How Countries are Experiencing the Boom in Creativity of Chinese Brands
TikTok is the first app from a Chinese company to take the world by storm and putting its name in the Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram category.
In 2014, if in Europe or the United States you had randomly asked for some Chinese brands, you would have probably noticed bewilderment in some of the respondents.
However, thanks to the rapid advance of the Asian giant, today that old impression that China is exclusively a manufacturing power begins to fade. Whether due to international scientific advances or thanks to technological innovations, China’s contribution to global development is increasingly prominent.
China’s global brands
And this is especially true when it comes to company brands. Digital applications, including WeChat and Alibaba, are now firmly entrenched at the forefront of Western consumer consciousness, whether they have downloaded them or not. Countries other than China praise the connection quality of WeChat video communication if compared to Skype or others. In fact, with almost 889 million users, these applications are difficult to ignore, although they use predominantly in the Asian territory.
The three Internet giants in China – Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent – have created a vast and unbelievable ecosystem around them. They offer “super apps” where users can shop, get informed, have access to entertainment, talk to friends and make payments.
There is no such thing in the outside market, where there is more spraying. It’s as if WhatsApp, New York Times, Netflix, Amazon and Apple Pay were all in the same mobile app.
TikTok – A success story
A creative export from China to the West and that is very much in vogue is TikTok. The musical application of lip-syncing is now available in more than 150 markets and 75 different languages. Nearly 42 percent of their income comes from the United States. TikTok was the most downloaded application in the Apple store in the first quarter of 2018, a result that catapulted it as a prominent player in the media and social media industries, both Eastern and Western.
The TikTok application originated from ByteDance Beijing, and for those who do not know it, it provides a platform for short videos for online karaoke and extravagant sound effects. Popular among young people in the world, and especially in Asia, it is estimated that in Thailand one in seven people downloaded the application. Comparable to Vine, a similar app, the content created on the platform is infinitely remixed and reissued among young fans and is popularized all over the world.
“TikTok is a content platform first, then a social platform, which is different from WeChat,” said Xie Pu, founder of tech website Techie Crab. “Music and dance are an international language,” he added.
In 2018, the parent company ByteDance announced newer features upgrades as part an “ongoing effort to maintain a safe, healthy and creative environment for its global user community.” The features included enhanced privacy settings, private messaging access, account deletion, and parental controls that went live last July.
These short pieces usually act as a creative way to make themselves known. Within the platform, it is common to refer to the most popular video games, singing duos and comments on other online content.
Much of this success is due to the bases established in the United States two years earlier. Back in 2017, TikTok acquired its American rival Musical.ly for more than 800 million US dollars. TikTok was then able to merge its already huge user database with its old rival, producing a user base of hundreds of millions. The merger and increased activity in the US provided a peak of interest, with the US celebrities such as the chat host Jimmy Fallon using the app to create mini content. Publicly backed on US primetime television, the unlikely association between traditional western TV and an online viral application proved a success for TikTok.
“The [musical.ly] acquisition definitely gave TikTok a short cut for overseas expansion. It lowered the cost and reduced the difficulty of exploring new markets and fitting into a different culture,” said Zhang Yi, chief executive of research firm iMedia.
As TikTok continues to grow, it will face new difficulties. The problems that Instagram faced recently concerning security and dangerous or immoral content (mainly in the form of pressure from the UK government) can also stalk TikTok, which continues to escalate. The challenge will be to keep the app a safe space for young people, who can filter harmful or intimidating content, and maintain the development and production of content in an infinite expansion.
However, if TikTok continues to work well in other countries, it could pave the way for other Chinese brands and accelerate their internationalization. Dexterity in science and technology is vital for any country that respects itself. However, in the 21st century to become a global contributor, creativity and the heart are the keys. Hundreds of millions of young people who have fun and communicate around the world because of an up-and-coming Chinese wave of technology start-ups.