10 Most Popular Social Media Sites in China
The key thing every company must know in order to do business in China is that Western social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and so on are banned in China. In fact, Weibo, WeChat, Youku and more are the main social media channels in China.
Chinese people spend a good portion of their daily lives on social media sites. Therefore, understanding which social media platforms are growing in China will help your businesses reach out to your target audience and deliver the right products or services. Let’s check out this list of top 10 social media sites in 2017 below.
1. WeChat: All-in-one Social Media in China
What is WeChat?
WeChat is an all-in-one messaging app developed by Tencent, which also provides games, online shopping, and financial services. Users can get almost everything they need from their smartphone, and never have to leave the app. Therefore, it is the most popular social media in China.
WeChat is far more than any of the Western messaging app because it is a mix of Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram and Skype. It also contains ten million third-party apps.
To have more information about how to create a WeChat account, read our article The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to WeChat for Business.
Why is WeChat so important to businesses?
Today, WeChat is the largest social network in China, with over 700 million users daily. Chinese are spending an average of over 70 minutes a day within the app.
Related article The Best Guide to Chinese Consumer Behavior on WeChat (2017).
The Chinese use WeChat app for tables, booking flights, making investments, shopping, doing taxes, transferring money, posting Moments on their walls, etc.
Not only that, WeChat allows companies and celebrities to host public accounts that generate content for promotional purposes.
Moreover, WeChat allows one-to-one personalized interaction between brands and the users.
Tencent used to have restrictions on advertising, but they now allow brands to advertise on WeChat with banner ad, KOL, and Moments ad.
A Moments ad allows advertisers to advertise within the Moments section, as compared to Facebook’s news feed. Moments ad offers brands an easier and more affordable way to advertise on its app.
In addition, QR codes might be dying in the Western worlds, but they are big in China. Mobile users often scan for promotion, passwords or follow a brand. To gain more followers, QR codes are the plus.
For more information about WeChat advertising, you can read our article WeChat Advertising 101: All You Need To Know.
2. Sina Weibo: Twitter of China
What is Weibo?
Sina Weibo, or Weibo, is a micro-blogging platform in China released in 2009. It is the most popular micro-blogging site in China and can be considered as a combination of Twitter and Facebook.
With Weibo, users can upload videos, images and gifs. Also, they can follow an individual and read their posts, then like and share them, without being followed back.
Related article The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Weibo for Business.
Why is Weibo important for your business?
According to China Internet Watch, Weibo has 313 million monthly active users. It is specifically popular among white-collar workers and the urban online population with mobile phones. Weibo generates a huge market that companies cannot just ignore.
Chinese people come to Weibo for information, sharing and commenting.
Because Weibo is a blogging site, it contains a large source of news content. Companies, organizations, and celebrities in China, have Weibo accounts to interact with their customers.
Other than that, companies can create and manage a page for users to interact and debate on the any subjects to increase their level of communication with the customers.
It also allows brands to generate marketing strategy and even directly sell their products through the page.
3. Tencent QQ: An instant messaging app
What is QQ?
QQ is another instant messaging app developed by Tencent. Similarly to WeChat, it offers users games, music, shopping, micro-blogging, movies, group chat, and voice chat.
QQ has a desktop version while WeChat don’t. Plus, QQ doesn’t require a phone number to register like WeChat. Users will have a numerical ID for their accounts.
Most QQ’s users are young people.
Why is QQ important for your business?
According to FoxBusiness.com, QQ has more than 869 million users, another giant market for advertisers.
With QQ, you can publish Ads and Links to friends and discussion groups. Moreover, you can open an organization account, which is known as QZone.
Furthermore, Tencent offers paid marketing programs, and often considered as an advertising package. That way, you can pay Tencent, and have them create your content, then publish it in QZone games, pop-up windows, and so on.
4. Youku Tudou: YouTube of China
What is Youku Tudou?
Youku is top video sharing app in China, which is a Chinese movie site equivalent to Youtube.
Youku contains more professional content than the self-produced ones. Users often stream or download movies and TV shows on Youku.
Why is Youku important for your business?
Youku has 580 million active users, according to DMR Stats. For that reason, it is an effective way for business to place an ad on the app to reach their target audience.
Youku offers an online viewing analytics tool, which enables brands to identify their audience by providing users’ information such as demographics, location, browsing technology and language.
Youku offers many types of ad such as banner ads including static and animated, text links, buttons and branded viral videos.
More than that, advertisers can choose to sponsor for live events or go for pause ads. A pause ad is displayed when the video is paused and finished when resumed.
5. Baidu Tieba: A Search Engine Forum
What is Baidu Tieba?
Baidu Tieba is the largest communication platform in China provided by search engine company, Baidu. Basically, Baidu Tieba keyword-based discussion forum where users can search for information on a Bar.
Why is Baidu Tieba important for your business?
Baidu has 660 million monthly active users, according to DMR Stats.
