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China tech

Move over Alibaba, here comes TikTok's 'live' shopping

ByteDance ready to reap $135bn market with direct access to streaming fans

A sales clerk at a Shanghai department store advertises products during a "live commerce" stream. (Photo by Naoki Matsuda)

SHANGHAI -- At a department store here this month, a cosmetics sales clerk touted the virtues of a product designed for sensitive skin. Moments later, customers were flocking to buy.

All this happened not in person, but online in a live video on TikTok. ByteDance, the Chinese startup behind the viral video sharing app, sees it as a tool for challenging Alibaba Group Holding's dominance in China's e-commerce market.

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