Social Media in China


  • China is the biggest market for internet and mobile in the world, and also now a booming social media market. Users of social media grow rapidly in China, especially SNS, Weibo (microblog), IM, Group buy.







  • Weibo is the hottest application in 2011, and becoming the most important channel for internet users to obtain information and news.
  • IM is the most popular  communication tool in China, QQ, MSN, Weixin, Fetion, Miliao, etc, are popularly used. For instant, Weixin has more than 100 M registered users.
  • China e-commerce market is expected to grow significantly, and will become the largest market in the world by 2015 estimated 18 trillion RMB. Social media development powers the e-commerce market’s rapid growth. Friends’ comments and word of mouth greatly influence consumer behaviours, with social media campaign contributing to 61% of online buying activities.
  • LBS application combines with SNS will become the new way of community communications.
  • Chinese government policy blocks many western social network sites, but there are equivalent social networks sites available locally.



  • Recent survey of 5,700 Chinese internet users has found that 95% of those are living in tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 cities are registered on a social media site.
  • Chinese SNS users are most active according to the survey.
  • 91% of respondents visited a social media sites in previous six month, compared to 30% in Japan, 67% in USA and 70% in South Korea.
  • Microblogging is the main social media in China, 97% social media subscribers use microblog, 70% use SNS, 66% use both microblog and SNS, and about 10% use LBS services.
  • Users have different usages for different social media platforms. SNS are mainly used for entertainment and making friends, Microblog are mainly used for information and communication among friends, and LBS are mainly used to search for restaurants and entertainment.
  • Development trends of social media. People will spend more time on social media, and social media will become the most important platform for information, business, entertainment, etc. Social media will be ubiquitous in the future. Mass media and social media will be seamlessly integrated across devices and platforms to offer relevant, dynamic, personalized experiences for people anywhere. Especially with the fast development of smart phone, the mobile social network will enable people to connect social media anytime, anywhere. Social media + E-Commerce will be popular in the future.. New technologies and applications will encourage the development of social media, such as cloud computing, web 3.0, etc.


  • Weibo (microblog) become the most popular social media in China, with more than 88% internet users (mainly 19+ years old) are using in China.
  • Weibo is the main information channels for internet users, and a potentially dominant e-commerce platform. 43.28% Weibo users follow 1-5 enterprises, 20.83% users follow 5-10 enterprises, and more than 50% users follow discount info, news of brands, etc.
  • The main operators include:
    •Sina weibo, 300M registered users at end 2011
    •Tencent weibo, 300M
    •Both Sohu and Netease had tens of millions

5The monthly active users of Social network sites and Weibo, Jan 2010 – Sep 2011


  • Weibo is fastest growing application in China 2010-12. It is developing rapidly and estimated to reach 460 million users by 2013.
  • Nearly 89% of internet users in China are weibo users. It is extremely popular among young generation.
  • Weibo has nationwide coverage. Groups and fans response instantly on news, events, comments etc. It is highly regarded by governments, media and advertisers in China.
  • Businesses use weibo for marketing and branding activities; results are varied.
  • It is also the most popular digital platform for celebrities to connect with their fans.



World’s largest and actively social internet population
  • 500+ million and growing
  • 50+ % spend 12+ hours a week online
  • 95% living in big cities with 2.5+ million population, and registered on a social networking site
  • Spend an average 46 minutes per day on SNS
World’s largest e-commerce market world by 2015
  • Trust in delivery network and e-commerce
  • Trust in peer-to-peer recommendations
Building trusted social influencers will be crucial to online interaction with Chinese netizens.

Per McKinsey: ‘As e-commerce rises, a compelling opportunity for brands will be to prompt immediate purchases online by consumers searching for product information using social media.’

The key to unlocking these immediate purchases will be through harnessing netizen recommendation.



Social Media and e-Commerce

  • There were loads of investments poured into these sectors the last several years in China.
  • e-commerce industries are now consolidating
  • Social media are evolving with new applications catering toward more business and products marketing and promotion – looking at ways to start monitizing the massive user base.
  • While foreign companies aren’t legally allowed to operate Social Networking Sites, they can however leverage their international experiences to address various social networking needs, including:
  •           Digital and social marketing expertise to build brands and influencer groups
  •           Growth hacking skills and know-hows to build massive audience rapidly.
  •           Cloud infra-structure skills and know-hows to support massive social and e-   commerce network
  •           Branding and marketing skills and know-hows to internationalize local Chinese brands, products and services
  •           Big data analytics experiences to optimize revenue monitizato
  •           Innovativeness, originality and creativity to energize and internationalize Chinese entrepreneur.

Social+Locate+Mobile (SoLoMo)

  • Social Media going mobile as smart phones gaining market shares
  • LBS applications on SNS is on an uptrend to facilitate instant community communication at location

To download the complete report, click here: Finnode-Threats and Opportunities in Chinese Social Media

(Courtesy: Eric Cheng/Finpro)