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TikTok completes deal for Indonesia's top e-commerce platform

FILE PHOTO: Employees pack goods at Goto's e-commerce unit Tokopedia's warehouse in Jakarta

JAKARTA (Reuters) - TikTok has completed its deal to take control of Indonesia's biggest e-commerce platform, which has allowed the Chinese social media giant to restart for its online shopping business in the country.

Indonesian tech conglomerate GoTo said on Wednesday that TikTok, owned by China's ByteDance, had completed a deal agreed in December to buy 75.01% of Tokopedia for $840 million from the conglomerate.

TikTok had been forced to close its relatively new e-commerce service, TikTok Shop, in Indonesia after the country banned online shopping on social media platforms in September, citing the need to protect smaller merchants and users' data.

Under the deal with GoTo, TikTok Shop's Indonesia business will be injected into the enlarged Tokopedia entity.

"Today marks the completion of a partnership with TikTok that will continue to bring benefits to Indonesia and its MSMEs [micro, small and medium enterprises]. It is also a big step forward for GoTo Group," GoTo Group CEO Patrick Walujo said in a statement.

In the same statement, GoTo said it achieved positive adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the final quarter of 2023, as targeted, though details on the amount will not be shared until March.

GoTo's businesses include ride-hailing, delivery and financial services.

As its profitability improves, GoTo also said it may conduct a share buyback.

Prior to the announcement, GoTo shares closed up 1.15% at 88 rupiah each.

(Reporting by Stefanno Sulaiman; Editing by Mark Potter)