China is a unique case study for the internet. Until the 90’s, all media in the country was owned and run by the Government with practically zero audience and the content was directed by the Government. Naturally, there was no competition to win over the audience and hence no major trends and pulls seen in the market directed by the media. But after the 90’s, China opened up and saw both traditional and online media start the race from the same starting point.
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This is perhaps very unique to China unlike any other country. Almost everywhere else, online media had to bite into the market of traditional media bit by bit and slowly work its way up to the top and in some countries, traditional media is still ruling the roost despite the stiff challenge posed by online media.
This is not the only thing unique to China. The major uniqueness about China is the creation of its own social media landscape shaped by a requirement for censorship.
Problems in Xinjiang during 2009 forced the Chinese government to ban facebook, twitter and youtube and practically all major social media networks of the rest of the world. But an internet population of about 650 million, which is roughly twice the size of the entire US population), cannot be kept in silence for long and inevitably, China developed its own social networking sites.
These are ‘Made in China’, if one were to call them so, but against the general perception associated with this tag, they are by no means inferior to any world major social media giant.
The insanely high population of China, the absence of global competition and the dominance of native languages have combined to create a landscape entirely unique to China with the size and force of a parallel global social media. For example, Tencent Weibo boasts of half a billion accounts whereas Facebook has around 1.3 billion users worldwide put together.
This sheer mass of the Chinese population is too big a market to be ignored by the global businesses. Hence global businesses have followed suit and are developing China-specific strategies to mark their presence in this market.
This in depth article will be your guide to the social media landscape of China with insights and data on who the leaders are in the social media game, what the trends are, where the marketers should bet their money on and how to segment and analyze this unique market to identify their right target audiences.
A virtual comparison of activities online between US and China reveal that the Chinese internet is more used for entertainment and not for utility, as against US. Blogging, gaming, video, instant messaging and music fare a lot in China whereas it is email, search, shopping, booking, social networking and payments in US.
A reason for this could be the simultaneous evolution of the traditional and digital media in China post the 90’s whereas in US, internet and digital medium is still fighting with a robust traditional entertainment medium.
Also, Chinese people admit to relying heavily on social media for shopping recommendations and product information than those in the US. 23% of Chinese users say that social media is the first place where they would look up for product information and 75% of users are comfortable posting reviews and ratings for products at least once a month. These two activities feed each other.
If more and more people are posting ratings online, more and more people will consume social searches for products. This provides an opportunity for marketers to tap into a user’s network greatly and build a lot of leads as against the west where the cost per customer acquisition can be higher.
There are some challenges in Chinese internet too. Weibo, which burst into the scene with huge user base and great activity, is now on the decline. Baidu, the favourite search engine of China is struggling to be on par with the effectiveness of Google or Bing or other global search engines.
This is part due to the Chinese ecosystem where a majority of the sites are owned by a small number of top players for whom the focus is more on social activity and not search and efficiency.
In the west, there is a healthy competition going on between the biggies like Google and Facebook and it promotes a lot of ‘open source tools’ coming up. China is yet to latch on to the open source wagon and once that happens inevitably, we can see a next surge in Chinese internet.
Inspirations for Chinese social media
Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp are the three widely accepted social media models around the world. China, despite building its own social media, has not explored further to make new models of social media, but has successfully replicated the globally successful platforms with a unique Chinese interface. After all, isn’t this the essence of Chinese production style? They are remarkable as a country in replicating something great, no matter however complex or sophisticated it is. From watches to electronics, this same attitude has shaped their social media creation too.
Weibo is the Twitter of China. It is a micro blogging site and it is one of the early success stories in China. Tencent and Sina are two major players who have their own versions of Weibo respectively but the latter gets much attention in media.
QZone, Renren, Pengyou and Kaixin are all inspired by facebook. Social profiles, shared photo albums, building buddies and online games are the backbone of these platforms. QZone, by Tencent, is the leader of these lookalikes and boasts of the highest numbers in Chinese social media users. However in recent times, this facebook-like model is slowly going on a decline with the advent of instant messaging services. China is no exception.
Whatsapp is the global pioneer of the instant messaging revolution and WeChat is China’s Whatsapp. WeChat became so successful that it inspired a slew of lookalikes like Line, KakaoTalk etc. but WeChat evolved with time and understood the market correctly and stayed ahead in the race. It owns all the smart phones in China now.
