ByteDance subsidiary Douyin Group launched a new logo on October 12, and its account avatars on Douyin, TikTok’s sister app for mainland China, and on its official WeChat account have been replaced with new ones.
It was previously speculated that ByteDance was reconsidering plans to list Chinese businesses such as Douyin independently on Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Earlier this year, the Companies Registry (Hong Kong) website showed that Bytedance (HK) Limited had changed its name to Douyin Group (HK) Limited, which took effect on May 6, 2022. In addition, several other companies under ByteDance have changed their names to “Douyin,” while ByteDance Ltd. was renamed Douyin Ltd. On April 25 this year, ByteDance appointed Julie Gao from international law firm Skadden as its new chief financial officer (CFO).
All these moves have strengthened speculation in the industry. However, such plans were denied by the new CFO Julie Gao, who said in the latest “All-Hands” employee meeting that the company has no specific listing plan and no timetable at present.
In November last year, Liang Rubo, CEO of ByteDance, announced the establishment of six business units, namely Douyin, Dali Education, Feishu (Lark), Volcengine, Nuverse and TikTok. The Douyin business unit is responsible for the overall development of the company’s domestic information and services business, including Douyin, Toutiao, Xigua Video, search, encyclopedia and other vertical businesses. Among them, Douyin and Toutiao, the two core products, contributed most of ByteDance’s revenue in China.
Douyin is the most well-known product under ByteDance in China. According to the data from market research company China Baogao, as of April 2022, the monthly active users of Douyin reached 680 million, and the monthly active users of Douyin Lite reached 210 million. The app is also deeply deploying e-commerce business. At the second ecological conference of Douyin E-Commerce in May this year, the e-commerce division of Douyin released that in the past year, its gross merchandise volume (GMV) was 3.2 times that of the same period, and it sold over 10 billion products.
On October 11, Douyin E-Commerce was reported to launch a new tag called “9.9 yuan [$1.38] Special Price,” which can be accessed in the Douyin Lite app. Users can enjoy preferential prices and buy many products with limited time discounts and other products for a maximum of 9.9 yuan on this channel. At present, the tag is still under test, which can be seen by some users of Douyin Lite.
The Douyin E-Commerce team has invested significant resources, operating costs, technological development, maintenance costs, management costs for the new feature. E-commerce players such as Alibaba‘s Taobao, JD.com, and others have already launched similar features to attract the small-town and rural markets with a low price strategy. Besides, Douyin launched the tag before China’s Double Eleven Shopping Season, obviously targeting small-town and rural market users.