Social Media In China: Brief Overview
China has more than 800 million internet users and a very diverse offer of social media websites. Those 800 million people need platforms on which they can communicate, share pictures, videos, their thoughts, and insights. The Western world has its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that are all banned in China, but Chinese people have their own different and interesting social media sites and apps. Some platforms like Douyin are focused on video sharing, while others like Xiaohongshu are great shopping communities.
Social media sites are incredibly popular in China. People spend a lot of time scrolling, posting, and sharing there. Even though WeChat is the most popular on the market currently, there are also others that have a lot of users.
As we can read on mareketingtochina.com, there were around 673.5 million social media users in China just last year.
WeChat is like a Chinese Facebook, but it’s also so much more than that. It is developed by Tencent and offers games, online shopping, and financial services. Everything users might need in their everyday life they can find or do via WeChat. This app has so much more to offer than any other Western app. It’s like 10 apps in one. It has millions of users and many more are coming. They can use this app for everything from booking flights or restaurants, to shopping, paying bills, or creating posts on their Newsfeed.
You can create different types of accounts on WeChat. While personal accounts are used by everyone, businesses create WeChat accounts in order to communicate with their customers.
On the other hand, we have Weibo. This is kind of like a Chinese Twitter. It is pretty big in China and it’s mainly used for sharing texts, videos, and pictures. Mobile users are typically looking at WeChat and Weibo for current trends, recommendations, testimonials, and tips.
There are also others such as Douyin, Zhihu, Jinri Toutiao, and Dianping.
China’s market is incredibly important to international brands. It has a huge potential for growth and all big brands know that. That’s why social media in China is very important. Many brands are struggling to research and fully understand the Chinese market which sometimes results in poorly advertised products and public outrage. Social media can help companies understand the market a bit better, offer useful insights, and lead to better-designed advertisements and marketing campaigns. This can significantly reduce the risk of embarrassing yourself or making marketing missteps.
Chinese social media platforms are mainly designed for mobile users as they’re more focused on quick and instant sharing. However, a big difference between Chinese and Western social media is that China isn’t dominated by a small group of companies, but rather by a greater number of smaller social media platforms that are constantly being created and changing. The landscape is far more dynamic and users have many more choices. By preventing foreign giants from entering the market, China is giving smaller companies the chance to grow, develop, change, fall, and rise again.