The top Chinese social media for marketing in 2020

Social media in China has unprecedentedly reached new height. According to survey from Hootsuite, China has around 1.007 billion active social media users, in contrast to that of 200 million in U.S.A. The value of e-commerce market in China is reported at $636.1 billion USD. As more consumers refer to social media platform for purchase recommendations, it is undoubtedly that the revolutionary trend brought by social media marketing cannot be ignored.

E-commerce market analysis of China(credit: Hootsuite)
E-commerce market analysis of China(credit: Hootsuite)

In China, When it comes to social media marketing, while WeChat might come to your mind without a second thought, having better understanding about different social media channels is essential, as their different purposes and target customers can ensure optimal brand exposure for your unique business. With the growing trend of video marketing, Tik Tok, a short video and music app which has accumulated over 500 million active users worldwide, deserves more of your attention for its rapid development since launched in 2016.  

tik tok
Tik tok, Douyin


Tik Tok, also known as Douyin in China, is a social media app featuring short videos. With its powerful editing tools and user-friendly interface, Tik Tok empower its users to share short lip-sync, dance and talent videos easily. The video format on Tik Tok is limited up to 15 seconds, which greatly enables users to consume the content anywhere anytime. For its creative and non-repetitive content, this Chinese social media app gains popularity dramatically especially within generation Z, with 300 million monthly active users and 150 million daily users. Also, Tik Tok is the first Chinese apps successfully outreaching worldwide, as it is second only to Youtube in the chart of Apple App Store’s global non-game download in the second quarter of 2019.

top non-game apps by worldwide download for Q2 2019
Tik tok is second only to Youtube in app store download charts for Q2 of 2019 (Credit: SensorTower)

The demographics of Tik tok is educated and young users. Over 60% of users have college degrees, and 66.4% of its users is female. What’s more appealing is that a whopping 80% of users on this social media platform are aged under 30. This is very tempting to any brand as it is usually very difficult for brands to engage with this customer base.

Chinese celebrities on Tik tok


Dear is the Tik tok ID of Dilraba Dilmurat, an extremely famous Chinese actress from Xinjiang.  

Her videos which perfectly demonstrate her cute and unpretentious personality has gained her more than 50 million followers and over 150 million likes. There is no doubt that Dear is the top Tik tok influencer in China.

dear tik Tok
Dear on Tik tok

2. Angelababy

Born in Shanghai, Angelababy is a famous model, singer and actress in China. Ever since 2014, the hit variety show ‘Keep Running’ has propelled her into a household name. Fun content created by animal filter and clips sharing her makeup process behind the scene characterize her popular videos, which has brought her more than 88 million likes and 40 million followers.

Angelababy tik tok
Angelababy on Tik tok

Hashtag Challenges

Another characteristic of Tik Tok is its virus hashtag challenges videos. One of the most influential campaigns is ran by Michael Kors, the well-known luxury brand from U.S. Michael Kors capitalize on Tik Tok’s hashtag challenge feature and create the campaign called ‘city catwalk’. By encouraging users to show Michael Kors items with their unique catwalk, Michael Kors successfully built the engaging experience with its customers, inducing over 5 million views and over 30,000 users posting their own 15-second catwalk videos.

Michael kors on tik tok
‘City Catwalk’ hashtag challenge campaign by Michael Kors

How Tik tok transforms the hospitality industry

There is no limit to the development of Tik Tok. This August, the giant social network platform announced to enter hospitality industry by launching its lodging reservation service. Thanks to the huge traffic brought by Tik Tok, some obscure guesthouses go viral overnight.

Overnight sensation on Tik tok/ Lugu Lake Miyue Mimi Garden Hostel
book an travel accommodation on tik Tok
Book hotel and guesthouse on TikTok

Will Tik Tok become the next OTA? So far, it may still fall short in competing with major players such as and Ctrip, due to its lack of experience in lodging management. However, Tik Tok can serve as the perfect partner for OTA for its impressive capability in creating viral sensation. In 2017, Airbnb joined Tik Tok’s marketing campaign by creating a 15 second video to bid for the ‘headline’. Result shows that Airbnb ‘s brand awareness enhanced 200% after video released, and the promotion effectiveness exceeded the average performance of traveling industry by four times.

