Academics Appreciate Government’s Swift Response to TikTok Shop Closure

Jumat, 17 November 2023 – 17:25 WIB

Jakarta, November 17, 2023 – Academics have praised the government’s swift action in shutting down TikTok Shop. The move is seen as a timely response to public concerns about the practice of commerce through the TikTok app.

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In a discussion titled “What’s Up With TikTok? China’s E-Commerce Expansion and Indonesia’s Response,” held in Jakarta on November 16, 2023, Johanes Herlijanto, chairman of the Indonesian Sinology Forum (FSI), said that public concerns about TikTok Shop are related to several issues, such as the proliferation of imported products flooding the domestic market and the spread of Chinese propaganda.

Herlijanto said that even though TikTok has denied that the company engages in the activities alleged above, the denials have not been enough to quell the concerns that are growing in society.

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“If the flooding of imported goods, especially when accompanied by the implementation of Project S in Indonesia, is allowed to happen, then MSMEs in Indonesia, or even larger local industries, will be negatively affected,” he said.

Indonesian Sinology Forum event

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Therefore, Herlijanto expressed his appreciation if the government does not only view the TikTok case as a matter of licensing. According to him, licensing issues will certainly be easily resolved with a timely application for a license.

“Before granting a license, it is important for the government to consider the interests of MSMEs in the business field, which may be disrupted by the resumption of trading activities through the TikTok app, if they have completed the licensing,” he said.

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In addition, Herlijanto also said that the government needs to provide education to the public so that they know and realize that the videos circulating on the TikTok social media app are actually very likely to contain ideology uploaded by the PRC, which is intended to make Indonesian people glorify the developments that are taking place in that country.

In line with Herlijanto, Tb. Fiki C. Satari, Special Staff to the Minister of Cooperatives and SMEs of the Republic of Indonesia, said that TikTok Shop has the potential to flood Indonesia with cheap products from China and disrupt the distribution chain of local traders.

“Therefore, the government needs to make strict rules to regulate trade through social media platforms such as TikTok Shop,” said Fiki.

Meanwhile, Diana Anggraeni, a communications lecturer from Universitas Pancasila, said that TikTok Shop has opportunities and threats.

Its opportunities are to generate increased visibility and marketing for businesses, enable collaboration between platforms and content creators, open up possibilities for diversifying sales channels, increase the possibilities for using creative features, increase brand awareness, and open up opportunities for innovation and creativity.

Indonesian Sinology Forum event

Indonesian Sinology Forum event

However, Diana also acknowledged that there are problems that need to be highlighted in relation to the practice of buying and selling through TikTok shop. One of them is related to the lack of government regulations regarding trade using social media platforms.

“Minister of Trade Regulation No. 50 of 2020 only regulates online trade in general, and has not yet regulated trade with social media platforms,” she said.

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In line with Herlijanto, Tb. Fiki C. Satari, Special Staff to the Minister of Cooperatives and SMEs of the Republic of Indonesia, said that TikTok Shop has the potential to flood Indonesia with cheap products from China and disrupt the distribution chain of local traders.

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