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Insights from China: Leveraging the Power of Douyin (TikTok) to Reach and Engage Young Chinese Consumers

Executive Summary

Our Insights from China reports provide a weekly review of what’s happening in China – and what international brands and retailers need to know to succeed. We cover areas such as policy, consumer behavior, consumer sentiment, government regulations and the competitive landscape – as they affect international companies selling to Chinese consumers or looking to enter the market.

This week, we look at how companies can leverage the power of the popular Chinese short video app Douyin, also known as TikTok, in reaching and engaging consumers.

Douyin: Leading Short Video App with a Large Base of Young Users

Douyin, known as TikTok overseas, is a short video app which allows users to share self-created short videos, generally limited to 15 seconds. The Beijing-based Internet company ByteDance launched the app in 2016 and its international version TikTok a year later. The app gained traction rapidly:

  • China-based data services company Miaozhen Systems estimates Douyin’s daily active users numbered over 100 million as of June 2018, topping all other Chinese short video apps.
  • TikTok surpassed Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to become the most downloaded non-game app in iOS App Store in the first quarter of 2018, according to app analytics firm Sensor Tower.

Official data from Douyin also reveal a large user base – mostly born after 1990:

  • Over 40% of users were aged 24–30 years as of June 2018.
  • The app had over 250 million daily active users and 500 million monthly active users as of December 2018.

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