Chinese TikTok becomes established search engine with 550 million users

The monthly active users of Douyin’s (Chinese TikTok) video search function have exceeded 550 million. This is the first time that the short video platform has announced the number of people that rely on it as a search engine. An annual report released by Douyin earlier this year revealed that 400 million searches are made on the platform on average per day. These figures represent the increased prominence of Douyin and short video content in China’s online sphere.

Zhang Nan, the CEO of ByteDance (the parent company of Douyin), announced that the company will increase investment into the search feature in 2021. Video search is one of Douyin’s main sources of business as Chinese netizens become more accustomed to obtaining information from videos, rather than pictures or text. Nan said that this is a testament to the fact that expression and creation in Chinese society have become video-based in the past few years.

The “2021 Douyin Chinese New Year data report” shows that “firework” received 4.48 million searches and was the most popular scenery keyword on the platform during the festival period. The five most popular searches on Douyin during Chinese New Year were “Happy Chinese New Year”, “Chinese New Year Gala Live”, “Chinese New Year Gala Red Envelopes”, “Andy Lau”, and “Hi, Mom”. The five most-searched cities during the period were Xiamen, Wanning, Shijiazhuang, Beijing and Shenzhen.

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