A quick look at some of the most important Chinese social media platforms in 2021.
Here are the main social platforms to consider to be successful in China in 2021
The true social media giant in China, WeChat boasts a huge number of monthly active users of over 1.16 billion. Developed by Tencent, this versatile app offers virtually everything: online shopping, gaming, financial services. Combine this with its huge number of users and you have an incredibly rich source of potential customer engagement. Often described as a mix of apps, WeChat is the equivalent of Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Uber, Amazon and Whatsapp, and also offers integration with over ten million third-party apps.
Instant messaging app remains a major player in the Chinese market, with 701.2 million monthly active users as of August 2019. Like WeChat, Tencent QQ offers a number of different services, including games, music, movies, blogs and group chats. This mix of services has made the platform incredibly popular with users under 20, attracting a dedicated user base for this old platform.
The short format video app Douyin (known in the international market as TikTok), has seen a rapid increase since its first release in September 2016. Designed to allow users to create and share short videos, Douyin has become incredibly popular, attracting more of a billion global users. For brands looking to engage a younger audience, Douyin is a key platform.
Tencent seems willing to invest $ 2 billion in Kuaishou, now considered the second most popular short video app in China. The purpose? Facing the growth of ByteDance, owner of Douyin and TikTok as regards the foreign market. The name of the app means "fast hand", and is a real mobile ecosystem that integrates sales, videos and online games. And he recently decided to add his services to WeChat's.
A microblogging platform released in 2009 and today it has become the most popular microblogging platform in China. Sina Weibo users can upload gifs, images, videos and text to their networks. This, combined with Weibo's easy sharing functionality, allows it to be a great source of trending content and information. To give an idea of what we are talking about, we can compare it to a mix of Twitter and Facebook, which has over 400 million active users monthly (December 2020).
Bilibili started in 2009 as a website that specializes in sharing anime photos and videos. Over the course of 10 years, the company has expanded into many new categories, including advertising, mobile gaming and e-commerce. Unlike other major video platforms like iQiyi and Tencent video, Bilibili has a unique content placement centered around ACG (anime, comics and games). Bilibili has seen strong growth in its turnover in the last year, from 0.8 to 1.4 billion RMB (a growth rate of 58% YOY)
Launched in early 2005, Douban is a social networking platform that allows users to connect and share content across a wide range of interests, including movies, television, books, music and more. In 2016, Douban has reached over 300 million monthly users and the number continues to grow. Often referred to as "China's Reddit," Douban can be seen as a combination of IMDB, Goodreads, Pinterest, Twitter and Spotify, all presented as a single channel.
Commonly nicknamed "China's yahoo answer", Zhihu is a popular question and answer site, boasting over 160 million registered users (June 2018). Like yahoo answer, Zhihu has a dedicated user base, with many users writing detailed and passionate answers to specific questions asked by other users.
Xiaohongshu, or “Little Red Book,” is a mixed-use platform that combines Pinterest-style photo sharing and e-commerce capabilities. It boasts over 400 million active users. Aimed primarily at users between the ages of 18 and 35, the Little Red Book allows users to post product reviews, initiate discussions and upload their own content. This platform focuses almost exclusively on offering reliable product reviews and experiences and is a rich source of tips for many young consumers.
Brands and companies recognize this opportunity and are creating original content for many of these platforms. For instance, it includes offering flash sales on WeChat, using KOL on Xiaohongshu, and targeting Weibo users with niche product offerings.
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