Douyin and TikTok are unquestionably Bytedance’s biggest successes. As of July 2018, the two short-video apps have attracted more than 500 million monthly active users (MAU), one-third of the 1.5 billion total MAU across all platforms that the company announced in July.

The two apps are often referred to as versions of one another—Douyin is the domestic Chinese version and TikTok, the global—and they are managed by the same person. According to the company’s latest leadership shuffle in June, the team managing both TikTok and Douyin is now led by Zhu Jun, the co-founder of TikTok’s Shanghai-based predecessor Musical.ly.

Despite Bytedance’s efforts to convince people that TikTok and Douyin are the same product, they are actually two separate apps. The two share the same logo, layout, and even some stickers and filters, but they are strictly segregated in accounts and content. This means it’s impossible for a TikTok user to log in to the Douyin app using their TikTok credentials, and vice versa.

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Wei Sheng

Wei Sheng is a Beijing-based reporter covering hardware, smartphone, and telecommunications, along with regulations and policies related to the China tech scene. He writes a monthly newsletter tracking...

Tony Xu

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail: tony.xu@technode.com