In its first “TikTok Southeast Asia Impact Forum” held on a hybrid setup, the short from video platform commits an investment of $12.2 million including cash grants, digital skills training, and advertising credits for small businesses in the region.
Businesses that have started selling on TikTok reported almost a 50% increase in revenue, according to the report “The TikTok Effect: Accelerating Southeast Asia’s Businesses, Education and Community,” close to 4 in 5 businesses (79%) began their digital transformation, from selling offline, through the platform.
“In just over six years, we have created new avenues for income generation for both creators and businesses on the platform,” said Teresa Tan, head of Public Policy, Southeast Asia, TikTok. “We have also introduced e-commerce channels such as TikTok Shop, which allows SMBs to connect with new consumers and grow their businesses.”
The report was conducted by Kadence International across countries in SEA including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Data as of April 2023. More than 3,400 TikTok users and 25 non-profit organizations participated in the survey held between August and September 2022 using online surveys and offline interviews.
The report also found that over 80% of TikTok creators surveyed reported increased income through TikTok LIVE and brand sponsorships.
According to the company, TikTok attracts 325 million people in the region every month which makes it the most viable channel for the 15 million businesses already onboard the platform.
Over the six years since it was first launched, TikTok has introduced features small businesses utilize to sell their products and services such as the TikTok Shop and TikTok LIVE. Over 80% of TikTok creators surveyed reported increased income through TikTok LIVE and brand sponsorships.
In the Philippines, TikTok has partnered with the Department of Agriculture and PLDT-Smart Foundation, Inc. to launch the Buy Local Bazaar program, which assists local farmers and fisherfolk by expanding their online selling opportunities on TikTok Shop. Training sessions and connectivity support are provided to help them utilize TikTok for their businesses.