China home to over 1 billion users of short video platforms

By Yang Junfeng

Swiping the phone for some fun videos has become a common practice for people when they are riding the metro, waiting for buses, taking a short break or preparing to sleep.

According to a report on China’s internet development released by the China Internet Network Information Center, China had nearly 1.07 billion internet users by December 2022, and the number of short video platform users hit 1.01 billion.

Experts believe that as short videos seep into livestream, e-commerce, education, tourism and other industries, relevant applications and platforms are becoming part of life for all.

Ajun is a content creator on Chinese short video platform Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok. A video in which the young man with tanned skin cooks a few pieces of tofu received over 2 million likes on Douyin and was selected as an official highlight moment of the platform for 2022. Many viewers left comments to express their appreciation of it.

Ajun is just one of the many content creators on Chinese short video platforms, where farmers record their rural life, doctors popularize health tips, and tourists share the beautiful moments on their trips. On these platforms, all users have the opportunity to show themselves.

Experts said the increasingly enriched content on short video platforms has expanded user base and user loyalty, thus becomes a major source of growth in traffic and the time spent by users on short videos.

The creation of short videos is easily accessible, flexible and fun. That’s why short videos are favored by internet users and there are more and more people joining this industry.

Uyinga is a Gen-Z girl who shares the lifestyle of the herdsmen in her hometown Xilingol league, north China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region on short video platforms. Since her graduation from university, she has gained over 2 million followers and her videos have been viewed more than 400 million times. Besides, she has helped herdsmen in Xilingol league sell more than 10 million yuan ($1.45 million) of local agricultural products.

Another young woman from central China’s Hubei province is leveraging short video platforms to expand the market for lotus root products of her hometown; 58-year-old inheritor of intangible cultural heritage He Qing has gained many young followers on short video platforms who are interested in the ancient Chinese filigree inlay art; a woman graduated from Tsinghua University, one of the top higher institutions in China, shares books via livestreaming and recommends to followers tabletop games and toys that help build better family relations.

As short video platforms gradually get into the e-commerce sector, a new model that combines videos and e-commerce has placed profound impacts on people’s consumption behavior.

Experts believe that the massive user base of short video platforms is nurturing a gigantic market. Short videos are an important marketing channel and commercial carrier. They are an effective way for e-commerce operation.

In addition, a batch of short video creators focusing on knowledge sharing are sprouting nowadays. More and more high-above technologies are being introduced to and understood by the general public.

It is learned that Douyin has launched a popular science short video series, which invited scholars, scientific institutions, cultural celebrities and influencers to offer authoritative knowledge for adolescents through experiments, animation and live-action scenarios.

Short video platforms are becoming an arena for more and more experts and scholars where they can share their views. Sun Wu, an influencer in the field of science popularization, told People’s Daily that short videos have achieved the transition from one-way explanation to two-way interaction, which lead to higher user loyalty and greater vitality of the content.