Cross-platform flows between TikTok and Douyin

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Cross-platform flows between TikTok and Douyin

Author | Affiliation:
Xinyu (Andy) Zhao | Deakin University

Presenting at:
Panel 1C | Chinese Outbound Social Media Platforms in the Indian-Pacific: Just How Soft is Chinese Digital Power?


This presentation introduces an ongoing project (led by Crystal Abidin) on cross-platform content flows between TikTok and Douyin. Despite the corporate strategy of ‘parallel platformization’ (Kaye, Chen & Zeng, 2020), users have actively negotiated the divide between the two platforms by transporting or reproducing Douyin videos on TikTok, and vice versa. Far from being merely a story of user agency, however, this phenomenon is accompanied by an emerging discourse of ‘colonization’ – that is, the idea that non-Chinese users are trying to invade and colonize Douyin by flooding it with TikTok videos. I use this case study to illustrate users’ ambivalent attitudes towards Chinese platforms going out and the importance of considering the ideas of internet sovereignty, cultural ownership and gatekeeping when examining the globalisation of TikTok.

About the author

Xinyu (Andy) Zhao


Dr Xinyu (Andy) Zhao is a sessional research fellow at Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University.

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