Due to different social and political circumstances, China has developed its own distinctive social media landscape. International companies that are doing or want to do business in this huge lucrative market, need to identify the most important ones among the countless platforms in order to better connect with users and understand how to complement each another to create a powerful brand strategy.
In this article, we present key information from the latest analytics report published by Jiguang, a Chinese big-data firm, in order to give you valuable insights into China’s social media dynamics and trends.
China has a respectable 960 million active users of social media, an increase of 8.9% over the previous year. The penetration rate of social networking/media last year is up to 87.2%. Not only are Chinese users more active than those in other countries, they also tend to have multiple social media accounts (an average of 2.65 per person in 2018). The social media offerings in China have different focuses, from instant communication to public discussions, blogs to short videos and so on.
Male users surpassed females in numbers, but the disparity is small. More than 40% of social-media users are under 25, 45% are between 26 and 35 years old and 14% are over 36. Although the younger generation is the demographically most important group of social media, the data show the distribution between the different age groups. In other words, social media platforms are still the ideal channel to reach most potential users.
Another visible trend concerns the location of new Internet users. People in third-, fourth-and lower-tier cities are growing as an important force in China’s economic and Internet development as well as in the social media space. As the graph shows, up to 21.7% of social network users come from third-tier cities; 18.5% and 12.8% from fourth-, and fifth-tier ones and below, compared to 9.4% and 18.7% and 18.9% from the major cities, mainly referred to as first- and second-tier cities as well as those called new first-tier cities, which are known for their commercial appeal.
Although China’s social media landscape is highly diversified, some have managed to build a large user base in the face of fierce competition. Key local players to know include WeChat, QQ and Weibo, which respectively have 630 million, 260 million, and 110 million daily active users.
In an earlier post, we introduced two new social networking apps that could be seen as a threat to WeChat- Duoshan launched by TikTok’s parent company and Liaotianbao, formerly known as Bullet Messenger. The performance of the first seems to be impressive - due to the accelerating promotion during the Spring Festival, Duoshan has seen a dramatic increase in market penetration and the number of daily active users.
This overview helps you to understand the current status and trends of social media in China. For more marketing principles, check out this carefully crafted e-book which gives you in-depth knowledge of social media marketing.
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