Snapshot of the top two
A study of the Chinese social media should ideally begin with the snapshot of the top two in the country. Weibo and WeChat represent the past and present of Chinese social media and are the two major powerhouses to reckon.
Weibo and WeChat are two giants in China’s social media. Weibo was the champion and pioneer of Chinese social media with its Twitter-inspired design but recently it is fast losing its reputation and user base to WeChat, majorly because of the bad press about the proportion of fake accounts in the platform created to inflate the numbers artificially. In a country where number of people is the least of the worries for platforms, Weibo somehow got itself the bad name for adding more to the Chinese population with its fake accounts.
This is a transformation similar to the one that made Orkut obscure and established facebook as the leading networking platform globally. Research shows that 94% of quality content in Weibo is created only by a fraction of the users in the platform and this is a clear sign of a social platform losing the edge.
Having seen the pioneer who is losing out, WeChat is the competitor who is gaining ground. WeChat launched primarily as an instant messaging platform for mobile. Voice exchanges were the USP of WeChat and it caught people’s imagination greatly. The platform emerged to let users share text, video, images and links in what they call as ‘Moments’. But WeChat is a closed network with access given only to users in a person’s contact list already. Egged on by the early success, WeChat is now very versatile allowing banking, e-commerce, payment, cab booking, gaming and even more happening in the platform. They now have 400 million active users and the numbers are fast growing day by day.
Let us take a look at the numbers that make China as an irresistible market for businesses worldwide. As we are talking China, be prepared to face staggering numbers in this section.
China has a population of over 1.3 billion, (1,382,189,052) out of which 668 million are active internet users with a reported 6% growth in numbers year on year. In 2014 alone, roughly 100,000 people in China started using the internet every day according to the statistics. This is a penetration of almost just half of the country and the rest of China in itself can be as big as a major continent’s online population. Moreover, 659 million of the active internet population are active social media users too. This is a number greater than the USA and Europe combined.
Despite the meteoric growth in these numbers, the urban-rural divide is still very big in China. By Aug 2015, internet penetration among China’s urban and rural population stood at 473 million and 186 million respectively. Nearly two-thirds of Chinese urban people use the internet every month but only 3 out of 10 rural Chinese people taste internet in a month. Connectivity is an issue with better connection speeds in urban areas, naturally driving up the numbers there.
Nobody wants to see the buffering wheel endlessly spinning while watching a video. That is why the numbers are yet to catch up in the rural block. The good news is that this impediment is also being cleared very quickly as the connection speeds are also on the rise across the country.
Mobile internet connections are faster than the fixed line connection speeds and this has helped a lot of people adopt mobile internet.
Almost 45% of web traffic in China came from mobiles and tablets last year, which is a 136% increase in the case of mobile alone.
Share of mobile
The penetration of mobile in a geography’s internet usage tells an interesting tale. It conveys about the connection speeds and the consumer behaviour of that particular region.
China already boasts of the best smart phones of the world at affordable prices and these smart phones reach every palm of the population and create a demand for high speed mobile internet. Of all the active mobile devices in China in 2015, 62% are smart phones.
China has not lagged behind and is achieving impressive figures in mobile usage.
China has 675 million unique mobile users holding 1.3 billion mobile subscriptions. Out of these, 594 million are active mobile internet users, which is almost 90% of their mobile users. Even more interesting is the fact that there are 574 million active social media users on mobile. This is almost the entire population of South America.
All this data is based on 2015. This trend can go in only increase throught 2016 and that clearly tells mobile is becoming big.
Mobile social media users are growing at the rate of 15 million users per year. By 2017, it is predicted that there will be 745 million Chinese netizens on mobile.
People use mobile internet in China majorly for the following activities.
Rain or shine? Yes. The number one item on the regular mobile internet activity in China is checking the weather. Looks like the Chinese are very interested in knowing the weather of the day. 22% of regular mobile internet activity is checking weather.
On-the-go purchase: Second on the list is the share is online purchase through mobile at 20%. This shows that people are comfortable making impulse online purchase decisions and are comfortable with product research through mobile too.
Like. Share. Mobile. 20% of mobile internet activity in China is social media related where people connect with strangers and network. Quite interestingly, Chinese people prefer a cloak of anonymity on the social media. Only 38% of them admit to revealing their true identities online in these platforms.
Chit chat. Social networking and chat are different. Chat is more one on one and more intimate. But the Chinese mobile internet users keep both these at the same plate at 20% identically.
