Information from multiple sources suggest that tech giant Bytedance is planning to close down its own e-commerce platform Fanno.
It is rumoured that Fanno has been already considered as a failed project internally within Bytedance and its project team has been dissolved in April this year, according to people familiar with the matter.
Focusing on core European markets including UK, Spain, France, Italy and Germany, Bytedance has launched Fanno in November last year as its latest attempt to tap the booming cross-border ecommerce sector. Individual sellers operate their own shops on Fanno, offering a wide range of value products. The platform has been widely considered as Bytedance’s ambition to create a European equivalent of Wish, which operates only in the U.S. market.
Beyond a low price tag, Fanno offers a 30-day buyer-protection program and promised a 14-day refund policy. During its launch phase, Fanno has offered various discount campaigns and free-shipping actions, successfully gained its initial user base. Many cross-border sellers from China have been also attracted to the new platform, considering it as an alternative to Amazon.
The Fanno app has not been updated for over a month since 22th April 2022. There has been also increasing number of complaints on the platform’s logistic performance, product quality and refund procedure, which all indicated a shift of strategy and resource input from Bytedance. In February this year, the tech giant retired its short-lived fashion outlet Dmonstudio, a rival platform competing directly against SHEIN. Dmonstudio was also launched in November 2021 and the project survived only one quarter. Similarities haven been observed in both platforms: lower than expected user growth, stalled organic traffic and various supply chain issues.
At this moment, TikTok Shop remains as Bytedance’s only global ecommerce platform, operating in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and United Kingdom. The in-house ecommerce platform benefits directly from the huge traffic generated from TikTok app. After both failed experiments with Dmonstudio and Fanno, it is widely suspected that Bytedance’s newly appointed CFO Julie Gao will shift the tech giant’s ecommerce strategy back to its core ecosystem.
This article was originally written by Yi Shi for 36Kr Chuhai