TikTok Shop closes over 1m seller accounts over policy violations

TikTok Shop deactivated over one million seller accounts between July and December 2023 and removed their products due to policy violations.

According to a new report released by the social media selling platform, an additional 500,000 creators had e-commerce features removed due to issues including infringing intellectual property rights.

The ByteDance-owned platform said that in 2023, it invested more than $400 million in platform safety and the company has established a team of more than 7,500 people to help keep protect users and prevent the sale of prohibited or counterfeit goods.

The company said that as part of its pre-listing enforcement it blocked more than 37 million products before they went live on the platform and removed an additional 133,000 products between July and December 2023.

The platform added that it collaborates with government bodies and industry organisations to address and mitigate instances of intellectual property rights infringement and address other emerging challenges.

TikTok Shop said it now has over 15 million sellers around the world, adding around six million during the second half of 2023. As part of the onboarding process, each seller goes through a verification process and has their products assessed before they are allowed to sell on the platform.

"As we expand TikTok Shop to new markets and grow our community, we are committed to being transparent about our efforts to keep the platform safe,” said Jan Wilk, head of operations at TikTok Shop UK. “We have invested heavily in tools, technology and people to build a shopping experience that people can trust, and we will continue to develop our policies, processes and enforcement so that people can enjoy a safe experience when they use TikTok Shop."

TikTok launched TikTok Shop in the US in September last year. At the time, the social media platform said that it wanted to take advantage of the increasing number of people using the app to share products.

It reportedly has plans to increase the size of its e-commerce business in the US to $17.5 billion, rivalling e-commerce giant Amazon.

Despite its success, the company has recently been subject to backlash over security and privacy concerns. The European Union is currently investigating TikTok to see whether the platform has violated the bloc’s rules designed to protect children and ensure transparent advertising.

Should it be found to be in violation, ByteDance could face fines of up to six per cent of its global turnover.

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