Photo time. What will they do with all those smart phones with impressive high resolution cameras and high internet speeds? They click pictures and upload them. 19% of mobile internet activity is uploading pictures via mobile devices.
Social media usage
This article has already given a brief introduction about why China had to invent its own social media and stay separate from the rest of the world. Instead of seeing this as isolation from the world, the Chinese population has seen it as an opportunity to build something that is entirely customized for their culture and conversations. Though the indigenous Chinese social media has the influence of the west in the product design, they have also meticulously added enough Chinese flavour into their products.
This has helped their people to adopt these indigenous platforms with great enthusiasm. China has already become the country with the most number of social networking sites and the most number of social media users worldwide. Four out of the top five social media platforms in Asia by user numbers are from China. Considering the population of China, one can safely say that they can beat any record set on the basis of population and user numbers.
China has an estimated population of 650,000,000 people using social media. From 2014 – 2015 the volume of social sharing went up by 65%. This number is further on the rise in 2016. To put things in perspective, the Chinese platform QQ has more users than Linkedin, Instagram and Twitter combined all over the world. In fact, the country’s top ten platforms alone hold nearly 3.2 billion individual accounts.
As a whole, 91% of Chinese internet users have a social media account, which is way above the United States where the number is only 67%. Studies show that the Chinese spend on an average 90 minutes a day on social media and 88% of the social media users are reported to be active on at least one account daily.
However the Chinese, as we saw earlier, are slightly reluctant to reveal their true identity on the social media. This has led to a surge of anonymity and pseudonyms in their accounts. This trend is also a reason for fake accounts for business which inflate the numbers rapidly as we saw in the case of Weibo. However, even after discounting for all the anonymity, duplications and pseudonyms, China is a humongous social media using country.
One interesting observation in China is the co-existence of several social media platforms. Unlike the west where facebook virtually consolidated all social network users, China allows each network to flourish in its own niche and they complement each other with unique features and use cases. This has made the market much more fragmented than the west.
Business social networking is also seen on the rise in China in recent times. As per a recent report, business communication tools are used by 52.9% respondents in their companies and workplaces in 2014. Tencent RTX, Enterprise Fetion, Enterprise QQ and Netease EIM are some of the notable business social networking sites in China. QQ and WeChat have taken over e-mail in communication among colleagues in workplaces.
Though more than 50% of people admit to using enterprise communication tools, their popularity is only above email and yet to catch up with QQ and WeChat. This indicates that this is a Greenfield market with a lot of usability issues and opportunities alike.
Very soon we can expect growth in the number of enterprise social networking in China too. The same study also revealed that 46.4% of respondents admitted to being worried about the absence of an enterprise communication tool in their office.
Demographic segmentation of social media users in China:-
China’s social media users are mostly male with almost 57% of their users being male. Though the difference between 57% and 43% (that of female social media users in China) is not great, when you consider the actual numbers that make up these percentages in China, the difference is pretty huge. This communicates that the social media is male-dominated in China.
A segmentation of this social media user group age-wise reveals that a majority of them are in the age bracket of 26-30 which is the golden age group segment for businesses.
This is the age group that is just out of college and has newly joined a job and is not yet likely to be in a family-bound relationship and hence have a lot of disposable income to spend and an attitude to stay in trend with the latest fashion and gadgets. This is the prime consuming age in a consumer’s life cycle for e-commerce.
People in the age group 19-25 make up 19% of the population. These people are the early adopters and a lot of new social networking sites in several niches are being launched keeping this audience in mind. They are the trendsetting youngsters who drive a majority of the content in the social media. Very soon they will step into the prime consumer bracket.
People from 31-35 constitute 21% of the social media users and these people are most likely to be active social media users but less likely to buy at the pace of their junior counterparts. They are most likely to be building up a family and hence would be ideal targets
The other age groups are low on percentages and understandably so. People of ages 36-40 are 12% of the entire group and all the people above the threshold of 40 constitute a mere 18% of the total.
What’s in it for businesses?
Online shopping has changed the landscape of business globally and China offers a very potential market for the brands that are willing to understand its people and be part of their ecosystem rather than trying to use a one-size-fit-all model. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin are leading the global social ads and their lookalikes are reaping the benefit in China. In fact China has 70% of its internet users under the age of 35 and a creamy 30% of these are in the prime consumer age group of 26 to 30.
