Marcos meets TikTok CEO, taps platform to help PH traders
SAN FRANCISCO — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has partnered with the video hosting service TikTok to help small-scale merchants and entrepreneurs in the Philippines promote their products.
The partnership was announced on Saturday after Marcos had a meeting with Tiktok chief executive officer Shou Zi Chew on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit here.
The president and the Singaporean TikTok official agreed on training local sellers and promoting their products through the platform, according to Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil.
“We want to give more resources and highlight and train the local sellers in the more rural parts of the country because that’s one thing interesting on the platform,” Chew told Marcos during the meeting.
Chew said TikTok would like to highlight local products on the platform, especially those of small-scale sellers, under its “edutainement” program.
Assurance of safety
TikTok has rolled out a similar initiative in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia, said Chew, adding: “To sell around the country and export around the world. That’s the plan.”
He assured sellers of their safety while using the platform and added that TikTok “is for creativity and entertainment.”
“So we want to keep it at that. [The] rules that keep people civil and keep the platform safe. So we have community guidelines like ‘no violence, no sexual abuse material’. We have all these guidelines and we have a team of people who moderate content,” he added.
“If there’s anything that crosses the guidelines, we will moderate. And we have a local representative who is working very closely with one of the regulators as well. We get feedback and move very quickly if there is something that we spot (being) violated on the platform and that’s something that we take extremely seriously,” he added.
Biggest emerging market outside US
Garafil said TikTok sees Southeast Asia as its biggest emerging market outside the United States, with 325 million monthly active users accounting for nearly half the region’s population.
In April last year, Garafil said, the company launched TikTok Shop, an e-commerce section where users could browse and purchase products they see in the videos on their feeds.
The video hosting service was introduced to the Philippines in May 2017 as part of its international launch. It currently has some 50 million active users in the country.