told reporters that TikTok still had not complied with the regulation.

“The trade minister has to reprimand TikTok so that it complies with the regulation, if not then … the government’s authority is undermined,” he said.

A TikTok representative in Indonesia did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The trade ministry said it was still considering how best to respond to the issue.

TikTok said last year it intended to invest billions of dollars in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, the region’s biggest economy.

(Reporting by Bernadette Christina; Writing by Stanley Widianto; Editing by Stephen Coates)