Organ donation has started to enjoy a higher profile in China in recent years, largely thanks to the internet. According to data from the China Organ Transplant Development Foundation’s Shiyushou service network, the social media platform Douyin (the domestic version of TikTok) has played an important role in increasing the number of registered volunteers for organ donation. Of the 460,000 people who have registered with Shiyushou to donate their organs after death this year, 200,000 registered through the network’s mini program on Douyin.
Shiyushou, meaning “to donate, to support, to thank” in Chinese, is China’s first online organ donation voluntary registration system jointly launched by the former National Health and Family Planning Commission and the Rotary International 3450 region in 2014. Under the guidance of the National Health Commission, it was officially taken over by the China Organ Transplant Development Foundation in October 2016.
One year ago, Shiyushou upgraded its volunteer registration page, turning it into a service network offering registration and various services to donors. The network aims to promote the cause of organ donation and transplants in China, educate the public on the value of organ donation, and encourage an atmosphere conducive to organ donation.
Shiyushou officially launched its Douyin mini program on June 9 last year, allowing users of the app to search for the account and register their details. Once registered, volunteers receive a registration card designed for registered donors in China. Since the launch of the mini program, over 250,000 people have registered for organ donation through Douyin.
According to data from the China Organ Transplant Development Foundation, from July 2020 to October 2021, the number of registrations via Shiyushou’s Douyin mini program accounted for 45 percent of the total number of its online registrations during this period.
Shiyushou’s attempt to promote the concept of organ donation using short videos has proved successful — receiving recognition and support from more and more people, especially young social media users, according to representatives of the China Organ Transplant Development Foundation.
Short videos, especially those about the lives of millennials and members of Generation Z, have resonated with many young people. For example, the Douyin official account of China Organ Transplant Development Foundation released a short promotional video on Dec 31, 2020, which led to 48,968 new registrations in a single day.