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Tiktok and Douyin are not the same

TikTok, known as the international version of the Chinese successful short video app Douyin, is a global hit. Despite Bytedance’s efforts to present Douyin and TikTok as being the same product, they are actually two separate entities.

Douyin, (抖音, literally “shaking sound” in Chinese) is a short video media app owned by China’s young tech giant Bytedance (字节跳动). The app allows users to create, edit, and share short videos as well as livestreams, often featuring music in the background. Douyin’s international name is TikTok, an app that looks the same as Douyin, while in fact, the two are not one and the same, despite Bytedance’s efforts to brand it as such.

This is not the first time a Chinese tech company presents one app as being the same everywhere, while it actually is not. Tencent’s super app Weixin (微信), also known as WeChat, runs two different systems for its Chinese and international version, as explained here. When downloading either WeChat or Weixin, both being the same app, the app determines what features you can use and what information you can see based on the telephone number you register your account with.

In practice, this means that when you are a non-Chinese resident, you will be using the ‘international version,’ meaning you will have access to (international-specific) content that a user registered with a Chinese telephone number will not be able to see. The overseas version also does not have the same Wallet functions the Chinese version has. Two apps, two systems The difference between WeChat vs Weixin and TikTok vs Douyin, however, is not the same. Whereas the first is basically one app with two different modes, Douyin and TikTok are two completely separate entities. Depending on the app store you use, you will either be able to download Douyin or TikTok. Users of Chinese app stores can only find Douyin, whereas users of the overseas Apple store or Google Play will only find TikTok available for download. That the apps are actually separate systems becomes clear when running the same search words in both apps. As shown below, both apps provide different content for the same

For example, one of TikTok’s most popular channels of this moment is called ‘LisaandLena,’ a verified account by two German twins which has over 32 million fans. However, when you enter ‘LisaandLena’ in Douyin, the only result is an unverfied account which only has 102 fans and shows seven videos. Results are the same the other way around. One of Douyin’s most popular accounts is that of Chinese actor Chen He (陈赫), who has over 52 million fans features 62 videos at this week. However, when running the same name search in TikTok, several unverified accounts come up, all showing some similar videos like those on Chen He’s Douyin account.

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Chinese video-sharing/social networking service, owned by ByteDance

For the film, see Tiktok (film). For other uses, see Tick tock.

TikTok, known in China as Douyin (Chinese: 抖音; pinyin: Dǒuyīn), is a video-sharing focused social networking service owned by Chinese company ByteDance.[4] It hosts a variety of short-form user videos, from genres like dance, comedy, and education, with durations from 15 seconds to three minutes.[5][6][7] It is an international version of Douyin, originally released in the Chinese market in September 2016.[8] TikTok was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android in most markets outside of mainland China; however, it became available worldwide only after merging with another Chinese social media service,, on 2 August 2018.

TikTok and Douyin have almost the same user interface but no access to each other's content. Their servers are each based in the market where the respective app is available.[9] The two products are similar, but features are not identical. Douyin includes an in-video search feature that can search by people's faces for more videos of them and other features such as buying, booking hotels and making geo-tagged reviews.[10] Since its launch in 2016, TikTok/Douyin rapidly gained popularity in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the USA, Turkey, Russia, and other parts of the world.[11][12] As of October 2020, TikTok surpassed over 2 billion mobile downloads worldwide.[13][14][15][16][17]

In May 2021, TikTok appointed Shou Zi Chew as their new CEO[18] who assumed the position from interim CEO Vanessa Pappas, following the resignation of Kevin A. Mayer on 27 August 2020.[19][20][21] On 3 August 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok in the United States on 15 September if negotiations for the company to be bought by Microsoft or a different "very American" company failed.[22] On 6 August, Trump signed two executive orders banning U.S. "transactions" with TikTok and WeChat to its respective parent companies ByteDance and Tencent, set to take effect 45 days after the signing.[23] A planned ban of the app on 20 September 2020[24][25] was postponed by a week and then blocked by a federal judge.[26][27][28][29] President Biden revoked the ban in a new executive order in June 2021.[30] The app has been banned by the government of India since June 2020 along with 223 other Chinese apps in view of privacy concerns.[31] Pakistan banned TikTok citing "immoral" and "indecent" videos on 9 October 2020 but reversed its ban ten days later.[32][33][34] In March 2021, a Pakistani court ordered a new TikTok ban due to complaints over "indecent" content.[35]

Morning Consult ranked TikTok as the third fastest growing brand of 2020, after only Zoom and Peacock.[36]



ByteDance Ltd., the Chinese company owning and operating TikTok

Douyin was launched by ByteDance in Beijing, China in September 2016, originally under the name, before rebranding to Douyin (抖音) in December 2016.[37][38] ByteDance planned on Douyin expanding overseas. The founder of ByteDance, Zhang Yiming, stated that "China is home to only one-fifth of Internet users globally. If we don’t expand on a global scale, we are bound to lose to peers eyeing the four-fifths. So, going global is a must."[39] Douyin was developed in 200 days and within a year had 100 million users, with more than one billion videos viewed every day.[40][41]

The app was launched as TikTok in the international market in September 2017.[42] On 23 January 2018, the TikTok app ranked No. 1 among free app downloads on app stores in Thailand and other countries.[43]

TikTok has been downloaded more than 130 million times in the United States, and has reached 2 billion downloads worldwide,[44][45] according to data from mobile research firm Sensor Tower that excludes Android users in China.[46]

In the United States, many celebrities including Jimmy Fallon and Tony Hawk began using the app in 2018.[47][48] Other celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba, Will Smith, and Justin Bieber joined TikTok as well and many other celebrities have followed.[49]

On 3 September 2019, TikTok and the U.S. National Football League (NFL) announced a multi-year partnership.[50] The agreement occurred just two days before the NFL's 100th season kick-off at the Soldier Field, where TikTok hosted activities for fans in honor of the deal. The partnership entails the launch of an official NFL TikTok account, which is to bring about new marketing opportunities such as sponsored videos and hashtag challenges. In July 2020, TikTok, excluding Douyin, reported close to 800 million monthly active users worldwide after less than four years of existence.[13] merger

Further information:

On 9 November 2017, TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, spent up to U.S.$1 billion to purchase, a startup headquartered in Shanghai with an overseas office in Santa Monica, California, U.S.[51] was a social media video platform that allowed users to create short lip-sync and comedy videos, initially released in August 2014. It was well known, especially to the younger audience. Looking forward to leveraging the U.S. digital platform's young user base, TikTok merged with on 2 August 2018 to create a larger video community, with existing accounts and data consolidated into one app, keeping the title TikTok.[53] This ended and made TikTok a worldwide app, excluding China, since China already has Douyin.[54][55]

Expansion in other markets

As of 2018, TikTok was available in more than 150 markets, and in 75 languages.[56][57] TikTok was downloaded more than 104 million times on Apple's App store during the full first half of 2018, according to data provided to CNBC by Sensor Tower.

