China is a very different market from the rest of the world when it comes to social media. Indeed, Western platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram are banned from the territory. Chinese Internet users therefore use other services, often less known in the West. Let’s take a look at the main social networks in China.
Whether you are a French company wishing to develop in the Chinese market or whether you work on behalf of clients who wish to communicate with the Chinese, knowing which social networks to target is essential to ensure the success of your social media strategy in China.
Here is a selection of 10 most used social networks by Chinese in 2022.
WeChat is a cross-platform instant messaging app developed by Chinese tech giant Tencent. Launched in January 2011, it is available on Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Phone. WeChat offers classic instant messaging features such as live chat, voice and video calls, chat groups, etc.
It is the most popular social network in China and the most similar to the American giant Facebook, although it is also the Chinese alternative to WhatsApp.
How many users does WeChat have in China?
WeChat had 1.06 billion users in China in February 2018. At the beginning of 2020, the Chinese social network had 1.17 billion users, including more than 900 million active daily on the application.
2- Tencent QQ
Tencent QQ, also known as QQ, is a proprietary instant messaging software developed by Tencent Holdings Limited. QQ is an integral part of social life in China and is used by nearly one billion users.
How many users does QQ have in China?
QQ is the second most popular social network in China with a monthly active user base of 574 million Chinese.
Weibo is a Chinese social networking platform similar to Twitter, launched in 2009 by Chinese Internet giant Sina Corp. Weibo allows users to post 140-character messages, follow other users’ posts, and share content such as images, videos, and links.
How many users does Weibo have in China?
Weibo, the Chinese social network, had around 460 million users in 2019 according to the latest known figures. In 2016, the Chinese microblogging platform had 340 million active users, which at the time represented an increase of almost 30% compared to the previous year.
4- Douyin (the Chinese TikTok)
Douyin (抖音) is a Chinese social networking application launched in 2016 by the company ByteDance. It initially allowed users to share short videos up to 60 seconds long, as well as images and animated GIFs. Today, the platform offers its users the possibility of sharing longer videos, in both portrait and landscape format.
How many users does Douyin have in China?
In March 2019, Douyin had 300 million daily active users in China, an increase of 50 million in just four months. The platform also saw a record 1.5 billion video views per day.
In 2022, the number of Douyin users is estimated at 600 million.
Youku is a Chinese social network founded in December 2003 by Victor Koo. Youku offers an online video sharing platform similar to YouTube.
How many users does Youku have in China?
In March 2012, Youku had 500 million unique users per month. In 2019, the date of the publication of the latest figures concerning its users, Youku had no less than 580 million users.
Xiaohongshu (“littleredbook” or “little red book”) is a China-based social network that was co-founded in 2013 by a Harvard and Tsinghua alumnus. The site is primarily used by women to share beauty product reviews, but it also features advice on fashion, food, travel, beauty and health.
Halfway in the social network and the e-commerce platform, