Chinese TikTok vendors eyeing TikTok Shop as a potential Amazon alternative now find themselves navigating choppy waters, as the short-video platform enforces stricter rules for overseas sellers.

With the looming specter of potential divestment or outright bans haunting TikTok’s U.S. operations, the platform has recently taken a tougher stance on enforcing its internal regulations, according to feedback from five Chinese vendors and an industry association representing thousands of Chinese online stores.

Uproar of Chinese TikTok vendors 

One of the significant changes causing uproar among Chinese vendors is TikTok’s requirement for U.S. entities registered by sellers to be majority-owned and chaired by U.S. citizens. This move has effectively pushed many Chinese sellers to re-register as overseas entities, a transition they argue diminishes their visibility and support on the platform compared to their American counterparts.

For these sellers, the timing couldn’t be more critical. The platform, boasting a massive user base of approximately 170 million Americans, aims to nurture growth while treading cautiously in the face of potential regulatory storms.

TikTok’s stance on the matter is firm, asserting that its policies remain consistent for all sellers, international or otherwise. However, for Chinese vendors feeling the squeeze, the implications are profound. Some are contemplating scaling back their investments in TikTok sales efforts or seeking local partnerships to mitigate the perceived disadvantages.


The frustration among Chinese vendors is palpable. For sellers, the changes are prompting a reassessment of their strategies. Unlike Amazon, which treats all sellers equally regardless of origin, TikTok’s shifting landscape poses unique challenges for international players.

Despite the hurdles, Chinese vendors have made significant inroads into TikTok’s U.S. shopping sphere since its launch. The allure of TikTok’s burgeoning marketplace has drawn in a wave of eager entrepreneurs.

As the dust settles on TikTok’s evolving landscape, the fate of Chinese e-commerce moguls hangs in the balance, navigating a maze of regulations and geopolitical tensions in their quest for digital dominance.

Cover Photo: Depositphotos

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