SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has entered into a partnership with the video hosting service TikTok to launch an 'edutainment' initiative, a blend of education and entertainment designed to support micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines. This collaboration was established during a meeting with TikTok officials on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
According to Philippines News Agency, Marcos expressed his desire for TikTok to provide training to small-scale sellers and entrepreneurs, particularly in rural areas of the Philippines, to effectively promote their products. He highlighted the significance of TikTok's user base in the country, which totals 50 million users. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew shared his excitement over the project, which aims to include smaller sellers in the platform's reach. Chew noted that similar initiatives have been successful in other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia, enabling MSMEs to sell nationally and export globally.
Chew emphasized the importance of adhering to TikTok's community guidelines, especially considering the platform's large Filipino user base. He stressed the need for content moderation to ensure compliance with rules prohibiting violence, sexual abuse material, and other violations. Local TikTok representatives are working closely with regulators to swiftly address any content that crosses these guidelines.
President Marcos acknowledged the challenges in differentiating strong opinions from fake news but expressed confidence in TikTok's regulations and content moderation processes. TikTok, owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, was introduced in the Philippines in May 2017. In April last year, TikTok Shop was launched, allowing users to purchase products seen in videos directly through the app. The platform views Southeast Asia as a significant market, with a large portion of its monthly active users in the region.
In 2021, TikTok Shop's gross merchandise value in Southeast Asia was USD 4.4 billion, contributing to the region's e-commerce gross merchandise value of USD 131 billion.