Douyin makes foray into third-party digital payment sector as part of new strategy
Published: Jan 19, 2021 08:28 PM

Douyin Photo:VCG

Douyin, the popular short-video sharing platform owned by Chinese start-up ByteDance, launched its in-app payment tool Douyin Pay on Tuesday, a move that aligns with the app's strategic move toward the e-commerce sector while playing a defensive role in the fierce competition among domestic internet players, analysts said.

A Douyin spokesperson told the Global Times on Tuesday that the establishment of Douyin Pay is intended to supplement the existing major payment options and enhance users' experience.

Douyin has long had other in-app payment methods besides the major ones like Alibaba's Alipay and Tencent's WeChat Pay. Establishing Douyin Pay is a step further to enhance services, it said.

Although more players are rushing into digital payments in the huge market in China, it is hard for newcomers to avoid the dominant position that Alipay and WeChat Pay have long held, given the two giants' mature products and complete compliance systems, analysts said.

Alipay has 54 percent and WeChat Pay has 39 percent of the Chinese third-party payment market by value, according to research firm Analysys.

"But it's possible that late movers can stand out in some particular application scenarios," Mu Chu, an analyst from, a Shenzhen-based mobile payment intelligence provider, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Douyin, as the dominant player in China's livestreaming arena, has a natural advantage. It can bring huge traffic to its payment entry when viewers watch a livestreaming show and pay for the products, Mu said.

"Payments have become typical and necessary features for big internet players in China, due to their linkages with valuable data and services," Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based independent analyst, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"E-commerce has undoubtedly become a key segment that ByteDance wants to develop for the Douyin app, and achieving self-reliant payment services is a necessary move toward that," Liu added.

For late movers, it feels more secure to have a grip on payments instead of relying excessively on the two giants, just in case any extreme situation arises in the fierce competition, he noted.

In November 2020, ByteDance applied for the "doupay" trademark, and its registrar - which is commonly used to store domain names - added a new domain name named

In August, it obtained a payment license via an acquisition. Wuhan Hezhong Yibao Technology Co, which Douyin has worked with for more than two years, provides services for Douyin Pay.