Sep 16, 2020 08:15 PM

Douyin Wants to Double What Users Make From Livestreaming

Items are promoted via Douyin at a shopping mall in Zhengzhou, Henan province, on March 13.
Items are promoted via Douyin at a shopping mall in Zhengzhou, Henan province, on March 13.

Though the fate of short video app TikTok in the U.S. remains unclear, its Chinese twin Douyin is on track to develop its own business ecosystem in the world’s largest internet market, luring content creators to cash in on the platform’s large user base.

The number of users making money on Douyin has far surpassed expectations, said Zhang Nan, CEO of ByteDance China. Douyin initially kicked off a project last year with the goal of having 10 million users profit from the app via new functions like livestreaming e-commerce.

Instead, Douyin’s 22 million content creators brought in a total of 41.7 billion yuan ($6.1 billion) in the year to August via the app, according to Zhang. With 600 million daily active users in China as of August, Zhang expects the overall income figure to double over the next year.

Douyin is seeking to take a slice of China’s profitable e-commerce market by excluding third-party involvement from the likes of and Alibaba-backed Taobao on its livestreaming platform.

A new rule will take effect on Oct.19 that bans third-party sales on Douyin’s livestreaming e-commerce platform, ending the most popular model on the platform, in which streamers promote goods on Douyin but sell them on Taobao. If people want to cash in their popularity on Douyin, they will have to open Douyin-specific stores, giving the platform more control.

 Read more 
In Depth: How Livestreaming Became a Force in Chinese E-Commerce

Livestreaming e-commerce took off in China in 2019, with a report by consulting firm Bain & Co. showing that the gross merchandise volume sold via livestreaming events more than tripled last year to over 400 billion yuan.

Contact reporter Lu Yutong ( and editor Gavin Cross (

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