Douyin Supermarket officially goes online, intensifying e-commerce sector competition in China
Published: Feb 01, 2023 03:24 PM Updated: Feb 01, 2023 03:14 PM
Douyin Photo:VCG

Douyin Photo:VCG

China’s largest video sharing platform Douyin has launched an online e-commerce service. The entry of Douyin into the online supermarket will increase the competition in the already hotly contested e-commerce sector, experts said.

Douyin Supermarket went live right after the Chinese New Year holidays, Beijing Daily reported.

After searching for Douyin Supermarket in the Douyin app, users can shop online from a variety of categories, ranging from snacks and household necessities to personal care and cosmetics.

Douyin’s supermarket said it offers guaranteed delivery service and promises the authenticity of all its products in addition to hassle-free after-sale services, according to its introduction page. It also promised same-day shipping if consumers pay before 16:00 pm. 

In its payment interface, Douyin is offering discount to users who choose to pay with Douyin’s own payment tool, while Tencent’s WeChat payment function is folded and hidden.

The launch of the new function aligns with the expansion strategy of the platform, Liu Dingding, an independent tech industry analyst told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The competitiveness of Douyin lies in its user base, traffic and algorithms. It can connect users and products in a highly efficient way, Liu said.

“If the Douyin can made good use of live-streaming and its algorithms, the platform is expected to be one of the top players in e-commerce in the future,” Liu said.

Thanks to its huge user base, Douyin has made rapid progress in e-commerce in the past two years since it officially set up an e-commerce division in 2020.

On May 31, Douyin disclosed that its gross merchandises value (GMV) from May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022 increased by 3.2 times from a year ago, without revealing concrete figures, 36kr reported.

As previously reported by 36kr, Douyin’s e-commerce business is expected to reach 1.3 - 1.5 trillion yuan in GMV in 2022. In comparison, it took Alibaba 10 years and 13 years to cross the one-trillion GMV level.

Given its late entrance into the market, a relatively “weaker supply ability and brand influence” will be its weakness in competing with the country’s major players such as Tmall and, Liu said.

China's online retail sales expanded by 4 percent year-on year in 2022 to reach 13.8 trillion yuan, the National Bureau of Statistics said.