Oct 14, 2020 05:31 AM

Chinese Mobile Phone Users Watch Nearly 2 Hours of Short Videos a Day

Short-video apps have surpassed instant messaging and become the most-daily-used app category in China.
Short-video apps have surpassed instant messaging and become the most-daily-used app category in China.

As Chinese short-video app TikTok faces increasing scrutiny abroad, its Chinese version and rival apps are thriving and reshaping the content market in a nation of 1.4 billion people.

As of June, China had 818 million short-video users, and they watched an average of nearly two hours every day on apps including ByteDance-owned Douyin and Tencent-backed Kuaishou, according to a report released at the China Internet Audio & Video Convention, an industry exhibition hosted by China Netcasting Services Association and the Chengdu government.

Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, and Kuaishou dominate China’s short-video sector. Douyin reported 600 million daily active users as of August, and Kuaishou said early this year it hit its target of 300 million daily active users.

The Covid-19 pandemic further pushed an online shift in people’s entertainment consumption, accelerating a 179% year-on-year growth in the 130 billion yuan ($19.3 billion) market, the report found. The report also warns of problems in the booming industry, such as fast food-like content, copyright issues, information security and addiction by younger users.

More than nine out of 10 Chinese mobile internet customers use short-video apps, and more than 70% of new users come from smaller third- to fifth-tier cities and rural area, according to the report.

Users on average spend 110 minutes daily viewing short-video apps, surpassing instant messaging and becoming the most-daily-used app category, according to the report, which cited data from Quest Mobile, a Beijing-based mobile internet data compiler.

Another survey the report cited showed that more than 60% of users watch short videos every day, compared with about 36% who watch longer-form videos.

Douyin and Kuaishou attract different user groups, though many users have registered accounts with both apps. Douyin wins more favor among female users, while Kuaishou appeals more to men, according to the report. Douyin users are mainly millennials from first-tier cities with at least high school educations, while Kuaishou targets younger audiences in smaller cities and rural areas.

Contact reporter Denise Jia ( and editor Bob Simison (

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