TikTok to partner with TalkShopLive for U.S. live shopping

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The U.S. head office of TikTok is shown in Culver City, California, U.S., September 15, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) – TikTok is due to enter a partnership with Los Angeles-based TalkShopLive to launch its live shopping platform in North America by outsourcing its operation, the Financial Times reported on Saturday citing two people familiar with the operations.

The companies are still finalizing the arrangements, the FT report said, adding that no contracts have been signed so far.

TikTok and TalkShopLive did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Bytedance-owned TikTok’s live shopping platform TikTok Shop is available in Asian markets including Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. It was launched in the U.K. last year, according to the report.

TikTok Shop allows users to buy products through links on the app during live broadcasts, and the Los Angeles based TalkShopLive app works on a similar concept. TalkShopLive describes itself as a “live streaming, social buying and selling platform”, on its website.

TalkShopLive signed an agreement with U.S. retailer Walmart (NYSE:) last year to provide shoppable content through embeddable videos across Walmart.com.

The reported partnership comes at a time when TikTok, which counts the United States as its largest market, is facing scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers questioning the Chinese-owned app’s safeguards of user data.

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