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TikTok to push voice shopping function in the U.S. to compete with Amazon and Google

(Bloomberg) – A U.S. trademark application filed in September by TikTok’s parent company, ByteTok, shows the short-video platform is considering releasing new technology that would enable users to shop by voice to accelerate its e-commerce efforts in the U.S. and compete with Amazon and Google.

The technology is centered around the “Fulfillment by TikTok Shop” program, which is dedicated to launching goods and services related to completing online orders, including payment processing, shipping and packaging, warehousing services and handling product returns. This hints at the company’s plans to launch an e-commerce logistics service for merchants, which could eventually resemble Amazon’s model.

But beyond that, the new technology may also include an additional service that will enable users to use their voice to make online purchases and conduct financial transactions. Byte Jump envisions a wide range of applications for voice technology, such as the ability to use it to remotely control lamps, TVs and air conditioners, as well as to search for news, weather forecasts and online encyclopedia information by voice.

While much of what is in these filings seem to have little to do with the online order fulfillment process, it is standard practice for companies to use expansive language to describe goods and services when filing trademark applications, a trademark attorney revealed.

Josh Gerben of Gerben Law Firm said, “It’s very common for a large company the size of ByteDive to expand the description of its technical applications in a trademark application. It can involve a lot of unrelated things because what business people discuss in meetings and what lawyers hear in meetings can be very different things.”

Gerben added that while TikTok can file a trademark application for any goods or services it wants, in order for the trademark to pass muster, it must actually start offering those goods or services.

TikTok spokeswoman Laura Perez confirmed that the new feature is being tested in the U.S., but provided no further details. Previously, testing was limited to the United Kingdom, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. TikTok is reportedly inviting U.S. businesses to join the new shopping program, which will eventually expand to international sellers.

Voice commerce has become a hot category in the tech space as more and more home devices get support from voice assistants like Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Google Assistant, although many consumers are still wary of this type of shopping.

The idea that TikTok is looking to enter this space is not surprising, as the company has always struggled to enter many areas of e-commerce. Job postings show that TikTok has been adding staff to build a U.S. team focused on supply chain logistics, including “planning and designing distribution centers.

One of the job postings reads, “The e-commerce industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years and has become a highly competitive space for leading Internet companies, whose future growth potential cannot be underestimated. With millions of loyal users around the world, we believe TikTok is an ideal platform to provide our users with a new and better e-commerce experience.”

This follows media reports that TikTok recently moved a top advertising executive to focus on its TikTok Shop product in the US.

Audio technology is another focus for TikTok, with the company putting voice at the forefront of its apps. The company has a dedicated Speech, Audio and Music Intelligence (SAMI) team working on new audio technologies, and TikTok is currently hiring for several positions related to speech recognition, including speech recognition scientists who will help “build the core technology and conduct cutting-edge research in multilingual recognition.

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Threza Gabriel
Threza Gabrielhttps://www.techgoing.com
TechGoing is a global tech media to brings you the latest technology stories, including smartphones, electric vehicles, smart home devices, gaming, wearable gadgets, and all tech trending.
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