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You are probably aware that TikTok comes from China. But on the territory of its motherland, the application is blocked — one can log in to it only through a VPN. Besides, it focuses on residents of the US as well as Latin America, Europe, and other Asian countries. But the Celestial Empire has its own, Chinese version of TikTok called Douyin. It was released a year before the global version, in 2016, by the same developer, the techno corporation ByteDance. And, on the contrary, it is only accessible for residents of mainland China as the registration process requires a Chinese phone number.
But it is not much of a problem with modern virtual tools. At the end of the article, you will learn how to get around this platform’s restriction and create a Douyin account without a phone number.
So, what is Douyin, and how do the two apps differ from each other? Why did China release a separate version for the rest of the world — what is the reason? Does it make sense to register a Douyin account for non-Chinese — in addition to TikTok? And how does the registration process differ between the two services? Let’s try to answer these questions in today’s TikTok vs Doyuin quick guide.
TikTok vs Doyuin — Is it not the same app?
No, they are two separate applications located on different servers. Though they share common algorithms and similar interfaces, in terms of functions, features, content, and audience, they are pretty different. So, TikTok is an adaptation of the Chinese application. Figuratively speaking, to make it even clearer for you, we can compare Douyin and TikTok with McDonald’s stores in various countries. In this comparison, Douyin’s parent app is the original American McDonald’s. While the global version, on the contrary, is the McDonald’s in some other country with a menu adapted to local tastes and traditional foods. Thus, the showcase is common, but the ingredients are different and authentic.
The key difference between Douyin and TikTok appears to be China’s strict regulations. They specifically apply to the local version of the app and do not extend to the global one. So, TikTok offers more freedom, though they both share the same parent company. And that also contains the answer to why the Chinese created a separate app for the outside world.
Thus, Chinese regulations heavily impact the content on Douyin, thereby preventing users from accessing videos that touch upon politically sensitive or more controversial subjects. Because they just don’t exist within the app — while TikTok has a lot of them. Moreover, the app’s ToS imposes restrictions for youngsters under the age of 14: they can use the service for no more than 40 minutes a day. This is how China fights against unhealthy habits for minors related to online gaming and other activities.
TikTok vs Doyuin — Other Key Differences
Both applications allow users to create short videos and share them with others, as well as livestream. But their interface elements and features are somehow different. For example, Douyin has a “Nearby” tab that shows videos uploaded in your location. Also, in the Chinese app, there are tabs with extra mini-applications (mini-games, etc.) and a “Charity Services” tab.
Though, in terms of functionality, the biggest difference between Douyin and TikTok seems to be that Douyin has a developed online-shopping service within the application. And this feature is easily explainable since online-shopping is in top demand in China.
TikTok vs Doyuin Audience: Age and Preferences
Contrary to Douyin, TikTok users are young people between 15 and 25 years old (millennials and Gen Z). But the number of older users in the United States is on the rise. While the Chinese application is popular with all age groups. And it is all the more interesting to witness how the system’s algorithms work and precisely identify the distinct preferences of each age group.
Speaking of content types, TikTok most often goes viral on content related to musical tracks and funny voiceovers — dance videos, challenges, and lip-synching. And there is nothing surprising about it, because back in 2018, ByteDance bought “musical.ly”, a rival music video platform to grab its audience. In the Chinese version of TikTok, comedy sketches and videos with cats and other pets gain millions of views a day. Besides, Douyin’s bloggers often use a robotic voice as a voice-over, while in TikTok people impose their own voices.
Despite the difference in user preferences, there are some trends and tracks that go viral in both applications.
How Long are Short Videos in Douyin and TikTok?
Another difference between Douyin and TikTok is the most popular video duration on the platforms. Though the largest video length in both applications is 10 minutes, TikTok’s most favorite duration is 15-60 seconds. While Douyin users watch 10-minute videos pretty regularly.
Which is more, the more millions of subscribers you have, the longer videos you can upload. Thus, the parent application is gradually covering the niche of both short and medium-length videos. But it is worth considering that algorithms hardly promote very long videos.
Marketing on Douyin & TikTok
One more major difference between the apps is the huge demand for e-com in China. So, to meet this high demand, the Chinese version of TikTok integrated special features in the app. It offers massive opportunities for promoting brands, products, and services via commercial videos and livestreams. And global brands such as Starbucks, Prada, Dior, and others already use the platform for this purpose.
Companies not only create original videos for their Douyin accounts since it is not allowed to simply duplicate content from your TikTok account. But they also make livestreams with the platform’s influencers for selling their products and services. During the livestreams, companies display products and discounts on-screen. And this has become a gigantic trend during the pandemic because it makes online-shopping unbelievably easy and convenient.
So, if your company is going to enter the Chinese market, it is critical to create a Doyun business account for promotion. Yet, there are two points to consider first:
- In the Chinese version of TikTok, foreigners cannot live stream without an official permission. This permission is given by the Ministry of Culture of China. And no, we’re not kidding, since the platform’s AI is able to recognize foreigners. So, if it detects non-Chinese faces on a stream, the platform sends violation notifications, and after that can give a suspension.
- To register for Douyin, you need to have a phone number from mainland China.
Douyin and TikTok — How to Register in the App?
Speaking of how to register a Douyin account outside of China, in detail, we have already written about it in this article. In brief, for both Douyin and TikTok, it is possible with modern digital tools such as virtual phone numbers for receiving SMS-messages. Thus, you do not need to buy a separate SIM card. Virtual phone numbers work in a similar way, but they are not tied to either a SIM card or a physical device.
Thanks to special equipment on the provider’s side, you can buy a virtual phone number and receive a confirmation code online from any device with Internet access. So, virtual phone numbers are an effective, simple and safe method to register in a blocked service with a proper phone number. Or if needed, it also helps remain anonymous in many popular applications.
To create a Douyin/TikTok account with SMS-MAN, follow the steps:
- Log in to sms-man.com through email or social media account.
- Enter the “Receive SMS” tab in the left menu, select the required mobile operator and click the “Buy SMS” button near the required service icon.
- Copy the purchased phone number from the “History” section below and apply it when registering to the required service.
- To get a confirmation code, get back to the SMS-MAN tab and click the “Receive SMS” button near the phone number.
- Complete verification.