After merging with in August, downloads increased and TikTok became the most downloaded app in the U.S. in October 2018, which had done once before.[58][59] In February 2019, TikTok, together with Douyin, hit one billion downloads globally, excluding Android installs in China.[60] In 2019, media outlets cited TikTok as the 7th-most-downloaded mobile app of the decade, from 2010 to 2019.[61] It was also the most-downloaded app on Apple's App Store in 2018 and 2019, surpassing Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.[62][63] In September 2020, a deal was confirmed between ByteDance and Oracle in which the latter will serve as a partner to provide cloud hosting.[64][65]Walmart intends to invest in TikTok.[66] This deal would stall in 2021 as newly elected President Biden's Justice Department put a hold on the previous U.S. ban under President Trump.[67][68][69] In November 2020, TikTok signed a licensing deal with Sony Music.[70] In December 2020, Warner Music Group signed a licensing deal with TikTok.[71][72][73]

In September 2021, Tiktok reached 1 billion users.

Features and trends

The TikTok mobile app allows users to create short videos, which often feature music in the background and can be sped up, slowed down, or edited with a filter.[74] They can also add their own sound on top of the background music. To create a music video with the app, users can choose background music from a wide variety of music genres, edit with a filter and record a 15-second video with speed adjustments before uploading it to share with others on TikTok or other social platforms.[75] They can also film short lip-sync videos to popular songs.

The "For You" page on TikTok is a feed of videos that are recommended to users based on their activity on the app. Content is generated by TikTok's artificial intelligence (AI) depending on the content a user liked, interacted with, or searched. Users can also choose to add to favorites or select "not interested" on videos for their page. TikTok combines the user's enjoyed content to provide videos that they would also enjoy. Users and their content can only be featured on the "for you" page if they are 16 or over as per TikTok policy. Users under 16 will not show up under the "for you" page, the sounds page, or under any hashtags.[76]

The app's "react" feature allows users to film their reaction to a specific video, over which it is placed in a small window that is movable around the screen.[77] Its "duet" feature allows users to film a video aside another video.[78] The "duet" feature was another trademark of The duet feature is also only able to be used if both parties adjust the privacy settings. The duet feature is also only able to be used if both parties adjust the privacy settings.[79]

Videos that users do not want to post yet can be stored in their "drafts". The user is allowed to see their "drafts" and post when they find it fitting.[80] The app allows users to set their accounts as "private." When first downloading the app, the user's account is public by default. The user can change to private in their settings. Private content remains visible to TikTok, but is blocked from TikTok users who the account holder has not authorized to view their content.[81] Users can choose whether any other user, or only their "friends", may interact with them through the app via comments, messages, or "react" or "duet" videos.[77] Users also can set specific videos to either "public", "friends only", or "private" regardless if the account is private or not.[81]

Users are also allowed to report accounts depending on the account's content, either being spam or inappropriate. In TikTok's support center under "For Parents," they reassure the parents that inappropriate content for their children can be blocked and reported.[82]

When users follow other users, a "following" page is located on the left of the "for you" page. This is a page only to see the videos from the accounts a user follows. Users can also add videos, hashtags, filters, and sounds to their "saved" section. When creating a video, they can refer to their saved section, or create a video straight from it. This section is visible only to the user on their profile allowing them to refer to any video, hashtag, filter, or sound they've previously saved.

Users can also send their friends videos, emojis, and messages with direct messaging. TikTok has also included a feature to create a video based on the user's comments. Influencers often use the "live" feature. This feature is only available for those who have at least 1,000 followers and are over 16 years old. If over 18, the user's followers can send virtual "gifts" that can be later exchanged for money.[83][84]

One of the newest features as of 2020 is the "Virtual Items" of "Small Gestures" feature. This is based on China's big practice of social gifting. Since this feature was added, many beauty companies and brands created a TikTok account to participate and advertise this feature. With quarantine in the United States, social gifting has grown in popularity. According to a TikTok representative, the campaign was launched as a result of the lockdown, "to build a sense of support and encouragement with the TikTok community during these tough times."[85]

TikTok announced a "family safety mode" in February 2020 for parents to be able to control their children's digital well-being. There is a screen time management option, restricted mode, and can put a limit on direct messages.[86][87]

The app expanded its parental controls feature called "Family Pairing" in September 2020 to provide parents and guardians with educational resources to understand what children on TikTok are exposed to. Content for the feature was created in partnership with online safety nonprofit, Internet Matters.[88]

Viral trends

Further information: TikTok food trends

A variety of trends have risen within TikTok, including memes, lip-synced songs, and comedy videos. Duets, a feature that allows users to add their own video to an existing video with the original content's audio, have sparked many of these trends.

Trends are shown on TikTok's explore page or the page with the search logo. The page enlists the trending hashtags and challenges among the app. Some include #posechallenge, #filterswitch, #dontjudgemechallenge, #homedecor, #hitormiss, #bottlecapchallenge and more. In June 2019, the company introduced the hashtag #EduTok which received 37 billion views. Following this development, the company initiated partnerships with edtech startups to create educational content on the platform.[89]

The app has spawned numerous viral trends, Internet celebrities, and music trends around the world.[90] Many stars got their start on, which merged with TikTok on 2 August 2018. These users include Loren Gray, Baby Ariel, Kristen Hancher, Zach King, Lisa and Lena, Jacob Sartorius, and many others. Loren Gray remained the most-followed individual on TikTok until Charli D’Amelio surpassed her on 25 March 2020. Gray's was the first TikTok account to reach 40 million followers on the platform. She was surpassed with 41.3 million followers. D'Amelio was the first to ever reach 50, 60, and 70 million followers. Until now Charli D’Amelio remains the most-followed individual on the platform. Other creators rose to fame after the platform merged with on 2 August 2018.[91]

