MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. will partner with video-sharing platform Tiktok on "edutainment," and help micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises sell their products on the app, Malacañang said on Saturday.
In a statement, Press Secretary Cheloy Garafil said Marcos Jr. and TikTok Chief Executive Officer Shou Zi Chew met in San Francisco, California on the sidelines of this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
"The President wanted TikTok to train local sellers, particularly those in the rural areas, to promote their products," said Garafil.
Two projects are already in the pipeline under this initiative, and would boost inclusivity to online sellers, according to the TikTok CEO.
TikTok promises moderation, cooperation with government
He also vowed for the safety of sellers and consumers in the platform, which currently boasts of 50 million active users in the Philippines.
“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. What we want to do is highlight local products, especially from smaller [sellers], he said.
“So, if there’s anything that crosses the guidelines, we will moderate. And we have local representative who is working very closely with one of the regulators as well. We get feedback and move very quickly if there is something that we spot is violated on the platform and that’s something that we take extremely, seriously.”
Marcos Jr. echoed Chew's sentiments on the platform's safety.
“But just the differences in opinion and how they’re expressed, that sometimes is very hard to determine whether you… where is it excessive and where is it acceptable but I suppose you have all the rules and… that you need to do that,” said Marcos.
“Because Tiktok, I mean from the beginning was quite really just a very lighthearted platform but then just because of its popularity like for example, for someone like me who’s in politics, if you’re talking to 50 million people, then I need to be part of that conversation ...So, it’s inevitable ... the many sides, multi-faceted side will come in.”
The Palace said TikTok Shop's gross merchandise value in 2022 reached $4.4 billion in Southeast Asia alone.
TikTok is the sixth most used social platform in the world, according to the We Are Social marketing agency.
Multiple countries have sought to tighten controls on social media due to their potential impact on children.
TikTok's owner, ByteDance, is Chinese, but the company rejects critics who accuse it of being under Beijing's direct control.
Although it lags behind the likes of Meta's long-dominant trio of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, its growth among young people far outstrips its competitors.
— With a report from Agence France-Presse