Airbnb’s social media campaign on Tik tok


Tik Tok starts as a popular social media app more entertainment focused, today, it has grown to a huge traffic hub drawing massive attention from young generation. With celebrity endorsement and viral marketing ability, Tik Tok can perform as a seamless integration to WeChat and a powerful digital marketing tool helping you better cater to post-95s customers.     



  1. A great source of information to get to know more about this huge app called Tik Tok! I obviously heard a lot of things about it and even though I personally never used it, many of my relatives did.
    It is incredible to see the influence you can have when your subscribers reach a a high number. The examples given with the 2 chinese stars are a perfect example. With 50 millions subscribers we have been shown that anything can be advertized and, thus on a very large scale. This the tremendous power of the chinese influencers on Tik Tok.

    Last not but least, I was astonished to see that we can not have access to the chinese tiktok if we use a chinese Simcard on a foreign device. I assume that it pushes away the foreign clientele that would potentially use TikTok within the mainland of China.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Simon for the positive feedback on my article.That’s true that how interns version of tiktok bans the Chinese SIM card has undermined the right of international users in China.


  2. Thank you charlotte for sharing this amazing information about a social media platform that is just portrayed as a short-form video-making application.
    The whole concept of Tik Tok having a different server (different Tik Tok) for the Chinese market is something that in my opinion is a great for AirBnB as explained above as they can show the houses and rooms in the videos and through that people can have a look at different options and also have the option in Tik Tok to directly book the stays. This also can help Alipay and Wechat pay to collaborate in terms of payment options so that everything can be done in one application making it convenient for the customers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you momo for your kind reply. We can all look forward to seeing how tiktok transforms the hospitality industry with their vital marketing ability.


  3. Great article Charlotte!

    I am very impressed with how the technology evolves and how an application like Tik Tok can have such a broad audience among young people.

    And as a video of only 15 seconds can promote any product and especially in the field of hospitality, as a film of 15 seconds can have millions of appreciations and such a great success.

    I am sure that in the near future with the help of digitalisation, everything will happen online, and the marketing will change considerably

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Adrian for the nice comment. It’s truly amazing how tiktok can create this worldwide sensation with its 15 seconds video.


  4. Thank you for your article Charlotte, I did not know about Tik Tok before, and I am completely thrilled with it, and expectant about how travelers will respond in the use of it when booking a hotel. If Tik Tok become a powerful OTA, its competitors will have to work hard on customer engagement and development if they want to be on the market.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Pablo for your constructive comment. For the major OTA such as and Expedia, they do need to pay more attention to tiktok, as we’ve seen many cases that the real competitor may not even come from the same industry.


  5. Great article Charlotte. This is really impressive how a Chinese social app successfully conquered the western world. This really shows the power of China and how fast companies are developing especially in this industry. America is warned !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Nicola for the kind comment. It’s amazing to see finally there is a Chinese app obtain attention worldwide not just within China.


  6. Such a very useful article Charlotte, and also good marketing because after reading your article makes me interested in playing Tiktok. Well said, after trying this application it’s no wonder why this application can be developed so fast and become one of the favorite application especially for the current generation of Millenials. And also thank you for letting me play Tiktok using your smartphone, really appreciate it!!!


  7. International brands have already known how to use Chinese social media to do promotion and marketing in China. It is good that they are familiar and collaborate with the social media on the one hand, they should not fake hit rate and news for promotion on the other hand since many Chinse social media use this tactics to bias customers’ buying decision.


    • Thank you Lawrence for your kind comment. It’s indeed that some brand should stop manipulating the figures and build a fair market for the customers.


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