One notable TikTok trend is the "hit or miss" meme, which begain from a snippet of iLOVEFRiDAY's song "Mia Khalifa." The song has been used in over four million TikTok videos and helped introduce the app to a larger Western audience.[92][93] TikTok also played a major part in making "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X one of the biggest songs of 2019 and the longest running number-one song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100.[94][95][96][97][98]

TikTok has allowed many other bands to gain a wider audience, often including foreign fans. For example, despite never having toured in Asia, the band Fitz and the Tantrums developed a large following in South Korea following the widespread popularity of their song "HandClap" on the platform.[99] "Any Song" by R&B and rap artist Zico became number one on the Korean music charts due to the popularity of the #anysongchallenge, where users dance the choreography of "Any Song".[100] The platform has received some criticism for not paying royalties to artists whose music is used on their platform.[93] In 2020, more than 176 different songs surpassed 1 billion video views on TikTok.[101]

In June 2020, TikTok users and K-pop fans "claimed to have registered potentially hundreds of thousands of tickets" for President Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa through communication on TikTok,[102] contributing to "rows of empty seats"[103] at the event.

TikTok has banned Holocaust denial, but other conspiracy theories have become popular on the platform, such as Pizzagate and QAnon (two conspiracy theories popular among the U.S. alt-right) whose hashtags reached almost 80 million views and 50 million views respectively by June 2020.[104] The platform has also been used to spread misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, such as clips from Plandemic.[104] TikTok removed some of these videos, and has generally added links to accurate COVID-19 information on videos with tags related to the pandemic.[105]

On 10 August 2020, Emily Jacobssen wrote and sang "Ode To Remy," a song praising the protagonist from Pixar's 2007 computer-animated film named Ratatouille. The song rose to popularity when musician Daniel Mertzlufft composed a backing track to the song. In response, began creating a "crowdsourced" project called Ratatouille The Musical. Since Mertzlufft's video, many new elements including costume design, additional songs, and a playbill have been created.[106] The trend has been even been noticed by Lou Romano, who voiced Alfredo Linguini in the original film; Broadway performer Kevin Chamberlin; and Disney Channel actor Milo Manheim. On 1 January 2021, a full one-hour virtual presentation of Ratatouille the Musical premiered on the TodayTix. The production featured elements created via TikTok. It starred Titus Burgess as Remy, Wayne Brady as Django, Adam Lambert as Emile, Chamberlin as Gusteau, Andrew Barth Feldman as Linguini, Ashley Park as Colette, Priscilla Lopez as Mabel, Mary Testa as Skinner, and André De Shields as Ego.

Several food trends have emerged on the platform, such as Dalgona coffee.

Another TikTok usage that corresponds with engagement and bonds people in society is the use of "challenges." These could be on any related topic such as dances or cooking certain meals. People see other people doing something that is trending and then it continues to spread until it is a viral trend which connects people from all over[107].

While TikTok has primarily been used for entertainment purposes, TikTok may soon have another use, that of a job resource with the idea that prospective employment seekers would send in videos rather than traditional resumes. The form would most likely be a job search add-on. TikTok has had favorable results in the past with people using the site to find jobs and may be expanding that need especially in the newer generations[108]. However, employers need to take care when viewing TikTok resumes that they are not being influenced by bias. Employers can see people's faces and physical traits which could potentially create diversity, equity and inclusion issues.[109]

Influencer marketing

TikTok has provided a platform for users to create content not only for fun, but also for money. As the platform has grown significantly over the past few years, it has allowed companies to advertise and rapidly reach their intended demographic through influencer marketing.[110] The platform's AI algorithm also contributes to the influencer marketing potential, as it picks out content according to the user's preference.[111] Sponsored content is not as prevalent on the platform as it is on other social media apps, but brands and influencers still can make as much as they would if not more in comparison to other platforms.[111] Influencers on the platform who earn money through engagement, such as likes and comments, are referred to as "meme machines".[110]

In 2021, The New York Times reported that viral TikTok videos by young people relating the emotional impact of books on them, tagged with the label "BookTok", significantly drove sales of literature. Publishers were increasingly using the platform as a venue for influencer marketing.[112]

User characteristics and behavior

See also: List of most-followed TikTok accounts


Globally, 44% of TikTok users are female while 56% are male.[citation needed] TikTok's geographical use has shown that 43% of new users are from India.[113] TikTok tends to appeal to younger users, as 41% of its users are between the ages of 16 and 24. Among these TikTok users, 90% say they use the app daily.[114] As of July 2020, there were over 90 million monthly active users in the United States alone.[115]

Use by businesses

In October 2020, the ecommerce platform Shopify added TikTok to its portfolio of social media platforms, allowing online merchants to sell their products directly to consumers on TikTok.[116]

Some small businesses have used TikTok to advertise and to reach an audience wider than the geographical region they would normally serve. The viral response to many small business TikTok videos has been attributed to TikTok's algorithm, which shows content that viewers at large are drawn to, but which they are unlikely to actively search for (such as videos on unconventional types of businesses, like beekeeping and logging).[117]

In 2020, digital media companies such as Group Nine Media and Global used TikTok increasingly, focusing on tactics such as brokering partnerships with TikTok influencers and developing branded content campaigns.[118] Notable collaborations between larger brands and top TikTok influencers have included Chipotle's partnership with David Dobrik in May 2019[119] and Dunkin' Donuts' partnership with Charli D'Amelio in September 2020.[120]

Collab houses

Popular TikTok users have lived collectively in collab houses, predominately in the Los Angeles area.[121]

Country bans and attempted bans

Main article: Censorship of TikTok


In April 2020, TikTok officially cooperated with mainland China's Internet censorship mechanism and began to prohibit the use of overseas versions of Douyin in mainland China. Different from general blockade, TikTok adopted an IP lock zone, mainly for mainland China; Hong Kong and Macau were not affected. The direct consequence of the lock zone is that Chinese users cannot log in to TikTok using a VPN. Officials have also restricted the numbers of China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. The phone numbers of the above three cannot log in to TikTok. Even so, there are a large number of cracked versions of TikTok on the Chinese Internet. The cracked version of TikTok can watch videos normally, but the phone number restriction has not been cracked and users cannot log in.

In January 2021, the Great Firewall of China's blocking measures on TikTok were further upgraded, and the monitoring of the cracked version of TikTok was increased, and measures such as node blocking and IP blocking were adopted to interfere with the normal watching of videos by mainland users: that is, users watch normally, but after a few videos, the video cannot be refreshed, and you need to re-enter the software before you can continue watching.

