TikTok Could Sway Young People Toward Chinese EV Brands

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

While American politicians love to harp about TikTok’s Chinese owners and the national security issues that could bring, it may also be true that they worry that the platform is influencing an entire generation with quick hits of liberal political thought and economic theory. A recent survey from AlixPartners found that young TikTok users are increasingly seeing EVs on the app, with more than half of them saying they were aware of Chinese brands like Lynk&Co and BYD.

The firm surveyed 9,000 potential plug-in vehicle buyers in the U.S., and 58 percent of them said they’d seen Chinese EVs on the app. Narrowing the survey field to just 18- 25-year-old users increased the percentage to 76 percent, and 73 percent of people 25 to 35 responded similarly.

Users’ awareness of Chinese EV brands is surprising, given that none of the companies sell vehicles here. AlixPartners’ Mark Wakefield said the results “bode well if you’re a Chinese EV company exporting or ominously if you are a traditional automaker.” Young TikTok users are attracted to the brand’s advanced tech and lower prices, which are often on full display on the platform.

American automakers like Tesla have long been aware of the threat from Chinese auto companies. Last year, CEO Elon Musk said the company would start advertising after years of shying away from the practice, and Tesla has been locked in a back-in-forth battle with BYD over global EV sales records.

[Image: Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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5 of 40 comments
  • VoGhost VoGhost on Apr 30, 2024

    If you want to really scare the TTAC commentariat, use a headline that combines China, EVs and TikTok. The horror!

    • Slavuta Slavuta on Apr 30, 2024

      I agree. The real horror these days for everybody is Sarmat... I mean, for you - Satan II

  • Daniel Daniel on Apr 30, 2024

    China can absolutely make quality products when contracted at the right prices or their car companies trying to compete. However, I doubt any of their nearly 100 EV companies would even want to try to break into the US market with a 25% tariff (Polestar pays this) and the huge service and support network needed other than *maaaaybe* BYD eventually and only then if they end up using their upcoming plant in Mexico for not just Latin America, but decide to try the US market without the tariffs. They def would need to have excellent quality and support to be taken seriously, we'll see!

  • FreedMike FreedMike on May 01, 2024

    "...it may also be true that they worry that the platform is influencing an entire generation with quick hits of liberal political thought and economic theory."

    Uh...have you been on TikTok lately? Plenty of FJB/MAGA stuff going on there.

  • El scotto El scotto on May 01, 2024

    err not be an EV but to own an EV; too much training this week along the likes of what kind of tree would be if you were a tree? Sorry. Bring back the edit function.