Chinese social video platform Tik Tok to enter e-commerce market


Tik Tok features Taobao product recommendations and in-app purchases


On the night of Mar. 26, when users of Tik Tok, the Chinese version of dance music video community, opened the app they were greeted by a Taobao product recommendation. Tik Tok is trying its hand at the social e-commerce shopping platform.

Tik Tok, also known as Dou Yin, is a short music video app that was launched in September 2016. It quickly became the most popular User Generated Content (UGC) video app for Chinese young people. Its ‘Karma Is a Bitch Challenge’ and ‘Don’t Judge Challenge’ swept around the world.


In 2017 Tik Tok’s daily active users increased four-fold


Nan Zhang, GM of Tik Tok, stated, “From slogan to content and operation, Tik Tok always focuses on providing great service. It attracts video consumers who pursue consumption of high quality and high participation. The age, aesthetic, consumer demand and economic strength of these new groups are consistent with current Chinese trends.”

2017 was a make or break year for Tik Tok. According to data of Quest Mobile, from August 2017 to January 2018, the daily average number of active users increased from 10 million to 40 million. In February 2018, Tik Tok’s weekly active users exceeded Weibo, a dominant Chinese social media platform, to become the top social media app China.


Social commerce will boost Tik Tok’s user base and attract ‘wanghong’ – China’s famous internet influencers


It’s no surprise that Alibaba would be making efforts to reach customers for its Taobao platform via Tik Tok – the company has been making efforts to emphasize content platforms and social networks in recent years.

By cooperating with Alibaba, Tik Tok can spend less time controlling fake products and more time providing a better environment for content production. After the standardization of in-app purchases, users can purchase Taobao products directly through Tik Tok.

Users who gain benefits from the app such as convenience of purchasing new fashion items will be more inclined to publish their video to Tik Tok, empowering the app as a content provider. Not to mention, China’s famous wanghong (internet celebrities) can make use of the platform to market goods, attracting millions of followers.


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