Friday 08 Dec 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 8): Malaysia said it is studying the possibility of regulating TikTok and its e-commerce features, a move that could further dent the social media company’s online shopping ambitions in Southeast Asia.

Malaysia is looking into registering online social media platforms and implementing a global minimum tax, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. He said he will meet with representatives from TikTok on Thursday (Nov 9).

“It’s a continuation on the discussions we have been having,” Fahmi said of the coming meeting. “There are some regulatory aspects we are looking into. On top of that, we are looking to see how TikTok Shop is working.” 

The move highlights Southeast Asia’s growing push-back against ByteDance Ltd’s TikTok, amid the company’s plans to invest billions of dollars in the region. TikTok suspended its online-retail operation in neighbouring Indonesia, after its government announced new regulations that will force TikTok to split its shopping feature from the video-scrolling service. TikTok is the only social media company that sells goods directly on its app.

Fahmi in the past raised concerns over TikTok, accusing it of spreading fake news and censoring content on the Israel-Hamas conflict. TikTok said it is taking proactive measures to address the issues which Fahmi had raised.

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