Internet users in China spend at least an hour and a half online every day and spend at least five to six more hours online per week than the Americans. Clearly, they are influencing the purchase decisions of their peers online as 38% of consumers admit that their purchase decisions are peer-influenced.
WeChat and Weibo alone boast the top two spots in the list of social shoppers worldwide. 83% and 79% of their users respectively admitted to buying a product online within the last month in a 2014 survey, where Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook took up the other positions in the top five. Social network users and online shoppers are a lot hand in hand as they use the social networking sites to search products.
Social networking sites are now also testing the integration of shopping in their own platforms where the complete purchase process will be completed within the social networking site. This model poses a lot of potential for these sites with a huge fanfare and marketers the world over cannot ignore these sites. Purchase or reputation, they definitely influence their top lines directly or indirectly and very effectively.
E-commerce is definitely thriving in China. One in three Chinese users is purchasing something or the other each month online. In fact, in 2015, economy slowed and shifted the focus on retail to online more prominently than ever. People are actively searching for products and buying them online. Quite interestingly, one of the world’s leading e-commerce firm Alibaba is headquartered in China now and China looks all set to direct e-commerce trends around the world in the times to come.
In China, a study conducted by WeAreSocial in 2015 revealed that almost one in five mobile activities is a purchase of a product online through mobile. Mobile commerce is second in the list of regular mobile activities next only to checking the weather. This implies that people are buying as impulsively as checking the weather in China through mobiles.
Brands can safely assume that whether it is a rainy day or sunny day, they can make it a business day if they are found at the right places online. This on-the-go purchase culture is also backed by the development of efficient mobile payment systems. 276 million Chinese people are using mobiles to make payments and 168 million Chinese book travel tickets online through mobile.
China’s e-commerce market was worth a quarter trillion US dollars in a period of six months spanning January to June 2015 alone. They have their biggest shopping extravaganza in the month of November called the Singles Day. In November 2014, sales on various sites of Alibaba amounted to a total of USD 9 billion in just one day. Observers predict that the trend is likely to continue and even get bigger every year.
Check list for businesses
With such a tempting potential in China, businesses should do well to tick the following items in their check list to attain success and a fair share of this booming e-commerce market.
Understand China’s uniqueness
Taobao is China’s largest online shopping platform in 2014 with a whopping 87% penetration rate. It is followed by Tmall and JD which together constitute the top three e-commerce platforms of China. Outside China, these are practically unheard names. China is very different from the rest of Asia too for that matter. So global players can not rest on their laurels and look to capitalize the Chinese market through a logical extension of their approach in other countries. China should be treated uniquely and approached specifically.
Create quality content
Social influence is found to be marked in China with the rising adoption of WeChat over other social media networks. This shows that people are moving to a one-to-one platform rather than a virtual township like Facebook of the west where everything is public and ‘to all’.
The facebook model is convenient for marketers because they can create content suited for the mass and push it through advertising much similar to traditional mediums. The chat platform poses a different challenge. It is insanely expensive and less efficient to spend large money because the message goes to only one person individually. Organic growth is what drives content and businesses in these platforms and businesses that understand this game well focus on creating content of very engaging nature and diverse appeal to find several reasons to share one-to-one. Such a trend is also being seen around the world now with Whatsapp doing the job of WeChat elsewhere but Whatsapp is yet to proactively offer solutions for businesses in its platform unlike WeChat.
This can be an opportunity for China to set the trend in innovation in mobile chat platforms that the west can follow. WeChat has successfully created a revenue model with ads and 69% of its revenues in 2014 came from ad sales. 200 million WeChat users have linked their credit cards to their accounts. 83% of WeChat users purchase products online. Whatsapp is definitely watching.
Loyalty is loud on the web
Chinese people have admitted that on an average each of them follow at least 8 brands on the social media. 43% of Chinese people show genuine interest in products referred or shared by their friends online. These numbers are high because the sharing happens in one-to-one platforms like we discussed in the earlier point and hence the credibility rating is higher.
38% Chinese people admit to influence of their peers and social media in their shopping decisions. If you impress one person in China, you create several potential clients for your business. Brands are figuring out ways to make the most of this loyal crowd and build referral networks and loyalty rewards for their netizens in this geography.
Top ten trends to watch out for in the rest of 2016
2016 is going to be a crucial year for social media marketers and advertisers in China. What happens this year can set the blueprint for the years to come as there are several rapid growth opportunities and Greenfield opportunities alike present.
