Can China use social media

10 Chinese Social Media You Should Know About

Chinese social networks seem to be one step ahead of those of the western world - live streaming, all-in-one solutions and QR codes connect the online and offline world of China. Advanced functionality and integration mean that these platforms pervade all areas of everyday life in China. 98.6% of the country's 829 million internet users connect through their mobile devices, meaning that retailers looking to do business in China cannot afford to ignore 10 platforms below.

1 / WeChat (微 信)

Tencent's WeChat was founded in 2011 as a messaging app, comparable to WhatsApp. Today, the “super app” can hardly be distinguished from WhatsApp and offers an all-in-one solution for its 1.08 billion active users.

Social functions allow users to stay in touch with friends and share photos, posts and articles. The platform also has "mini-programs" or "sub-applications" within the WeChat ecosystem. On one platform, consumers can read the news, call a taxi, invest money, follow their favorite brands, transfer money to friends, book medical appointments - and that's not all.

By connecting the online and offline worlds, WeChat has also popularized QR codes, which are now ubiquitous in China in print media, in stores and on posters. Chinese consumers are comfortable using WeChat Wallet to pay bills and make purchases.

It is not surprising that among the average 92% of daily users of the platform, 30% spend at least four hours on the platform every day. Global luxury brands like Chanel, Burberry and Prada are impressed by these numbers - 92% of them alone already have WeChat accounts.

2 / Weibo (微 博)

Weibo, Chinese for microblog, was initially considered the “Chinese Twitter”. Users share posts, photos and videos with subscribers there.

Since then, Weibo has taken over interactive functions from various social platforms and developed into its very own platform. Previously limited to 140 characters, Weibo now allows you to write long articles with up to 2000 characters. Other features include Weibo Poll, Live Stream, a powerful marketing tool popular with influencers, and Weibo Story, a newly introduced feature that works like Instagram Stories.

Weibo acts as an important news source for Chinese users and is a good means for them to follow their favorite celebrities or influencers. An impressive 200 million daily active users use Weibo, with an almost identical gender distribution - 50.10% are male and 49.90% are female.

3 / Douyin (TikTok) (抖 音)

Users post on Douyin photos, live stream videos, lip sync videos of music videos and co. Uploads are limited to 15 seconds, and the app offers a number of advanced editing features.

Thanks to its many influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs), the platform is an increasingly popular digital marketing tool. Douyin then introduced a shopping cart function that redirects users to Taobao, where they can buy the advertised product.

Douyin, which topped Apple's App Store download charts worldwide for much of 2018, has an impressive 400 million monthly users. It is noteworthy that 80% of the users are under 30 years of age, 66.4% are women.

4 / Yingke (映 客)

Live streaming is a very popular hobby among young Chinese. Yingke is a live streaming app where users share their daily life and use the app's broadcast tools, such as the Beautycam, to balance sound and smooth skin. The platform is used by many influencers.

Entertainment, fashion and real-time interactive content were generated in the app by 25 million monthly users in 2017. They checked the apps for updates an average of three times a day.

5 / Meitu (美图)

Meitu is one of the largest social media platforms in China with over 6 billion photos generated by 100 million users every month. Meitu is a global innovator in the field of mobile video and photo recording and offers a range of filters, retouching, single images, augmented reality and other virtual tools.

Meitu's apps use patented facial recognition and machine learning algorithms to map the unique facial features of each user, making the platform the leading digital ecosystem for beauty.

6 / Meipai (美 拍)

7 / XiaoHungSu (Little Red Book / RED) (小红 书)

Little Red Book is a social commerce shopping app with a similar interface to Pinterest with a total of 100 million users. Consumers aged 18-35 use the app to discover and buy luxury, fashion and beauty products from overseas, exchange shopping tips, sell products, leave reviews and exchange fashion ideas.

Functions allow users to filter content: suggestions for local dishes, experiences or shopping opportunities are displayed, etc.

8 / Weitao (微 淘)

Alibaba launched Weitao in 2013 as a social commerce platform for the Taobao and Tmall trading platforms. Retailers, brands and KOLs publish many forms of content, use the broadcast function to promote their businesses, get in touch with users and send push notifications with discounts and information.

Chinese consumers use Weitao to discover brands and products, benefit from discounts, and learn best practices and tips on style, beauty, and more.

9 / Yizhibo (直播)

A range of content such as singing, discussions, tutorials, and Q&A are uploaded to the Yizhibo live interactive streaming app. Launched in 2016, the system saw great success the month after its launch, with an average of 7.73 million daily users and more than 300 Chinese celebrities following the trend.

Influencers, KOLs and the brands they support thrive on the platform as Chinese consumers trust the opinions of influencers and Yizhibo enables consumers to connect with the influencer in real time and ask questions about products.

The platform was taken over by Weibo in 2018, which made the platform even more popular. Yizhibo live stream videos can be posted and viewed on Weibo.

10 / Kwai (Kuaishou) (快手)

Would you like to find out more about China and the online trade there? Then discover our outlook on the Chinese e-commerce market:

Outlook on the Chinese e-commerce market

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Adrian Gmelch

Adrian Gmelch is enthusiastic about tech and e-commerce. He initially looked after large tech companies at an international PR agency in Paris before working for Lengow for international public relations.

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