Walmart CEO Doug McMillon says wants to play role in e-commerce and fulfillmentand front end of TikTok if there is a deal
DOUG MCMILLON: Yeah, we've had an ongoing conversation with ByteDance for a while now, and basically what we would love to do is to play a role in the e-commerce fulfillment payment and some-- to some degree advertising aspects of that relationship. So the national security concerns in the US and in China-- those will be resolved by government officials and Oracle, not Walmart. We're focused on the front end and how users might be able to interact with TikTok, and when they see something they want to buy, [FINGER SNAP] do it in a simple, fun, seamless way and have a good back-end experience because of our fulfillment capabilities. So that's an interesting relationship that could end up impacting more than just the United States.
- No, it's pretty cool. At when would a-- when would that new form of marketplace, when would that go live? Is that within the year? Can you build that quickly?
DOUG MCMILLON: Well, there are forms of social commerce that are happening already around the world. You can see that maybe most prominently in China. But whether it's TikTok or Facebook, Instagram, in some ways Google-- the digital front ends that exist-- in our case, we have one with our app in addition to the ways that we interact through others-- will become kind of seamless for people as they want to buy merchandise and have that experience. So I think you can start to see some of the signs of that today with marketplaces that are being built and with what we're building. But I think it'll progress. It will become more pronounced across various channels and become more pronounced geographically as it grows.
- So has it been worth it to go through all this? It seems though that Walmart has been the headline. It's been drug through the mud a little bit with regard to TikTok. But just listening to you, it sounds like that is OK because the longer-run opportunity is still pretty big?
DOUG MCMILLON: Yeah, I think there's been criticism of the deal, and it's been complicated in some ways because the governments are involved. But I don't have any concern about the way that we've been treated. Our focus here, as I described earlier, is really simple. We want to play any commerce role and help users and hopefully something can be worked out.