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Video Marketing in China – Capitalize on App Rivalry

W4 | W4 / November 10, 2021

Short videos are taking over social media all over the world. The usage of short video apps surged even higher during the Covid outbreak when socially isolated people were craving consolatory entertainment and unleashing their creativity. More features, e.g. live-streaming, have been adopted by many short video apps to increase interactivity.

What are the most popular platforms in China?

When it comes to the battlefield of short video apps, Douyin and Kuaishou are the strongest forces. These apps allow people to watch bottomless short videos and create their own with special effects and a built-in editor. Although both dominate social media and share mutual users, the resemblance between the two has been diluted by different growth strategies and target demographics. Keep reading to find out more about these apps. 



With more than 600 million DAUs, Douyin is China’s most popular short video sharing platform and one of the fastest growing social media. Aiming to absorb more users in larger cities who are attracted to the vibrant lifestyles and the latest trends, the Douyin algorithm favors high-quality videos with a lot of likes. To jump-start Douyin marketing, it is a no-brainer that you create an account and start making videos, but what else can you do to maximize the benefit?  


Just as other content-based apps, the Douyin app supports feed advertising. You can promote 5 to 60 second short videos as native ads, which are displayed in the Douyin feed seamlessly. The advertising content is also sharable, meaning it will have a chance to reach more users and other platforms. 

Working with KOLs

Since Douyin puts efforts into quality content recommendations, more traffic would be distributed to the top KOLs. KOL marketing on Douyin is an effective way to increase your visibility by engaging communities. Before inviting someone to collaborate, you want to make sure that the influencer’s fan base matches your target audience. For even better results, choose a content creator specializing in a particular area. This approach requires a comprehensive knowledge of the Chinese market and social media in order to define a strategy that works best for your brand.



As the major rival of Douyin, Kuaishou has built a massive user base in China with a “sinking market” strategy that boosts expansion among third and lower-tier cities and towns. According to their 2021 second-quarter results, the average DAUs on Kuaishou app was 293.2 million, with a YOY increase of 11.9%. Focusing on community building, Kuaishou is skewed towards decentralization and encourages the formation of organic relationships. 

Kuaishou as an e-commerce platform

Since the platform has built a stronger user relationship, Kuaishou has a higher e-commerce conversion rate than TikTok. Also, the online purchasing power of third and lower-tier cities should not be neglected. A slower pace of life allows these populations to spend more time on product browsing and sharing. 

To form an e-commerce system, Kuaishou has established partnerships with mainstream marketplaces including Taobao,, and Pinduoduo. Users may purchase items when watching videos or from their favorite live streamers. Brands, content creators, and consumers are all happy with the integration. 

In China, short videos have fueled tremendous returns, which keep growing so fast that both giants including Baidu and WeChat, and segment leaders like Douyu (live-streaming app) are trying to grab a slice of the cake. More opportunities will be offered for China market entrants! 

If you’re interested in marketing your brand on Chinese platforms but need to be navigated to the right path, we are happy to assist. 

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Tags: China Marketing

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Sarah Wilhelm
Sarah Wilhelm
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