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Indonesia may issue regulations on social media e-commerce this week

Published September 25, 2023 Updated September 25, 2023 Bookmark Bookmark Share WhatsApp Telegram Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

JAKARTA — Indonesia may issue on Tuesday (Sept 26) a regulation on the use of social media to sell goods in the country, President Joko Widodo said, a move intended to quell threats to offline markets in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

Indonesia’s ministers have repeatedly said that e-commerce sellers using predatory pricing on social media platforms are threatening offline markets in Indonesia, with some officials specifically citing the video platform TikTok as an example.

“We just… decided on the use of social media for e-commerce. Tomorrow it will perhaps come out,” Mr Widodo, who is commonly known as Jokowi, said in a streamed video address on Monday. 

“What the people are expecting is that the advancement of technology can create new economic potential, not kill existing economies.”

Mr Jokowi did not mention any specific companies or offer further details on the regulation, which is being formulated by the trade ministry.

Current trade regulations do not specifically cover direct transactions on social media.

Deputy Trade Minister Jerry Sambuaga said earlier this month that “social media and social commerce cannot be combined,” vowing to ban the mix of the two and citing TikTok’s “live” features which allow people to sell goods.

A TikTok Indonesia spokesperson declined to comment. TikTok is owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance.

The company said that its app had 325 million Southeast Asian users that were active every month, of whom 125 million were in Indonesia. The company has said that there were 2 million small businesses on TikTok Shop in Indonesia. REUTERS

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