The official website of the overseas version of TikTok is currently blocked by the Great Firewall, and the Chinese language of the official website of the overseas version only provides Traditional Chinese, as officially used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, instead of Simplified Chinese.


TikTok was banned completely in India by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on 29 June 2020, along with 223 other Chinese apps,[122] with a statement saying they were "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order".[123] The ban was made permanent in January 2021.[124] In February 2021, TikTok announced that due to the ban it will cut more than 2,000 jobs in India.[125]

United States

Main article: Donald Trump–TikTok controversy

On 6 August 2020, then U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order[126][127] which would ban TikTok transactions in 45 days if it was not sold by ByteDance. Trump also signed a similar order against the WeChat application owned by the Chinese multinational company Tencent.[128][25]

On 14 August 2020, Trump issued another order[129][130] giving ByteDance 90 days to sell or spin off its U.S. TikTok business.[131] In the order, Trump said that there is "credible evidence" that leads him to believe that ByteDance "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States."[132] Donald Trump was concerned about TikTok being a threat because TikTok's parent company was rumored to be taking United States user data and reporting it back to Chinese operations through the company ByteDance[133]. As of 2021, there is still the fear that TikTok is not protecting the privacy of its users and may be giving their data away[134].

TikTok considered selling the American portion of its business, and held talks with companies including Microsoft, Walmart, and Oracle.[135]

On September 18, TikTok filed a lawsuit, TikTok v. Trump. On 23 September 2020, TikTok filed a request for a preliminary injunction to prevent the app from being banned by the Trump administration.[136] U.S. judge Carl J. Nichols temporarily blocked the Trump administration order that would effectively ban TikTok from being downloaded in U.S. app stores starting midnight on 27 September 2020. Nichols allowed the app to remain available in the U.S. app stores, but declined to block the additional Commerce Department restrictions that could have a larger impact on TikTok's operations in the U.S. These restrictions were set to take place 12 November 2020.[137]

Three TikTok influencers filed a lawsuit, Marland v. Trump.[138] On October 30, Pennsylvania judge Wendy Beetlestone ruled against the Commerce Department, blocking them from restricting TikTok.[138] On November 12, the Commerce Department stated that it would obey the Pennsylvania ruling and that it would not try to enforce the restrictions against TikTok that had been scheduled for November 12.[138]

The Commerce Department appealed the original ruling in TikTok v. Trump. On December 7, Washington D.C. district court judge Carl J. Nichols issued a preliminary injunction against the Commerce Department, preventing them from imposing restrictions on TikTok.[139][140][141]

In June 2021, President Biden signed an executive order revoking the Trump administration ban on TikTok, and instead ordered the Secretary of Commerce to investigate the app to determine if it poses a threat to U.S. national security.[142]

Indonesia and Bangladesh

TikTok has been intermittently blocked in Indonesia and Bangladesh on different bases.[143][144]


On 11 October 2020, Pakistan became the next country to ban the social media platform after not complying with issues regarding the content on the platform brought up by their government.[145] TikTok representatives are currently speaking with Pakistani officials in hopes of building better relations and allowing the people of Pakistan to create on the platform.[145]


Addiction concerns

Some users may find it hard to stop using TikTok.[146] In April 2018, an addiction-reduction feature was added to Douyin.[146] This encouraged users to take a break every 90 minutes.[146] Later in 2018, the feature was rolled out to the TikTok app. TikTok uses some top influencers such as Gabe Erwin, Alan Chikin Chow, James Henry, and Cosette Rinab to encourage viewers to stop using the app and take a break.[147]

Many were also concerned with users' attention spans with these videos. Users watch short 15-second clips repeatedly and studies say that this could result in a decreased attention span. This is a concern as many of TikTok's audience are younger children, whose brains are still developing.[148]

Content concerns

Many countries showed concerns regarding the content of TikTok which is thought to be obscene, immoral, vulgar and encouraging of pornography. There have been temporary blocks and warnings issued by countries including Indonesia,[143]Bangladesh,[144]India,[149] and Pakistan[150][151] over the content concerns. In 2018, Douyin was reprimanded by Chinese media watchdogs for showing "unacceptable" content, such as videos depicting adolescent pregnancies.[152]

On 27 July 2020, Egypt sentenced five women to two years in prison over TikTok videos on charges of violating public morals. The court also imposed a fine of 300,000 Egyptian pounds (UK£14,600) on each defendant.[153]

Concerns have been voiced regarding content relating to, and the promotion of spreading hateful words and far-right extremism, such as anti-semitism, racism and xenophobia. Some videos were shown to expressly deny the existence of the Holocaust and for its viewers to take up arms and fight in the name of white supremacy and the swastika.[154] As TikTok has gained popularity among young children[155] and the popularity of extremist and hateful content is growing, calls for tighter restrictions on their flexible boundaries have been made. TikTok have since released tougher parental controls to filter out inappropriate content and to ensure they can provide sufficient protection and security.[156]

Slowly turning into a hub of influencer marketing, Abu Dhabi (UAE) partnered with TikTok to promote its tourism, in April 2021. Under the channel name “Visit Abu Dhabi”, the Emirate aimed to engage with influencers who would showcase only the best of it to a worldwide audience.[157] It came following the January 2021 winter campaign, initiated through a partnership between the UAE Government Media Office partnered and TikTok to promote the country's tourism.[158] However, on the other side, the content creators in the country remained restricted. Under article 28 of Cyber-Crime Law, the UAE prohibits every person from publishing media content that violates its public image or poses a threat to its state security and to its highest interests. Many are often arrested or face charges for posting any photos or videos that are not in accordance with the country's image-building strategy.[159]

A viral TikTok trend known as "devious licks" involves students vandalizing or stealing school property and posting the videos of the action on the platform. The trend has led to increasing school vandalism and subsequent measures taken by some schools to prevent damage. Some students have been arrested for participating in the trend.[160][161] TikTok has taken measures to remove and prevent access to content displaying the trend.[162]


In January 2020, Media Matters for America said that TikTok hosted misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic despite a recent policy against misinformation.[163] In April 2020, the government of India asked TikTok to remove users posting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.[164] There were also multiple conspiracy theories that the government is involved with the spread of the pandemic.[165] As a response to this, TikTok launched a feature to report content for misinformation.[166]