Users, especially businesses, can also create your own bars and redirect the searchers to your forums if they are searching for your brands on Tieba or Baidu as a whole.
This method is very useful for businesses that have good brand awareness in China, yet little presence on Chinese social media platforms.
6. Douban: Lifestyle and social discussion platform
What is Douban?
Douban is a social networking platform that focuses on expressing oneself and one’s lifestyle. Users are using Douban to discuss books, movies, music, and events.
Douban makes it easy for users to book tickets for movies and concerts, download e-books and listen to douban.fm through their interface.
Users can also connect with each other based on similar tastes and interests.
This site is most likely popular amongst white collar and college students.
Why is Douban important for your business?
SimilarWeb shows that Douban has 153.49 million monthly total visits, another promising number for advertisers.
Due to its characteristics, word of mouth marketing is very important. Reviews and ratings are what users will look for on this website.
Brands can create events that are able to get people with the same interests together as a discussion groups so that you and the consumers can have immediate interaction on your own brand pages and discussion pages. That way, you can also have a fan base and invite others to join the discussion groups at the same time.
7. Renren: Facebook Equivalent In China
What is Renren?
Renren is a Chinese oldest social networking service launched in 2005. It gained great popularity when it first came out, just like Facebook when it first launched.
However, Renren failed to adapt to new changes like the switch to mobile and losing other opportunities. Therefore, it has been losing a lot of its users to WeChat and Weibo.
Why is Renren important for your business?
Although Renren is not as popular as before, it still has 214 million monthly active users, according to DMR. Most of its users are students.
Your ads will be directly delivered to the users on Renren.
Advertisers can create interactive games with online promotion. And so, when the users play the games, they can earn points and then redeem on your products or services.
8. Dianping: Chinese Version of Yelp
What is Dianping?
Dianping, roughly translated as everyone’s comments, was first created to collect people’s feedbacks on restaurant services and share reviews with consumers. It’s basically the Yelp of China.
Not only restaurants, users can also review on bars, beauty salons, hotels, gyms, and so on. When you search for a restaurant on Dianpang, for example, there are tons of photos that will definitely give you an idea of what it’s going to be like at the restaurant.
Why is Dianping is important to your business?
According to DMR, Dianping has 60 million reviews and 12 billion monthly page views. It has obviously become the largest local review service in China, with a strong focus on restaurants. With such impressive numbers, it is a great place for brands to advertise on this site.
Dianping’s users are white-collar and urban people with money to spend. The site is still growing bigger due to economic development in China. More and more rich people pop up everywhere nowadays.
Unlike other social media sites, Dianping’s target users are older people between the age of 20 and 35 in major and fast-growing cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
Their revenue comes from advertising and promotional fees for businesses and group buying services. You can be their next business partners.
9. Momo: Tinder of China
What is Momo?
Momo is an instant messaging app and also the number one dating app in China. In fact, it is the third largest fully mobile app after WeChat and QQ with 81.1 million monthly active users, a stat from DMR. People consider Momo as Chinese Tinder.
Momo went public in NASDAQ at the end of 2014.
The app allows users to connect with strangers based on interests and location.
Other than that, the company is trying to make the app more than just a dating site by launching a campaign to help homeless cats and dogs in China. They also offer mobile gaming and live streaming.
Why is Momo important for your business?
One of Momo’s biggest sources of revenue comes from advertising.
They also launch a new advertising platform for offline retailers.
Advertisers can target customers through location-based service. For instance, when users are searching for their potential dates, advertisers can place an ad of a local bar or club with a discount offer on their result sites so as to attract customers to pay a visit.
Basically, Momo allows businesses to advertise based on customers’ profile.
10. Meipai: Chinese Instagram for Video
What is Meipai?
Meipai is the most popular video messaging app in China. It allows users to make 60-second videos, import photos, add effects, and then share their videos directly to Weibo and WeChat.
Why is Meipai important for your business?
Meipai has 30 million monthly active users (DMR). Advertising on Meipai will bring benefit to brands doing business in China.
Meipai is most popular for live-streaming function, which is favored by many celebrities, especially the famous actress, Fan BingBing. That is why a lot of brands would like to team up with KOLs on this site.
Normally, Meipai will rank the popularity of the videos and the videos’ uploaders. That way, it helps brands identify the popularity level of the KOLs and which KOLs best represent your business.
Further, similar to Instagram and Twitter, users can tag their videos in different related topics tags. This is one of the ways to get more views. Brands can utilize this feature to have more engagement with the target audience.
More than that, Meipai also has a “red envelop” feature. The more popular your videos are, the more red envelopes you get. Also, if the users share your videos, they will get red envelopes too. Therefore, this is a win-win situation for both of brands and potential customers.
Conclusion: Top Social Media In China
10 Chinese social media sites above are the hottest ones in 2017. My goal is to help foreign businesses grab the ideas of how each of these Chinese social media site works, then decide which ones are your best friends. Finally, you can sketch out and implement your marketing strategies.