McMillon said he envisions TikTok serving as an opportunity for new discoveries, with people clicking on something in a video and seamlessly buying it.
“If you’re watching a TikTok video and somebody’s got a piece of apparel or an item on it that you really like, what if you could just quickly purchase that item?” he said. “That’s what we’re seeing happen in countries around the world. And it’s intriguing to us, and we would like to be part of it.”
Pending government approval, a tentative deal on the table has Walmart buying a 7.5 percent stake in TikTok’s U.S. operations, giving McMillon one of five board seats in the newly formed company. The deal with TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance also gives Oracle a 12.5 percent stake and the contract to handle TikTok’s cloud services.
Social commerce is already big in China, and McMillon said Walmart aims to bring a similar experience to U.S. shoppers. He said that by partnering with TikTok, consumers will get goods faster.
“If you click on that garment that you want to buy and it takes two weeks to get there, that’s not a very good experience,” he said. “So how could we help with a supply chain, a back-end that makes the whole experience terrific, not just the moment that you buy the item.”
The deal emerged last month, when ByteDance was said to be in talks with Oracle and Walmart to purchase a combined 20 percent stake in TikTok for $12 billion. The possible deal, blessed by President Trump, put the U.S. TikTok shutdown on hold. It was Trump’s executive order and prompting in August that pushed the Chinese company to sell off its U.S. operations.