Tech Planet reported on May 26 that ByteDance has raised the annual target of its local life services business to 50 billion yuan ($7.4 billion), which is higher than the target set at the end of last year, which was 30 billion yuan and striving for 40 billion yuan. However, considering the influence of the pandemic, this target figure may be dynamically adjusted.
In addition, a person close to ByteDance said the company planned to integrate the local life business of Douyin – the Chinese domestic version of TikTok – in Beijing and other places into Chengdu. Han Shangyou, Vice President of Douyin and head of its local life services business, has reportedly gone to Chengdu for related matters.
In response to such reports, the relevant person in charge of Douyin’s local life services business told Tech Planet that this information was inaccurate. Douyin doesn’t plan to integrate the Beijing team into Chengdu. Instead, it was working on business development for better serving local merchants. Douyin’s local life business is setting up local teams in many cities. For cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Hangzhou, there is already a very advanced life services industry, and it is consistent with the development of Douyin’s life service business. These sites are the first batch of key cities for business development.
In 2018, Douyin tried local life services for the first time. For instance, the firm attempted to construct it with the help of third-party platforms, but it was not successful. Douyin then carried out a series of integration and changes. It made efforts in first-and second-tier markets and small-town and rural markets, attracted local businesses to settle in Douyin and gained certain merchants. However, the massive attraction of merchants didn’t yield expected order growth.
One merchant said it was a challenging process to access the local life business in Douyin. Users have to click on the text links in short videos if they want to buy group purchase products. As such, products are not effectively exposed, and the sales amount wasn’t satisfactory.
In 2021, Douyin changed the page of same city on its app, added entrances to group purchases, and thus gave local life business more traffic. Its local life business began to use livestreaming, and allowed hosts to sell tickets and coupons in offline stores in livestreaming.
Up to now, Douyin’s local life business has formed group buying businesses in food, wine, travel, medical beauty, cultural travel and other categories, and has created a relatively complete back-office services system. For the next step, Douyin will try the “cultural tourism” business in Kunming and other tourist hotspots, and promote the ad investment of its local life services businesses in Douyin to increase ad revenue.