Content censorship and moderation by the platform

Main article: Censorship on TikTok

According to Mar Hicks, creators on TikTok feel that they have to be overly cautious about what they post, “because the rules change at any given moment, there’s no transparency,” Hicks says.[167] The sudden disappearance of tags, intentional or not, has “incredibly problematic effects and negative effects on communities that are already marginalized and erased.”[167]

The muddiness around content removal and moderation on TikTok is an ongoing frustration for the app's users.[167] TikTok has community guidelines, but there's no public list of specific words and phrases that are banned, and it's not clear how much moderation is done algorithmically versus by actual people.[167]

For example, in instances of protesting against acts of racism and racism as a whole, users have felt that there was a change in the popularity of their content, even so much as their content not showing up as frequently or even at all.[168]

In March 2020, internal documents leaked to The Intercept revealed that moderators had been instructed to suppress posts created by users deemed "too ugly, poor, or disabled" for the platform, and to censor political speech in livestreams, punishing those who harmed "national honor" or broadcast streams about "state organs such as police" with bans from the platform.[169][170][171]

In response to censorship concerns, TikTok's parent company hired K&L Gates, including former U.S. Congressmen Bart Gordon and Jeff Denham, to advise it on its content moderation policies.[172][173] TikTok also hired lobbying firm Monument Advocacy.[174]

In January 2021, TikTok banned Trump content deemed to be inciting violence.[175]

Human rights in China

Main article: Human rights in China

In January 2019, the Chinese government said that it would start to hold app developers like ByteDance responsible for user content shared via apps such as Douyin,[176] and listed 100 types of content that the Chinese government would censor.[177] It was reported that certain content unfavorable to the Chinese Communist Party has already been limited for users outside of China such as content related to the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests or Tibetan independence.[178][179] TikTok has blocked videos about human rights in China, particularly those that reference Xinjiang internment camps and abuses of ethnic and religious minorities such as the Uyghurs, and disabled the accounts of users who post them.[180][181][182][183] TikTok's policies also ban content related to a specific list of foreign leaders such as Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and Mahatma Gandhi because it can stir controversy and attacks on political views.[184] Its policies also ban content critical of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and content considered pro-Kurdish.[185] TikTok was reported to have censored users supportive of the Citizenship Amendment Act protests in India and those who promote Hindu-Muslim unity.[186] On 27 November 2019, TikTok temporarily suspended the account of 17-year-old Afghan-American user Feroza Aziz after she posted a video, disguised as a makeup tutorial, drawing attention to the internment camps of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China.[187] TikTok later apologized and explained that her account was suspended as a result of human error, and her account has since been reinstated.[188] In July 2020, TikTok suspended the account of another user whose viral video called attention to human rights of the Uyghurs.[183]

In June 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that some previously non-political TikTok users were airing pro-Beijing views for the explicit purpose of boosting subscribers and avoiding "shadow" bans.[189] In July 2020, the company announced it was pulling out of Hong Kong responding to the Hong Kong national security law.[190]

In June 2020, The Times of India reported that TikTok was "shadow banning" videos related to the Sino-Indian border dispute and the 2020 China–India skirmishes.[191]

In November 2020, a former TikTok executive stated to a UK parliamentary committee that TikTok censored content critical of China and particularly content related to the Uyghur genocide.[192]

ISIS propaganda

Main article: Use of social media by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

In October 2019, TikTok removed about two dozen accounts that were responsible for posting ISIS propaganda on the app.[193][194]

LGBT people

In countries where LGBT discrimination is the socio-political norm, TikTok moderators have blocked content that could be perceived as being positive towards LGBT people or LGBT rights, including same-sex couples holding hands, including in countries where homosexuality has never been illegal.[185][195] Former U.S. employees of TikTok reported to The Washington Post that final decisions to remove content were made by parent company employees in Beijing.[196]

In May 2021, Pidgeon Pagonis, an American intersex activist, reported that for the second time the intersex hashtag wasn't working on TikTok.[167] They couldn't click the tag on one of their own posts and trying to search for "intersex" pulled up a "null" page.[167] TikTok told The Verge that in both of the instances Pagonis noticed, the tag had been removed by mistake and was subsequently restored.[167] However, because there was no public statement about the accidental removal, Pagonis and others were left to speculate about whether it was being intentionally censored.[167]

People use different tactics to skirt TikTok's moderation.[167] Some lesbian women on the app jokingly refer to themselves as "le dolla bean" based on the "le$bian" spelling that's used to avoid their videos being removed.[197][167] “It became this whole joke,” says Mar Hicks, a historian of technology, “because things that have the word lesbian in them were either getting flagged for deletion or causing the users’ accounts to get in trouble.”[167]

According to Mar Hicks, LGBTI people and people of color have found the guidelines are enforced “wildly differently” says Hicks, meaning their content will be suppressed or removed for supposed violations, but they get no response when they report abuse from other users. “Not only is it hurting their ability to speak and be seen on the app, but it’s also allowing them to get attacked and have hate speech thrown their way.”[167]

Human rights in Russia

Main article: Human rights in Russia

On 3 February 2021, TikTok received a praise from Russian officials because social app's cooperation with them in deletion of "forbidden" content, mostly related to protest activity in Russia. In particular, as media censorship agency Roskomnadzor official Evgeniy Zaitsev stated that, "we need to highlight TikTok among other social media platforms because it has office in Russia and actively cooperated with us, which cannot be said about others".[198] Also, the State Duma deputy Alexander Khinshtein said that TikTok new anti-fake news policies go well with the ideology of Russian content censorship law and edition of those "should be considered a very positive signal".[199]

User privacy concerns

Privacy concerns have also been brought up regarding the app.[200][201] In its privacy policy, TikTok lists that it collects usage information, IP addresses, a user's mobile carrier, unique device identifiers, keystroke patterns, and location data, among other data.[202][203] Web developers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk said that allowing videos and other content being shared by the app's users through HTTP puts the users' data privacy at risk.[204]

In January 2020, Check Point Research discovered a security flaw in TikTok which could have allowed hackers access to user accounts using SMS.[205] In February, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman criticised the app, calling it "spyware," and stating "I look at that app as so fundamentally parasitic, that it's always listening, the fingerprinting technology they use is truly terrifying, and I could not bring myself to install an app like that on my phone."[206][207] Responding to Huffman's comments, TikTok stated "These are baseless accusations made without a shred of evidence."[202]Wells Fargo banned the app from its devices due to privacy and security concerns.[208]

