Digitally China Podcast: TikTok’s Rise to Global Fame

The story of short video app TikTok, aka Douyin - the Chinese phenomenon that has Facebook worried

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5:44 AM HKT, Wed December 5, 2018 1 mins read

Digitally China is a bi-weekly podcast from RADII hosted by Tom Xiong and Eva Xiao, and produced by Jacob Loven. On each episode, the team will tackle a different timely tech-related topic, providing key insights on all you need to know about the fast-changing nature of innovation in China. Find previous episodes of Digitally China here and subscribe on iTunes here.

It is bigger than Twitter. It is bigger than Snapchat. It is literally a global community.

Its name is TikTok, a Chinese app (also known as Douyin) that has been monstrously eating up the social media market. Before the app’s tidal wave of popularity hit the global landscape, it was in the form of two apps: Douyin, which was dominating South East Asia and, which was wildly successful in Europe and the US. The two apps then joined forces, now threatening the previous dominance of major social media platforms, pushing Facebook and Tencent to release copycat versions of a short video platform targeted at teens.

In this episode, we cover:

• The journey of TikTok before its absorption of, which was founded by a Chinese start-up based in Shanghai. The components of’s triumph in overseas markets as a Chinese digital product.

• Whether the story of’s phenomenal performance marks the beginning of Chinese companies making products that gain monumental traction abroad and how that may reflect the abundance of talents and capital in China.

• Bytedance’s algorithm strategy, which leads to TikTok thriving as a content platform and an advertising channel.

• The likelihood of success for Lasso – Facebook’s counter move to fight for the teen market, the next generation of paying consumers, who are flocking to TikTok.

Listen to the episode on iTunes here.

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