Riani Sanusi Putri, Jakarta – The National Consumer Protection Agency (BPKN) head Rizal Edy Halim said that talk of shutting down social commerce sites such as TikTok Shop in order to protect local MSMEs was unwise because the platform is also widely used by young Indonesian entrepreneurs to sell their products.
Rizal did not deny that TikTok Shop could pose a threat to conventional businesses. However, he believed that current technological developments would encourage business actors to continue to innovate.
"So there has to be a win-win solution for both. If TikTok Shop is closed, I think Indonesia will be left behind as it is going against the tide of civilization," Rizal told Tempo on Thursday, September 21, 2023.
He said that in the development of civilization, businesses that cannot survive and become irrelevant to the current times will be eliminated by themselves. To bridge the gap between TikTok Shop and conventional businesses, he opined that there must be discussions between both parties together with the government.
Rizal observed that when technological disruption occurs and new businesses emerge, old businesses are displaced. Thus, existing business players need to be able to adapt and update in order to survive in market dynamics.
From a consumer protection perspective, Rizal went on, consumers would continue to choose more efficient goods. Not only in terms of price but also in terms of time and energy.
Therefore, he encouraged discussions between conventional business actors and TikTok Shop or other social commerce platforms so that they do not cancel each other out. Rizal believed that the two could be mutually supportive.