Comrade Mickey: Disney Inks Big Deal with China’s TikTok

Mickey Mouse in China
Mark Ashman/Disney via Getty Images

China-owned TikTok has landed a huge deal with Disney, which will serve as the publishing partner for the video platform’s premium ad product.

TikTok will reportedly offer Disney a place within the Chinese app where Disney fans can watch videos from Disney’s brands, create their own with Disney’s music and special effects, play Disney-themed trivia games, and collect “Character Cards” of their favorite players, according to a report by Tech Crunch. The Walt Disney Company celebrated its 100th anniversary, in part, by declaring its decision to begin working with the Chinese app.

(Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Chinese app said this new content hub is a “first-of-its-kind,” and suggested its deal with Disney goes beyond TikTok’s “Premiere Pulse” program, as it includes special accommodations for Disney.

Meanwhile, The Walt Disney Company celebrated its 100th anniversary, in part, by declaring its decision to begin working with the Chinese app.

“TikTok has become a go-to destination for Disney fans to create, engage, and connect around their favorite Disney films, shows characters and experiences, so we’re thrilled to partner with them as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the company,” Asad Ayaz, chief brand officer of The Walt Disney Company, said.

Disney’s involvement on TikTok will reportedly be “extensive,” including 48 Disney accounts that will participate in a four-week period across 24 regions around the world, starting Monday. The Disney-run TikTok accounts will publish content involving Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, ESPN, National Geographic, and Disney Parks, among others.

While the Disney accounts currently have a total of more than 150 million combined followers, the Chinese app projects that the number will grow, and that the engagement will prompt users to being posting even more Disney-related content on TikTok.

To spark more engagement, Disney and TikTok reportedly plan on publishing a “Disney100 Playlist” for Disney fans, which includes popular songs from films like Cinderella, The Lion King, Toy Story, High School Musical, and more.

Some of the other companies that are involved in TikTok’s Pulse Premiere program reportedly include NBCU, Condé Nast, DotDash Meredith, BuzzFeed, Hearst Magazines, Major League Soccer, UFC, Vox Media, and WWE.

While TikTok scores this major partnership with Disney, the Chinese app has become a cause for concern among many, as the app — owned by ByteDance, a company operating in a hostile foreign country — has been seen as a danger to kids and teens, meddling in U.S. elections, and a national security risk, while its parent company has been caught spying on journalists.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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