Douyin in China with Matthew Brennan

Douyin in China with Matthew Brennan
Matthew Brennan from China Channel discussed Douyin aka Tik Tok by ByteDance and why this social media app is not just leading in China only but the rest of the world.

Matthew Brennan from China Channel and co-host of China Tech Talk joined us to discuss the mobile app Douyin aka Tik Tok (for the rest of the world) by Bytedance and why they are poised to be one of the new leading social media platform not just for China but for the rest of the world. We discussed the mechanics in how Douyin work for content creators and consumers and the monetisation model for the app, and how Douyin are now navigating the regulatory environment in China with their user generated content. Last but not least, we also discussed their ongoing feud with Tencent.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Matthew Brennan, Co-founder of China Channel and host of China Tech Talk podcast (, @mbrennanchina , Linkedin, Wechat:Yowdy-CQ) [0:25]
    • Recently, both John and you did an episode on China Tech Talk reflecting on the development of China. You have been living there for a while, what are your thoughts on China now (for example, are Chinese businesses really going global or stay within their own borders?) [1:06]
  • Douyin [2:50]
    • Can you introduce the app Douyin and its connection with Bytedance (the group which owns Toutiao)? [3:02]
    • How does the app work as a short video and music app? [5:43]
    • Comments on Bytedance’s acquisition of and its implications to Douyin [7:38]
    • How does the users and the key opinion leaders (KOLs) access the services on Douyin? [8:25]
    • Comments on Bytedance’s AI capability and how they translate to the different apps such as Toutiao and Douyin and their appeal factor given that they have the largest downloads in the different app stores internationally. [10:25]
    • How does Douyin take steps to regulate the user generated content on their platform as the authorities have criticized the platform? [12:30]
    • What’s the business or monetisation model for Douyin as a platform, for example partnering with Alibaba on ecommerce? [15:32]
    • What are the major lessons that one can draw from Douyin’s rapid growth and success? [18:00]
    • Tencent and Bytedance are going to war with Douyin under siege, what’s the chronology behind this legal tussle between them? [19:19]
    • Do you foresee Tencent will come up with a Douyin clone at some point? [22:44]
  • Closing [25:52]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong & weibo) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack.