TikTok Joins Forces with Advance Intelligence to Boost Online Retail in Malaysia

TikTok’s e-commerce arm has partnered with Advance Intelligence Group to expand its online retail presence in Malaysia, offering Advance Intelligence’s Atome “buy now, pay later” service as a payment option on TikTok Shop. With significant investments planned for Southeast Asia, TikTok aims to bolster its e-commerce arm and challenge established players, while Malaysia’s growing e-commerce market offers an ideal platform for the partnership.

22 July 2023 – TikTok’s e-commerce division has forged a strategic partnership with financial technology startup Advance Intelligence Group to bolster its online retail presence in Malaysia. As part of this collaboration, Advance Intelligence will integrate its popular “buy now, pay later” service, Atome, as a payment option on TikTok Shop, allowing Malaysian consumers to enjoy deferred payments over a period of three to six months.

The alliance represents a significant milestone for Singapore-based Advance Intelligence, which has witnessed substantial success with its payments business, garnering tens of millions of users across Southeast Asia since its inception in 2016. With strong financial backing from Warburg Pincus and total funding of over US$700 million (RM3.1 billion), including a funding round last year that valued the company at more than US$2 billion, Advance Intelligence is poised to leverage this collaboration to expand its payments offering in the region.

ByteDance Ltd, the parent company of TikTok, is demonstrating its confidence in Southeast Asia’s potential for e-commerce growth by planning to invest billions of dollars in the region over the next three to five years. The company aims to utilize this investment to fortify its e-commerce arm and compete with established online retailers such as Sea Ltd’s Shopee and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

In a rapidly evolving Malaysian e-commerce landscape, Atome’s inclusion as a payment option on TikTok Shop aligns with the growing demand for “buy now, pay later” services in the region. This trend is also reflected in Malaysia’s projected e-commerce gross merchandise value, which is expected to reach US$18 billion by 2025, surpassing the US$14 billion mark in 2022, as per Atome’s reference to Statista figures.

With TikTok’s ambitious investment plans and the popularity of deferred payment services, this collaboration presents a promising opportunity for both companies to thrive in Malaysia’s competitive online retail market. – source: Bloomberg

Author: Terry KS

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