Getting Social in China: A Five-Minute Primer

Sina Weibo & Youku take China by storm

Sina Weibo & Youku take China by storm

Like the rest of the world, social media adoption is flourishing in China. But a combination of language differences and market dynamics, has resulted in local independent social media platforms dominating the online landscape. And unlike many other countries, China has the biggest Internet and mobile population in the world, with 470 million and 900 million users respectively, meaning the market is large enough to sustain viable, and indeed thriving, local services.

Sina Weibo (literally “Sina microblogging”), a Chinese microblogging site, is the most popular social media site in China. It is comparable to Twitter, with 90% of the market share. It was launched by SINA Corporation in August 2009 and has grown rapidly to more than 140 million users. Sina Weibo expects to have more than 200 million users by the end of 2011 and there is ongoing speculation about the site’s intentions to launch in English, enabling it to go head to head against Twitter. Sina Weibo has gradually become the default social media platform for corporations and institutions to show their openness of communicating to the public.

In addition to microblogging, video sharing is immensely popular in China with Youku the biggest video sharing website in the country. Established in December 2006 and listed on NYSE in December 2010 as YOKU, the site attracts approximately 203 million monthly unique visitors from homes and offices and 56 million monthly unique visitors from Internet cafes (as of September 2010). According to iResearch, Youku had a 40% share of total user time spent viewing online videos among Chinese internet users during the second quarter of 2010. Youku initially emphasized user-generated content but has since shifted its focus to professionally-produced videos licensed from more than 1,500 content partners.

To better help our clients navigate and capture the social media opportunities in China, especially in the area of video, we recently signed a partnership with Verawom, a local social media marketing agency. Verawom, a pioneer in specialist social media marketing in China, specializes in social media marketing strategy, viral video marketing, event marketing, micro-blog management, search engine optimization, and basic word-of-mouth communication and is currently helping brands, such as FIAT, Kinston, Casio and Uni-President, to continue optimize their presence in the digital world.

This partnership gives our clients access to a broader range of skills and equips us to provide comprehensive solutions, from communication strategy all the way to creative production, community cultivation and real time monitoring. As an example of how this partnership will help to strengthen integrated campaigns, a recent video Verawom created for HomeAegis generated more than 100 media articles and clips in on-line, TV and print media.

We are looking forward to working closely with Verawom to help all of our clients achieve their communications goals for the Chinese market!


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