TikTok to invest billions of dollars in Southeast Asia -CEO

JAKARTA (Reuters) -Short video app TikTok plans to invest billions of dollars in Southeast Asia over the next few years, its CEO Shou Zi Chew said on Thursday.

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FILE PHOTO: TikTok Chief Executive Shou Zi Chew testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee, in Washington

Chew said at an event held in Indonesia that TikTok’s content is becoming more diversified as it adds more users and expands into e-commerce. TikTok is owned by China’s ByteDance.

Southeast Asia is one of TikTok’s biggest markets in terms of user numbers. But the platform has yet to translate the large user base into a major e-commerce revenue source as it faces fierce competition from bigger rivals of Sea’s Shopee, Alibaba’s Lazada and GoTo’s Tokopedia.

TikTok’s e-commerce platform lets consumers purchase goods through links on the app during livestreaming.

Chew said TikTok has 8,000 employees in Southeast Asia, and 2 million small vendors who are selling their wares on its platform, without elaborating further.

(Reporting by Stanley Widanto; Editing by Christopher Cushing)