Walmart kicks off sales campaign with Trump target TikTok

Business

Walmart on Friday is launching its first-ever livestream shopping event on TikTok, a short-form video app popular among teens and viewed as suspect by the Trump administration.

The retail giant has partnered with 10 TikTok influencers to promote Walmart fashion items that users can purchase directly from the app during a livestream shopping experience called the “Holiday Shop-Along Spectacular” starting at 8 p.m. EST.

“Naturally, when TikTok began exploring a new shoppable product, we jumped in to pilot the solution,” Walmart U.S. Chief Marketing Officer William White said in a statement Thursday. “I’m thrilled to close out 2020 innovating on behalf of customers in our fastest-growing social community.”

TikTok users will be able to make direct, in-app Walmart purchases by clicking on influencer content featuring Walmart items, similar to the way Instagram’s in-app purchasing tool works.

The Holiday Shop-Along Spectacular will be the first livestream shopping event ever hosted on TikTok, which has 100 million U.S. users.

Michael Le, a creator with more than 43 million followers, will be one of the 10 influencers taking part in the event.

The Trump administration threatened in August to ban TikTok downloads and updates in the U.S. unless the app partnered with an American company to help handle its U.S. operations.

TikTok parent ByteDance initially agreed to a tentative deal with Walmart and Oracle in September. The two companies would acquire a combined 20% of a prospective entity called TikTok Global headquartered in the U.S., but the deal remains indefinite.