TikTok and Amazon Bet on China’s Ecommerce Model. It’s a Dud

After setting up her lights, cameras, and microphones, Lydia Machida sat in front of a shelf of wigs and makeup in a professional studio in Los Angeles. A message pinged into her feed: “Could you try the number seven?” and she took the corresponding wig—manufactured by her Chinese client—down and pulled it over her long, thick hair. 

Machida is an aspiring actor, but gigs dried up during the pandemic. Then, in mid-2022, she was approached by Dance Art, a multi-channel network (MCN) that hires influencers to sell products on platforms over TikTok and Amazon. Since then, she’s sold everything from cosmetics to charging cables. On Amazon Prime Day in July,

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