To Win E-Commerce, Douyin Cuts Off Third-Party Sellers

What Happened: On August 26, local media reported that Douyin had announced it would gradually cut ties with third-party platforms such as Taobao and Starting on October 9, after the golden week holiday in China, consumers won’t be able to purchase products from third-party, e-commerce sites on Douyin’s livestreaming channel. However, these changes won’t affect Douyin’s shop feature. As of September 9, livestreamers will need to place an order with a Douyin-owned service platform to be able to use a third-platform purchase link, and a service fee will then be applied.

Jing Take: By pushing this new policy, Douyin is trying to cut its reliance on third-party platforms to create a larger selling space for its own shop. When Douyin first entered the e-commerce sector, Taobao was its primary partner. But now, with over 500 million active monthly users, Douyin is leveraging its traffic and raising the stakes for its e-commerce. However, there have been a few consumer complaints about products purchased via Douyin’s shop. Those products were accused of being low-quality and not coming with after-sale services or refunds. Douyin did quite well when initially accumulating its consumer traffic, but can it retain that traffic while trying to succeed as an e-commerce platform?

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.