6 minutes to read

What is Douyin and How Can It Help Your Business in China?


As we have already mentioned, this application is essential for any advanced Chinese. It allows you to instantly create, edit, share videos with friends, and look through the feed ranked especially for you by artificial intelligence. Since recently, the application makes it possible instantly buy goods showed in the feed video.

Douyin is owned by one of the largest companies, Bytedance, known for its projects in the field of artificial intelligence. That is why your feed will always offer the content relevant to you and meeting your interests.

Douyin audience is 500 million users (according to Baijiahao), 80% of which are under the age of 29 and 64% are women.

Application interface

At the main page in the recommendations section you can often see advertisements of various brands, for example, an advertisement of Lancome is shown based on interests such as cosmetics and make-up.

Appearance of the verified brand page

1 Verification check mark

2 Link to Douyin shop where you can buy the product

3 Link to the official website

4 Total likes

5 Direct call to the company's salesperson

6 Page integrated with Toutiao

7 Number of followers

Promotion in Douyin

Several ways of promotion in Douyin:

  1. Targeted advertising for promotion of posts.

  2. Advertising via the Bytedance platform at a single advertising account in Ocean Engine. It allows you to place advertisements on all the Bytedance's platforms and applications. However, today you need a legal entity in China to do so; a possibility for foreigners may appear soon.

Targeted advertising. 3 types of promotion:

  1. Intellectual: a type of promotion based on artificial intelligence; this is the most cost-saving type with the largest coverage.

  2. Targeting based on age, gender, location, and interests.

  3. Targeting to followers of bloggers.

Design of advertising account

1 Selection between the promotion priority on followers or likes

2 Selection between the types of promotion
- Intellectual
- By age, gender, and location
- Targeting to a blogger's followers

3 Price

4 Use of discount coupons

5 Time of promotion: 6, 12, or 24 hours

6 Coverage

Tokens DOU and DOU Plus

The application has two types of tokens, DOU and DOU Plus.

DOU Plus - are the tokens purchased with the use of fiat money (CNY) and used to launch a promotion via the targeting settings as described above.

DOU - are the tokens to be donated to streamers and for in-app purchases, such as masks, filters, augmented reality elements.

How can Douyin help your business?

  • First, it is a powerful sales channel. An integrated e-commerce platform will allow the Chinese to buy your product in one click.

  • Second, the main audience is young and solvent Chinese who are ready to click and immediately buy the product they like.

  • Running an account in Douyin is an opportunity to promote your service or product targeted to your target audience.

Chinese censorship

Will they let my advertisement? There are quite many restrictions to the advertised content: things like “smooth skin after one application”, “5 tones lighter” or “depressive” content all will have to be abandoned. In case of a violation, you may face a ban on your post or the lifetime ban.

A few more examples of what Douyin might ban:

  1. Your ads may not say that the product is good for health: any mention of health improvement will lead to a ban of the account.

  2. Your ads may not employ celebrities: even if you have a photo with, say, Bruce Lee or Jack Ma, it will not anyway help you to promote in China.

  3. Your ads may not demonstrate an instant effect in one application.

  4. And the funniest thing: your ads may not mention ghosts, spirits, elves, or anything about esotericism.

Considering Douyin for your business? Optimize your time: contact us to learn about all advantages of marketing in Douyin.

Alexander Sabantsev
I am Alexander, I am an expert in Chinese marketing and a sinologist. Author of blog articles ChinaDigital, Reddit, Medium.

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