Most downloaded iPhone app Tik Tok hits 150 million daily users in China, marking major milestone
Viral video app Tik Tok, known as Douyin in China, extends popularity beyond traditional ‘Gen Z’ base
Tik Tok, the world’s most-downloaded iPhone app, announced on Tuesday that daily active users in mainland China have hit 150 million, marking a major milestone as its owner Beijing ByteDance Technology continues to joust with internet giant Tencent for the attention of China’s video-loving consumers.
Tik Tok, which is known as Douyin in China, said that its monthly active users in the mainland reached 300 million, reflecting a strong showing since the short video app was launched in 2016. ByteDance, China’s fastest-growing internet start-up and now valued at more than US$20 billion, said Douyin has grown its user base beyond the traditional Gen Z category, with more than 40 per cent of mainland users now aged between 24 and 30 years old.
The stellar user figures from Tik Tok come amid fierce competition in China’s red-hot short video industry, where 353 million Chinese viewers – more than the entire US population – are expected to hook on to short-form, social videos by the end of 2018, according to iiMedia Report. However, the industry is also facing a crackdown on content deemed “vulgar” by Chinese authorities and rising demands for more privacy controls to protect minors.
Tik Tok said it is seeing more diversified video content on its platform these days, ranging from food to travel, and not just the usual song and dance routines. The video platform’s popularity skyrocketed initially among the Gen Z consumer base – those who’ve reached 18 years old recently – appealing because of its powerful editing tools that help users to easily create and share music videos.
ByteDance is currently in a high-profile legal battle with Tencent, having accused the Hong Kong-listed internet giant of blocking some of its content on the latter’s various social media platforms, including WeChat, China’s biggest social media and messaging network with more than one billion users.
“There is no sign of growth slowing down, Douyin’s growth is mainly driven by word of mouth,” Zhi Ying, marketing manager of Douyin, was quoted as saying to mainland media on Tuesday. “The reason we’ve made our disagreement with Tencent public is because we used to have 10 million users sharing their videos on WeChat, and this (the blocking of Douyin on WeChat) has damaged the user experience,” added Zhi.
In line with Douyin’s explosive growth in mainland China, is its rapid development (as Tik Tok) overseas. According to the Beijing-based company, Tik Tok has reached 100 million monthly active users overseas. However, with this success have come some concerns.
ByteDance came under fire in May from cybersecurity experts for a lack of privacy settings on Tik Tok after a South China Morning Post investigation found that hundreds of Hong Kong children as young as nine were exposing their identities on the platform.