While Europe, North America, and the majority of the world know one of the most popular and fun video-sharing apps as ‘TikTok’, the Chinese users actually have a completely another name for their version of the app. The Chinese version of TikTok is named Douyin (音), and it’s actually very similar to TikTok and is even developed and maintained by the same owner, Bytedance.
What is Douyin?
If you’d like to know more about the app Douyin, feel free to check out our previous article on the Chinese version of TikTok. You can read more about the service and how to get on the Chinese TikTok on this page. In short, Douyin is specifically tailored to the population that resides in mainland China and is normally inaccessible to users in other countries.
Is TikTok the same as Douyin?
Well, yes and no. The app is structured very similarly, although Douyin does offer a whole bunch of extra functionalities for business users in China. For example, stores and services can go ahead and create a special professional account on Douyin, making it possible to sell products or advertise – not unlike the ‘shopping’ button you can see on Instagram nowadays.
While TikTok and Douyin are definitely siblings of each other, they don’t have access to each others’ content. A popular Douyin video may go viral in China, but may not even exist on TikTok and vice versa, of course. In other words, they should be seen as two separate social networks, since their users and content differ completely.
How to use TikTok China in English on Android
Unfortunately, users with an Android smartphone or tablet who want to use Douyin in English are out of luck. At this time, there is no possibility to change the language to English, as the app and its navigation will remain in simplified Chinese, at least for the most part.
However, there are a couple of things you can do to still use the app in this case. For starters, you could just try and see what every button does and learn it by hand, the app is quite intuitive after all, and should be extremely similar to TikTok. Alternatively, you can also try to make your life easier by using a ‘Tap to Translate’ function by Google on your device, which can greatly speed up things if you want to know what a certain sentence or word means. You can check how to enable Tap to Translate over here.
In the future, Douyin might support other languages such as English.
You can navigate through the settings menu from time to time, to see if the English translation is finally supported. Of course, it’s still a bit hard navigating the menus with those Chinese signs, so we’ll help you get there with the following steps.
After creating an account (you can follow our walkthrough on creating an account on our other article about Douyin), you can try and adjust the language settings on Android. At this time, it doesn’t work yet – but this might change in the future.
How to change Chinese TikTok language to English on Android:
- Log in with your Douyin (not TikTok) account into the app
- Hit the “Me” button – 我
- Next, press the hamburger icon (three stripes) in the top right corner
- Press the “Settings” button – 设置. It should be at the bottom, and its icon is a hexagon with a little dot inside of it, directly underneath the umbrella.
- Tap “General Settings” – 通用设置. It’s the text with the gear wheel icon on its left.
- If the app gets updated for English in the future, you will be able to change the language over here.
How to use Douyin in English on iPhone (iOS)
If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, you’re actually in luck! Your device will automatically translate most of the terms into the default language that you’ve set up, meaning you’ll see a whole lot less Chinese in the Douyin app. In other words – there’s nothing you need to do, just make sure that your iPhone is set up in English and you’ll be good to go. Navigating Douyin on iOS is an absolute breeze!
Still having issues with the language and you’re using an iOS device? Double-check your language settings in the settings, or follow the same steps above that we’ve detailed for Android. In the last step, you should be able to see a “Switch Language” (语言) button.
After the language has been updated, Douyin will basically look identical to TikTok. You’ll have a page for all the creators you’re following, the For You page is still there on the right side, and pretty much everything you’d expect from TikTok can be found on the Chinese version. You won’t be able to do much with the shopping functionality unless you live in China, but perhaps one day we’ll see this feature on the main TikTok app as well.
Don’t have Douyin yet? You can follow our step-by-step tutorial to download and install the Chinese Tiktok on Android or iOS.