DouYin is the app in China that everyone is taking about. The success of the application starts from the amazing journey of its creation and development in only 200 days by Bytedance, a technological platform based in Beijing. In one year DouYin gained 100 million users. It is also known by the name of Tik Tok outside of China. According to a new study made by Sense Tower Tik Tok has been the app in iOS with more downloads in the first trimester of 2018 with more than 45 million of downloads Worldwide; even on top of WhatsApp and Facebook. 14% of smartphone users in China have downloads this app in their devices.


However it’s fair to say that WhatsApp is still the leader of downloads in general applications (iOS and Android).



DouYin, the hot topic in China social media, was launched in September 2016. It allows its users to create and share up to 15 second musical selfies with different effects. Some examples of effects can be making it slower, graphic animations, the effect of virtual reality, among others.  It was hardly critiqued recently for forbidding Peppa Pig cartoon characters for being too “subversive”. This censorship was produced in the new wave of restrictions of the Chinese government against popular entertainment apps.



The idea of this musical app is similar to the American app of social video called that was bought by Bytedance last year. This way, Tik Tok and have together more than 100 million active users Worldwide.  


There are different categories in DouYin that allows having more response to the preferences of users. The category of music can be considered the center as it is the heart of the application. The majority of influencers take a selfie with some music in the background. The category of comedy has videos that show popular subjects among Chinese like love, being single, separation and obesity. In the dance category you can find videos of parodies of famous dancers. As well you can find funny categories with animals with amazing performances as Chinese love cats and dogs. Many other categories like make-up, education and celebrities can be found as well.


Like in many other apps in China social media we can find different influencers that have tons of followers and that be very helpful when doing social media marketing in China. If you want to promote your brand in DouYin the cost is less elevated than Weibo. There are many ways of creating leads with DouYin. You can create links through platforms like it is done by several brands like Samsung, Audi, Pizza Hut, among others. Michael Kors for example was the first luxury brand to sign a partnership with DouYin. They decided to create a challenge with the objective to increase the awareness of their event “The Walk Shanghai event”. Their idea was simple, the brand asked users to create the own Michael Kors fashion show using a personalized video filter. As well the brand asked important KOL to create their own fashion shows videos using clothes and accessories of the brand.  The success of this campaign was very high because they had the approval and partnership with DouYin and this gave them maximum visibility among users by using many influencers. Like in Instagram you can use the hashtag system and this makes the influencers be more visible to the cyber users.


Another way to invest is to create direct partnership with several influencers. This strategy is less expensive than doing it through DouYin and as well the visibility will be less as when DouYin is technically involved. The idea here will be to get the attention of the influencer’s followers. This method requires knowing well the Chinese market and having an excellent level of Mandarin to talk with the influencer in order to plan together a strategy concerning the content of your brand. Here you can put links that will go directly to your e-commerce site.


The audience of DouYin is young, educated people, majority women, with high income. Around 85% of users are less than 24 years old coming from big cities like Shanghai or Beijing. It is important to say that the influencers of DouYin are young adults with little experience. In consequence, sometimes the content of their videos might be a little immature. So you need to check that the influencers you want to work with work accordingly to the values of your brand.


DouYin was been a huge success in 2017 and it continues to grow this year. If you are looking to start a new China social media marketing activity with a reasonable marketing budget, DouYin might be a good solution for you. Working directly with one or several influencers will always be cheaper. If you choose to have important KOL and that they make a good job, you can expect to have similar results to those of big companies.


DouYin is very easy to use and addictive. The videos are short and funny and they represent a good way of distraction for users while providing a good source of advertising and increase in sales in e-commerce. It is a good way to approach your clients and to win new ones.