4 Chinese social media sites you should know about

As the biggest economy in the world, China is a market that most companies want to tap into. From a social media perspective, China is a completely different market to every other country, with strict social media restrictions (Facebook & Twitter are banned there!) and specific Chinese social media platforms that are used by hundreds of millions of people.

If you want to be part of the social media landscape in China, here are the social media platforms you need to know about.

WeChat

To call wechat a social messenging app will be undermining the impact it has on the social infrastructure of the country. It is a virtual do-it-all application that have become an integral part of daily life in China. Besides the messaging and calling capabilities, it can be used to purchased anything and its mobile wallet feature WeChat pay is so entrenched in the culture that people can now travel out of their homes without a single cent in their wallet. Imagine going for dinner with a group of friends and being able to just split the bill with a tap of each person’s phone.

Wechat also have a moments feature (a cross between a status update on Facebook and a tweet on Twitter), gaming store and being able to use it to meet new people. It is also commonly used by companies for customer service or for marketing promotion.

Wechat now have more than 900 million users and are closing in on a billion users.

Weibo

Weibo fits into the industry as the Twitter equivalent of China. Users primarily use it as a blogging tool to share snippets of their personal life. Even with a 140 character (Chinese characters) limit, users can share more information than Twitter as you can fit more information into 140 characters in Chinese.

Weibo has more than 300 million users.

Youku Tudou

Two streaming companies merged into one to dominate the video streaming industry in China. Unlike Youtube which has a significant amount of user-generated content, this platform is used more to watch movies or television shows, so it can be compared to Netflix in that regard. It hosts both local content as well as foreign shows which are subtitled in Chinese.

Youku Tudou has more than 500 million users.

Renren

Once considered the Facebook equivalent for China, it gained prominence in the late 2000s as Facebook was gaining popularity worldwide. It’s color scheme brought comparisons to Facebook. However, it failed to maintain its stranglehold on the industry as mobile usage began to become the preferred option and most of the users switched to Weibo and Wechat.

Renren has more than 200 million users.

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