Here are the top ten trends that brands should watch out for in 2016
- WeChat is the king. Till now. With 570 million daily active users, WeChat is ruling China but growth is slowing down in recent times. It will soon reach a plateau once it attains the saturation point where engagement levels will also drop lower. Weibo has gone past its peak in the user adoption lifecycle and WeChat has watched it closely.This is what is driving the innovation in WeChat by releasing new features and options continuously to amuse their audience. Also, WeChat will be looking to make the most of the user base with ads on Moments, which is their feature similar to a facebook post. Through effective targeting, Moments ads can help brands greatly too.
- New social networking sites will emerge. As we already saw in the demographics, the early adopters are driving the emergence of new social networking sites like NICE, Meipai, Lofter etc. These new platforms are playing smartly by allowing their users to cross post on WeChat too thereby enabling the maximum reach to content that is originally created on their platform.
- WeChat vs Taobao. WeChat was not content just with being the leading social network of China. It also wanted to be the best e-commerce and m-commerce platform of China. Instead of directing users to e-commerce sites, WeChat worked smartly to develop its payment portal and added 400 million users on its payment system.Then it rolled out products and is working its way to the top as an online retailer. The lines are blurring between social network and online retail in WeChat and they can own a complete ecosystem.
- Video is vital. Audience want video. Brands can no longer rest with creating compelling stories in text and static ads. They have to make their case with moving videos or else lose out to competition. Youku, Meipai and Bili bili are offering enough space for videos to do the rounds and companies are now turning into viral video producers too.
- Weibo’s identity crisis. With WeChat taking over Weibo as the number one site, Weibo is changing its approach from a friends-based site to a news-based site again to where it started from. It started as the Twitter of China and then thought it should perhaps be the Facebook of China and now is thinking perhaps the first shot was the best shot.It still has its edge with its transparent tracking mechanisms for brands as against WeChat where brands are left without much visibility on their campaign performances.
- Numbers do not matter. Content does. Brands which were once focusing on building their fan base numbers on Weibo and WeChat have come to understand that the clincher is no longer the number of fans but the quality of content. It is now putting a pressure on brands to create and distribute compelling content and stories to create a quick viral wave and hence a business wave.
- Emergence of niches. Brands should realize that having a group of core audience across the networks is not really going to drive up the top line. It will face a stiff competition from the emerging niches which are driven by key opinion leaders (KOLs) who create a following each for the brands that they subscribe.
- Custom messages n advertising to China. Companies can no longer ignore the Chinese market that is too big. Advertisements created globally cannot be forced to fit China. In a country with the leading population worldwide, it should not be tough to pick one model to be the face of your brand and when you don’t do that and hire a foreign face to represent your brand, you lose out to the one who speaks the native language in its advertisement.
- Convert the attention into bills. Brands have spent enough time and effort so far in building awareness about themselves. Now is the time to reap the rewards in business through sales. Single’s day has become a mega shopping event in China akin to the Black Friday sale of the US. Consumers are not averse to buy luxury products online when they find the best deals. In fact they are throbbing these sites for deals and are lapping them up with arms wide open. Alibaba reported sales in excess of $5 billion in the first 90 minutes of sales on November 11, 2015 in Beijing and a staggering 72% of this sale came from mobile phones.
- Hai Tao. ‘Hai Tao’ is the term that stands for the shopping trend of ordering online directly from global e-commerce sites. Chinese people are now welcoming global e-commerce sites too that ship back to China. The eased import rules in China are favouring this trend and it is great news for businesses that are yet to build a presence in China. What it shows is that Chinese people are also stepping beyond their border and browsing globally.
The key message for brands that want to succeed is not to push content and stack up numbers but to listen to audience feedback and create content that will pull people to their platform. This approach is going to drive social sales for their products and earn loyal customers.
The top social networking sites of China should provide an idea of what type of content is lapped up by this audience and brands can pay heed to this section below.
The top ten Chinese social media platforms
Here are the top ten social networking sites of China since 2015
- Tencent QQ: QQ had a total of 830 million accounts in 2015. It is an instant messaging platform that lets users to also play social games, share music, shop, shop socially, microblog and set up group chats and voice chats.
- QZone is dubbed as the Facebook of China. It is similar to facebook in allowing users to post blogs, share photos, music and videos. It reported a total of 755 million users in 2015.
