Eight UK and US universities have trialed a service run by student marketing agency Natives in collaboration with video-sharing app Douyin, which is called TikTok outside China.
The service posts university ads on Douyin, and Chinese users who interact with the posts are then connected to university customer relations systems as well as to a marketing platform operated by Natives.
Douyin and Natives trialed the program for six months before officially launching it this month.
Wang Zheng, marketing manager at Natives, said the partnership with Douyin will generate "quality targeted enquiries from Chinese students" for foreign institutions.
Natives has offices in Changsha, which is the capital of central China's Hunan province, as well as the US city of New York, and both Brighton and Portsmouth in the UK.
Zheng said the service will enable universities abroad to compete with those in China, which are already using Douyin as a recruitment tool. Top Chinese institutions Tsinghua University and Peking University have nearly 3.5 million Douyin followers between them.