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TikTok Finds Its Way Back Into Indonesia’s Booming E-Commerce Market

Chinese-owned TikTok announced on Monday that it is taking over 75% stake in Tokopedia, the Indonesian e-commerce unit of GoTo’s super-app ecosystem. The company said that it will spend a total of $1.5 billion and that the transaction will be completed by the first quarter of ...

Southeast Asia is Testing TikTok’s Limits

ByteDance’s TikTok is learning some very valuable lessons from the past few weeks: overconfidence is bad, and a new level of creativity might be in order if it wants to keep up with Southeast Asia’s policy quirks. Charm alone is not enough in this part of the ...

Tiktok Moves into E-Commerce, Music Streaming Across the Global South

Bytedance, the parent company of the Chinese social media giant TikTok, is racing to expand its business into e-commerce and other fields, in a bid to mimic the success of other Chinese e-commerce giants like Shein. The platform’s TikTok Shop, which allows ...

Tens of Thousands Cue for a Kilometer to Get Into Chinese Fast Fashion Pop-up Store in Brazil

Tens of thousands of Brazilians waited in line for hours last week for their chance to get into a pop-up store in São Paulo that was open for just five days by Chinese fast fashion giant Shein. On the last day, the line was more than a ...

Star Power Boosts Rwandan Coffee in Online Sales Session

The famous Chinese actress Liu Tao recently hosted a live sale of Rwandan coffee on Alibaba’s e-commerce website Taobao. She sold 500kg of coffee beans in 5 minutes. It usually takes two to three months to sell that much on e-commerce sites. These ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Misadventures in the Skin Trade

This week I spent a few days in Cape Town, in time for a minor, if telling, crisis in international agricultural trade. A ship crammed with 19,000 (mostly still living) cows was stuck in Cape Town harbor, en route from Brazil to the Middle East.
As South African animal welfare authorities scrambled to inspect the horrors on board, the city was enveloped in a powerful farmyard funk. The entire episode can ...

Kilimall: The African Start-Up with Chinese Characteristics

Named after Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, Kilimall was the first Chinese e-commerce company to enter Africa, selling products that span various categories including electronics, clothing, home appliances, fashion bags, make-up, and more. Since its founding in 2014, it has grown ...