In May 2020, the Dutch Data Protection Authority announced an investigation into TikTok in relation to privacy protections for children.[209][210] In June 2020, the European Data Protection Board announced that it would assemble a task force to examine TikTok's user privacy and security practices.[211]

In August 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that TikTok tracked Android user data, including MAC addresses and IMEIs, with a tactic in violation of Google's policies.[212][213] The report sparked calls in the U.S. Senate for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to launch an investigation.[214]

In June 2021, TikTok updated its privacy policy to include collection of biometric data, including "faceprints and voiceprints".[215] Some experts reacted by calling the terms of collection and data use "vague" and "highly problematic".[216] The same month, CNBC reported that former employees had stated that "the boundaries between TikTok and ByteDance were so blurry as to be almost non-existent" and that "ByteDance employees are able to access U.S. user data" on TikTok.[217]

U.S. COPPA fines

See also: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

On 27 February 2019, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined ByteDance U.S.$5.7 million for collecting information from minors under the age of 13 in violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.[218] ByteDance responded by adding a kids-only mode to TikTok which blocks the upload of videos, the building of user profiles, direct messaging, and commenting on others' videos, while still allowing the viewing and recording of content.[219] In May 2020, an advocacy group filed a complaint with the FTC saying that TikTok had violated the terms of the February 2019 consent decree, which sparked subsequent Congressional calls for a renewed FTC investigation.[220][221][222][223] In July 2020, it was reported that the FTC and the United States Department of Justice had initiated investigations.[224]

UK Information Commissioner's Office investigation

In February 2019, the United Kingdom's Information Commissioner's Office launched an investigation of TikTok following the fine ByteDance received from the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Speaking to a parliamentary committee, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said that the investigation focuses on the issues of private data collection, the kind of videos collected and shared by children online, as well as the platform's open messaging system which allows any adult to message any child. She noted that the company was potentially violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which requires the company to provide different services and different protections for children.[225]

Italian Data Protection Authority

On 22 January 2021, the Italian Data Protection Authority ordered the blocking of the use of the data of users whose age has not been established on the social network.[226][227] The order was issued after the death of a 10-year-old Sicilian girl, which occurred after the execution of a challenge shared by users of the platform that involved attempting to choke the user with a belt around the neck. The block is set to remain in place until 15 February, when it will be re-evaluated.[228]

Ireland Data Protection Commission

In September 2021, the Ireland Data Protection Commissioner opened investigations into TikTok concerning protection of minors' data and transfers of personal data to China.[229][230]


As with other platforms,[231] journalists in several countries have raised privacy concerns about the app, because it is popular with children and has the potential to be used by sexual predators.[231][232][233][234]

Several users have reported endemic cyberbullying on TikTok,[235][236] including racism[237] and ableism.[238][239][240] In December 2019, following a report by German digital rights group, TikTok admitted that it had suppressed videos by disabled users as well as LGBTQ+ users in a purported effort to limit cyberbullying.[241][169] TikTok's moderators were also told to suppress users with "abnormal body shape", "ugly facial looks", "too many wrinkles", or in "slums, rural fields" and "dilapidated housing" to prevent bullying.[242]

In 2021 the platform revealed that it will be introducing a feature that will prevent teenagers from receiving notifications past their bedtime. The company will no longer send push notifications after 9pm to users aged between 13 and 15. For 16-year-olds and those aged 17 notifications will not be sent after 10pm.[243]


TikTok has received criticism for enabling children to spend large sums of money purchasing coins to send to other users.[244]

Legal issues

Tencent lawsuits

Tencent's WeChat platform has been accused of blocking Douyin's videos.[245][246] In April 2018, Douyin sued Tencent and accused it of spreading false and damaging information on its WeChat platform, demanding CN¥1 million in compensation and an apology. In June 2018, Tencent filed a lawsuit against Toutiao and Douyin in a Beijing court, alleging they had repeatedly defamed Tencent with negative news and damaged its reputation, seeking a nominal sum of CN¥1 in compensation and a public apology.[247] In response, Toutiao filed a complaint the following day against Tencent for allegedly unfair competition and asking for CN¥90 million in economic losses.[248]

Data transfer class action lawsuit

In November 2019, a class action lawsuit was filed in California that alleged that TikTok transferred personally identifiable information of U.S. persons to servers located in China owned by Tencent and Alibaba.[249][250][251] The lawsuit also accused ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, of taking user content without their permission. The plaintiff of the lawsuit, college student Misty Hong, downloaded the app but said she never created an account. She realized a few months later that TikTok has created an account for her using her information (such as biometric) and made a summary of her information. The lawsuit also alleged that information was sent to Chinese tech giant Baidu.[252] In July 2020, twenty lawsuits against TikTok were merged into a single class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.[253] In February 2021, TikTok agreed to pay $92 million to settle the class action lawsuit.[254]

Voice actor lawsuit

In May 2021, Canadian voice actor Bev Standing filed a lawsuit against TikTok overuse of her voice in a filter without permission. The lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of New York. TikTok declined to comment. She believes the company used recordings made for the Chinese government-run Institute of Acoustics.[255]

Market Information Research Foundation lawsuit

In June 2021, the Netherlands-based Market Information Research Foundation (SOMI) filed a €1.4 billion lawsuit on behalf of Dutch parents against TikTok, alleging that the app gathers data on children without adequate permission.[256]

See also


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Douyin TikTok: How to Create Chinese Tiktok Account [2021 Guide]

Want to grow your brand in China?

Then a Douyin account is an absolute must. 

Douyin — the Chinese TikTok — is one of the biggest marketing channels in China, with over 600 million daily active users. 

Read on for a step-by-step breakdown of the Douyin account sign up process, and how you can get verified on the platform.

There are two routes for signing up to TikTok China: one for iOS devices, and one for Android devices. 

First up: how to open a Chinese TikTok/Douyin account on Android 

To sign up for Chinese TikTok on your Android device, you’ll need to:

Step 1: Go to

You won’t be able to download Douyin from the Google Play store unless you’re in Mainland China. Instead, you’ll need to download the app directly from Douyin’s website. 

So, go to on your Android device and scroll down to the bottom of the homepage until you see your download options:

douyin app store

Click the Android button. 

This will download the Douyin APK (android package) to your phone.

Step 2: Approve the download

Click ‘Download’ on the ‘Download file’ prompt that appears, and ‘OK’ when you’re asked if you want to keep the file. 

douyin or chinese tiktok download

Don’t worry about the warning — the Douyin APK is safe to download. 

