THE GOVERNMENT is considering including farmers in an e-commerce training program for small businesses using short-form video app TikTok, according to Malacañang.
TikTok, developed by Chinese company ByteDance Ltd., will conduct training with the Department of Trade and Industry and “possibly” the Department of Agriculture “for small business owners and farmers on how to use TikTok and other platforms to promote their products,” Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said in a Viber message on Saturday.
The partnership was discussed during President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s meeting with TikTok, Inc. CEO Shou Zi Chew at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in San Francisco.
“We want to give more resources and highlight and train the local sellers in the more rural parts of the country because that’s one thing interesting on the platform,” Mr. Chew told Mr. Marcos.
“What we want to do is highlight local products, especially from smaller (sellers),” he added.
Mr. Chew said TikTok has provided sellers in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia “a platform to sell around the country and export around the world.”
“That’s the plan (for the Philippines),” he said.
Amid growing cybersecurity concerns, many governments have banned TikTok from devices issued to public sector employees.
In September, the Philippine National Security Council (NSC) said it was studying the possibility of imposing a ban on TikTok for government employees involved in national security.
“We know for a fact that there are information operations and psychological warfare and other stuff being done,” NSC Assistant Director Jonathan Malaya said at the time. “If there is a need for banning, it would not be for public school teachers, it would not be for those in the civilian, it would be for the security sector.”
TikTok was introduced to the Philippines in May 2017. In April last year, the video platform launched its online market, TikTok Shop, in the Philippines.
“TikTok sees Southeast Asia as its biggest emerging market outside the US, with its 325 million monthly active users covering nearly half the region’s population,” the Palace said.
TikTok Shop generated gross merchandise value in Southeast Asia of $4.4 billion in 2022. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza