TikTok is one of the most popular apps worldwide right now, with hundreds of millions of daily active users. You probably already know that TikTok is owned by Bytedance, a Chinese company, but did you also know that there’s actually a separate Chinese version of the app? It’s called Douyin, and aside from the name change, it’s pretty much identical to the regular TikTok, but adjusted for the Chinese audience, of course. Nonetheless, it can be pretty interesting to check out what this Chinese version has to offer. So how exactly do you get on Chinese TikTok? Let’s find out how we can use Douyin on both iOS and Android devices.
Why use Douyin (the Chinese TikTok) at all?
Douyin and TikTok are regarded as separate entities, meaning that the content across both platforms is also different. There are a bunch of Douyin exclusive content creators and videos out there, so if you really want to see what China has to offer in terms of TikTok content, Douyin is absolutely the way to go. For a lot of Chinese people, having Douyin aside from TikTok is a perfect method to stay in touch with their local friends. Or perhaps you’re learning to speak and understand Chinese? What better way to improve your language skills than by checking out the coolest video platform around in Chinese.
If you have a business and you have customers in China, having a Douyin account as well as a TikTok account is pretty much a must. And it’s pretty easy to make an account yourself, just follow the steps we’ve written below.
Are there any risks if you use Douyin?
Douyin is an official application developed by Bytedance (the makers of TikTok) and the app itself is regarded as safe and secure. If you’re in mainland China, the app is simply for download in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, meaning that they also comply with the strict safety regulations that Apple and Google enforce all apps in their application stores.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that privacy laws and policies in China are generally a lot less user-friendly compared to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe, especially. They don’t take GDPR or similar laws into account, since their userbase is technically Chinese only.
In short, using Douyin is absolutely safe, but they might collect more user data than TikTok simply because of its pure Chinese nature, and it isn’t subject to local privacy laws.
How to get on the Chinese TikTok on Android
Are you in mainland China? Good news! You can just go ahead and search for Douyin in the Google Play Store, as the app is officially available here.
However, chances are you’re just not in the country, and simply want to get on the Chinese TikTok from the comfort of your own home – don’t worry, that’s possible too!
Step 1: Head over to https://douyin.com
This is the official website of the application, and will also allow you to download the app directly onto your Android device, without the Google Play Store. At the bottom of the website, you’ll find a screen with an Apple icon and an Android icon.
Step 2: Click the Android button and download the installation file (Douyin .apk)
By pressing the download button, the app can be downloaded onto your Android smartphone (a Samsung Galaxy S21, for example). You’ll have to approve the download once more since it is from a third-party source. You’ll be met with a warning that this file can harm your device, which is standard for all .apk (Android Package) files that you download from the internet. Hit ‘OK’ to finish the installation.
Step 3: (Optional) Allow installation from this source
If you’ve never installed a third-party .apk file before, you’ll have to enable some security settings to approve the installation. Once again, your Android smartphone (or tablet) will show a pop-up with a security prompt. Simply hit the ‘Settings’ button and flicker on the ‘Allow from this source’ switch to get Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.
How to get on the Chinese TikTok on iOS (iPhone)
The process on iOS (for your iPad or iPhone) is actually quite different from Android, but it’s still relatively easy and quick. You won’t have to download a file from the website, but you will temporarily need to change your region to mainland China in order for this to work. A benefit of using the iOS version is that most parts of the app are automatically translated into English.
Step 1: Change your region to mainland China to find Douyin in the App Store
Open the App Store on your device, and go ahead and click on the profile icon in the top right. Press your name on the screen, and head over to “Country/region”. You’ll be able to change this into “mainland China”, which is perfect to get on the Chinese TikTok.
Step 2: Type in “Douyin” in the search field and download the app
Downloading the app is exactly the same as any other iOS app you’ve ever downloaded, so there are definitely no surprises here. When you’re finished with this, follow the steps below to create an account.
How to create a Douyin account
Granted, this part is a little tricky – simply because Douyin is purely focused on a Chinese audience, and doesn’t really try to provide English translations. Luckily, you can just follow the steps below to register for a free Douyin account, just like you would in TikTok.
- A terms and conditions pop-up notification will arrive, just hit “OK” (好的)
- In the right corner at the bottom, click on “Me” (我)
- This is the field where you will have to enter your mobile phone number. Note: you need to type in the international number with your correct country code.
- You’ll need to verify your account via SMS. Tap the pink button which says “Send code” (获取短信验证码)
- You will have to solve a quick CAPTCHA puzzle, this shouldn’t take longer than a few seconds.
- By now, you should also have received a text message containing your security code. Copy/paste it into the field or just type it in manually, and press the pink button again which says “Login” (登录)
- Enjoy Chinese TikTok!