Step 3: Start the installation process

Once the APK download is complete, click ‘open’ to initiate the installation process. 

Step 4: Approve the install 

You can’t install APK files from Google without approval. So, at the security prompt, click ‘Settings’ and turn on the ‘Allow from this source’ switch.

chinese tiktok approval

Step 5: Install the application 

Next, after approving the install, open up your file manager and click on the downloaded Douyin APK. Then click ‘Install’. 

install douyin app

Step 4: Open the app 

Douyin will now be downloaded onto your phone. Open the app from your home screen. 

Step 5: Complete the Douyin account sign up process

You’ll now just need to complete the following steps to open your account:

  1. Click ‘OK’ (好的) to the terms and conditions pop-up 
  2. Tap the ‘Me’ (我) tab in the bottom right hand corner 
  3. Type in your mobile number (with the correct country code) 
  4. Tap ‘Send code’ in the pink button (获取短信验证码) 
  5. Drag the slider to the puzzle piece for security verification 
  6. Enter the SMS code sent to your phone
  7. Click ‘Login’ in the pink button (登录) 

Done! You can now use Chinese TikTok. 

Note: You can’t translate Douyin to English on Android devices — even if your device is set to English. For that reason, the sign up process can be tricky. Follow the steps above as guidance. They should help you to overcome the language barrier. has helped hundreds of brands reach the China market. To see how can help you get started with advertising on top channels hassle-free create a free account today.

How to open a Chinese TikTok account on iOS

Here’s how you can sign up for TikTok China on your iOS device:

Step 1: Switch your region to Mainland China

To download Douyin on the iOS app store, you’ll need to change your region to Mainland China. Here’s how:

  • Open the app store
  • Click on your profile icon in the top right corner
  • Next, click on your name/email to open your profile
  • Click ‘Country/region’ 
  • Click ‘China Mainland’ from the list of countries 

Step 2: Search for Douyin in the app store 

Locate the app, and then click on the ‘install’ icon.  

Step 3: Open the app and sign up for an account

Once the app has downloaded, open it up from your home screen and complete the same steps as above:

  1. Click ‘OK’ to the terms and conditions pop-up 
  2. Tap the ‘Me’ tab in the bottom right hand corner 
  3. Type in your mobile number (with the correct country code) 
  4. Tap ‘Send code’ in the pink button 
  5. Drag the slider to the puzzle piece for security verification 
  6. Enter the SMS code sent to your phone
  7. Click ‘Login’ in the pink button

You can then start using your Chinese TikTok account on your iOS device.

Note: Because you have to change your app store location to Mainland China, Douyin on iOS is automatically translated to English. This means the sign up process is much easier, as you won’t have to try and navigate the Chinese instructions. 

How to get verified on Chinese TikTok 

Once you’ve opened your Douyin account, it’s worth getting verified. 

This will turn your standard account into an official account on Douyin. Advantages include:

  • A verified tick next to your name
  • Access to detailed analytics 
  • The ability to open a Douyin store 
  • The ability to sell products in live streams (via your Douyin store)

All of which will help you leverage Douyin’s huge user base to your advantage. 

Here’s what you need to do to verify your Douyin account. 

Step 1: Go to Douyin’s official account platform

Click here or enter into your URL bar. 

Step 2: Start the verification process 

Click ‘Authenticate now’ (or ‘立即认证’ in Chinese) on the homepage.  

chinese tiktok verification

Then, with your camera lens, scan the QR code that appears in the Douyin app. 

chinese tiktok qr code

Step 3: Complete the verification form

You’ll then be taken to a form that asks for the following information: 

  • Type of account you want (company or individual)
  • Category 
  • Region of registration and operation 
  • Details of any offline stores
  • Business license (scanned copy) 
  • Operator details (name, phone number, email address) 

Click ‘Submit’ when complete. 

Step 4: Wait for approval 

Once you’ve submitted the verification form, a Douyin representative should then be in touch with you within five working days. They’ll either ask for more information or immediately approve your verification. 

Who can get verified on Douyin?

To get verified on Douyin, you’ll need: 

Individual accounts:

  • A minimum of one video published
  • At least 10,000 followers 
  • A phone number linked to your account

Business accounts:

  • A Mainland Chinese business license 
  • An ICP license if you want to link to your website
  • Submit an application letter 
  • Pay a 600 CNY yearly fee 

Want to sign up for Chinese TikTok/Douyin without all the hassle?

We can help. 

Our expert team can set up a Douyin account for you, verify it, and help you build a strategy to maximize your success. 

douyin content

You can also advertise your brand on Douyin, straight from our all-in-one Chinese advertising platform. 

Get in touch with us to find out more. has helped hundreds of brands reach the China market. To see how can help you get started with advertising on top channels hassle-free create a free account today.

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App douyin

The Chinese version of the popular short video app TikTok, known as Douyin, will limit users in China who are under 14 years old to 40 minutes a day, parent company ByteDance said in a blog post Saturday.

The app’s youth mode keeps it in line with the Chinese government’s new restrictions on access to video games for younger children. Teens under 14 will be able to access Douyin between 6AM and 10PM, but won’t be able to use the app outside of that window, the company said. The rules will apply to “real-name authenticated users” under 14, and the company encouraged parents to help their children complete the real-name authentication process, or activate youth mode when prompted by the app.

The Chinese government has been focused on reducing the amount of time Chinese teenagers spend online, which it views as harmful. Last month, its National Press and Publication Administration unveiled new rules, which restrict Chinese citizens under 18 to playing online games only on Fridays, weekends, and holidays, between 8PM and 9PM. Authorities have directed game companies and platforms like Douyin to use real-name identification for all its users; the process requires users to provide a phone number and other identification to access online games.

ByteDance said the content available to users in youth mode will now include educational material like “interesting popular science experiments, exhibitions in museums and galleries, beautiful scenery across the country, explanations of historical knowledge, and so on.”

【抖音】New Trend “Slow Motion” Douyin China 2021 Ep4 - Hạ Hạ Official

Want to know how to download the Douyin app outside China, or even in the US? With this quick and easy guide, we’ll show how you can get the Douyin app (in minutes!) on your Android or IOS device, such as an iPhone.


Table of Contents

What is Douyin?

Why Download Douyin?

Steps to Download Douyin for Android

Steps to Download Douyin for IOS


What is Douyin?

To put it simply, it’s precisely the “Chinese TikTok”. So, if you’re wondering, “What is TikTok called in China?”… It’s Douyin.