- Sina Weibo. Weibo is the Twitter of China. It had a total of 600 million accounts in 2015. It had its oscillation between being Facebook-like and Twitter-like and is now slowly settling to Twitter-ish design. It lets users to create microblogs and share news and trends as soon as they happen.
- Tencent’s WeChat is the king of the Chinese social media but it ranked only 4th in terms of numbers in 2015. It had 468 million users but it is definitely on the way up the ladder to climb to the top of this list. WeChat’s impressive growth deserves a separate section in this article and we will come to WeChat once again after this list.
- Pengyou identified an opportunity in the trend of anonymity being preferred by most Chinese people. It emphasized on real names and real people and claims to create real friendships on this platform. 260 million users have liked this idea.
- com. 51.com is a social platform exclusively for the gamers of China. China has a very enthusiastic gaming community and this platform allows them to discuss new games, strategies, cheat codes and boast their gaming lives online. It had 200 million users in 2015.
- RenRen is also a Chinese version of facebook and it is second to QZone in this genre with a user base of 195 million in 2015. Still, QZone is almost four times the size of Renren and it is by no means a competition to QZone. But it has marked its presence felt. A 195 million is not a small number either.
- Jiayuan – What is social networking without dating? All roads lead to Rome, elsewhere in the world. Perhaps in China, they say all roads lead to Beijing. But in the social sphere, all activity leads to impressing that one person in the opposite sex. That is why one posts an interesting story, that beautiful picture, that engaging video or even buys that attractive gear. Jiayuan is China’s largest online dating site with a user base of 120 million in 2015.
- Kaixin 001. Kaixin is also a facebook-inspired product custom-made for China. It has its famous applications that are very unique to China but are clones of facebook in design. It boasted of 113 million accounts in 2015.
- Douban is a niche platform dedicated to discussing books, music and hobbies. It had 75 million accounts in 2015.
Image Source & credit: http://makeawebsitehub.com/chinese-social-media-statistics/
While these sites rank in the top 10 in 2015 solely on the basis of user numbers, there are other emerging platforms that deserve a place in this list with their impressive rise and potential.
Meilishuo. ‘Meilishuo’ in Chinese means talking about beauty. It is a Chinese community focussing on women’s fashion. Meilishuo allows users to discuss the latest trends in fashion, cosmetics, shoes and accessories. It has partnered with Tencent and is rolling out an impressive mobile app with an eye on the potential of m-commerce. People say there are already 150 million accounts in Meilishuo despite starting late.
Qyer. Qyer is China’s attempt at a Tripadvisor. It is a community for the travellers to gather information, give travel recommendations and promote e-tourism. It had 10 million users with almost half of them being mobile users. Alibaba has invested in it to give it a big push upward.
WeChat’s special segment:
As we said earlier, this section dedicates itself to study WeChat and its meteoric rise to the top of Chinese social media.
WeChat is created by the Tencent group primarily as an instant messaging app for mobile. It also allows users to share ‘moments’ which are essentially small posts with text, video, photo, links etc. It is a closed group and allows people to broadcast their life’s moments to their network of friends. Buoyed by the early success, it has quickly reached out to banking, payments, m-commerce, games etc. As per the latest reports, they have exceeded 1.1 billion accounts. On an average, 570 million users use WeChat daily. There are almost a 100 million users for WeChat outside China as well.
WeChat allows a business to advertise on its platform if the number of followers exceeds 100,000. Reportedly, WeChat earns a mighty 69% of its revenues from mobile ads. Top activities on WeChat are text messaging, voice messaging, ‘moments’ and group chats. It even has a payment service and has 200 million users who have linked their credit cards to WeChat. We have earlier indicated why WeChat is now the king of Chinese social media and how businesses should make use of it.
To put the wisdom in a nutshell, China is a unique market but a vast market that is too big to ignore. Brands that understand this lesson well have to focus on creating quality content tailor-made for China and use China’s indigenous platforms to reach out to this audience. E-commerce is kicking up in China this year and it is high time for brands to make the most of the online retail revolution.
WeChat is the rising giant in the Chinese social media, Weibo is the falling king and there are other emerging niches like Meilishuo. China has enough scope for adding more users as a majority of its rural population is yet to come active on internet and social media. Mobile penetration in China is also impressive.
Brand’s that speak Chinese, follow Chinese nuances and that appeal to Chinese users can certainly win in China.
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