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ByteDance Establishes eCommerce Business Unit

Bytedance has set up a new business unit in June for ecommerce on heels of this year’s “618 shopping festival”.

According to the report, Kang Zeyu, the former head of overseas products like news app TopBuzz and social app Helo, will lead the e-commerce unit, for which the company has set a gross merchandise volume target of RMB 200 billion (USD 28.26 billion) for 2020.

After the adjustment, the e-commerce department will be one of the first-tier businesses in the company, as important as news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, the short video platform Douyin and the game department. It will report to ByteDance China CEO Zhang Nan and Chairman Zhang Lidong.

The newly established department will integrate the e-commerce business with Bytedance’s content platforms (including Douyin, Huoshan, Jinri Toutiao), live streaming, operations, brand commerce, and other services. By vigorously developing Douyin stores (抖音小店), the company looks forward to building an e-commerce platform on Douyin instead of becoming a new marketing channel for other e-tailers.

The establishment of this new business unit, composed of the e-commerce division of Douyin and some from international product teams, may be related to the negotiation between ByteDance and Alibaba, said the report.

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