They’re both under the same parent company, ByteDance. What used to be is now Douyin (in China) and TikTok (in the Rest of the World). Plus, if you’re familiar with using TikTok, then you’re in luck as both apps have the same UI design. Thus, you don’t need to know Mandarin to use the app, since the buttons and prompts are in good old English. It’s safe to say, navigating through the app is as easy as ever.

how to download douyin


Moreover, you can have both TikTok and Douyin installed on the same device without any interference or major issue. However, you’ll need to create separate accounts for both apps, which is fairly straightforward. All in all, you shouldn’t come across many issues when using the app.

How to download douyin iphone


Why Download Douyin?

The Douyin platform is packed with tonnes of content, ranging from multiple categories that you probably can’t find on TikTok. Although most of it’s in Mandarin, you may find a thing or two that pull your strings. 

Additionally, the main reasons we’ve seen people use Douyin is to tap into the enormous Chinese market or audience. Especially since Douyin specifically targets this Chinese audience. Plus, no other major social media platform is as widely accepted there.

Hence, using Douyin can be especially useful for content creators who are looking to expand their outreach and follower base. In the past, we’ve even seen fellow westerners branch out and try their luck with Douyin, such as Bart Baker. Plus, from a business perspective, this large audience can be directed to your product page as well.

So if that all sounds interesting to you, let’s get into the 6 steps to download the Douyin app on your Android and IOS device.

Now we are in no way sponsored to make this post. Nonetheless, if you’re reading this, Tiktok or Douyin, do hit us up😉.


Steps to Download Douyin for Android

For Android devices, we go with installing the APK file method. This is because you’ll only find the Douyin app on a Google Play Store that’s set to the Chinese region. Thus, it’s very unlikely you would find it on your version of the Play Store. Plus, changing the Play Store region can be very tedious and requires using a good VPN.

In short, for this step, firstly, you’ll need to download the APK file of the Douyin app from either the Douyin website or APKMirror. Then, you’ll need to install the downloaded APK file.

The steps below demonstrate in detail how you can download and install the Douyin app. Do note that the website interface, as seen in the steps, is according to the time of posting.

  1. For starters, from the Chrome app(or any browser), go to the Douyin official website, or click here to be redirected. 
  2. Then, tap on the “立刻下载” button as shown below, to download the APK to download douyin android


  1. After that, at the subsequent “Download file” prompt, tap Download. At the “Do you want to keep this file?” message, tap OK.steps to download douyin android


  1. Once the APK file has finished downloading, tap Open to initiate the douyin android


  1. However, by default, you can’t install APK files from Google without providing permissions. Therefore, At the prompt, tap Settings, where you’ll be brought to the Install Unknown Apps page. Here, turn on the switch next to “Allow from this source”.how to download douyin android


  1. Next, return to the downloaded APK file in your File Manager app, and tap to open the APK file. Following that, at the “Do you want to install this application?” message, tap Install.install douyin on android


With that, it only takes a few minutes to successfully install Douyin on your Android device. 

In case this download file from the official Douyin website doesn’t work for your device, we suggest an alternative site to download the APK file,

The following steps show navigating through the APKmirror site to download the Douyin APK file.

  1. From the Chrome app or whichever browser app you’re using, go to the Douyin app page on, or click here.
  2. Next, scroll down to the All versions list, and click the top one for the latest download file. At this app page, click on the Download APK douyin android


  1. Then, same as the previous step, tap Download at the Download file douyin android

To install this APK file involves the same steps as the previous step. Hence, follow Steps 4-6 from the earlier steps to install this APK file successfully. After you’ve finished installing the Douyin app, feel free to delete the downloaded APK file from your File Manager app, as it isn’t necessary anymore.


Steps to Download Douyin for IOS

For this, we’ll show you how you can download the Douyin app straight from the Apple App Store. Unfortunately, the app is only available on the China mainland version of the App Store. Therefore, it’s very likely you won’t find the Douyin app on your default app store. Hence within the App Store settings, you’ll need to change the App Store region to China mainland to find and install the app.

On that note, fret not, as this is reasonably simple to do. The below steps cover this and show you step-by-step to install Douyin on your iPhone or IOS device.

  1. Firstly, open the Apple App Store, then tap on your profile at the upper right corner.How to download douyin in US


  1. Next, on the Account page, tap on your Apple ID, then you may be prompted to provide your Touch ID or Face douyin on iphone


  1. Following that, tap the Country/Region tab, and then tap on Change Country or Region.change apple app store country or region


  1. After that, from the list of Countries, look for and choose China to change country on app store


  1. When you’re prompted with the Apple Media Services Terms and Conditions, tap Agree at the upper right corner, and tap Agree again.
  2. Subsequently, under the Payment Method, we suggest choosing None to avoid that section and since the Douyin app is free to download. 

how to change app store country without credit card


You’ll also be required to fill in a few credentials, such as your Billing Address and Phone number. Since you’re only using this app store temporarily and aren’t making any purchases, we’ll suggest using an address generator to fill in these boxes. The China address generator we used was by Fake Address Generator, which you can access by clicking here. Simply copy and paste the address and phone number individually from the site to the form.

change country in app store


  1. Once done tap Next. Within seconds. You can see that the App Store changes region to the Chinese one.
  2. Now, you can proceed to search for “Douyin”, or copy and paste this “抖音” in the search box. Once you’ve found the app page, tap Install like to download douyin on iphone

After you’ve finished installing the Douyin app, you’re free to change the App Store region back to the original. For this, simply follow the same steps as before. That is, from the App Store, tap your profile, your Apple ID, Country/Region, Change Country or Region, and finally choose your country from the list. 



By following these quick and simple steps, you can download the Douyin app in a few minutes. The best part is that you don’t even need to know a single word in mandarin.

Now all that’s left to do is to sign up for a Douyin account. Nevertheless, you could still browse around the app without having to sign in. If you’re interested, creating an account with Douyin will take you 2 minutes tops.

For this, you can sign in using your Apple ID (IOS devices) or even a WeChat account,which is no sweat to sign up for. You’ll also need to provide your phone number and do a two-factor verification. However, do this at your own discretion.

With all that said, it’s reasonably straightforward to begin using the Douyin app regardless of where you’re from. Let us know if you’ve faced any errors while attempting to install the Douyin app.

Feel free to share this post with someone whom you know wants to try the Douyin app.


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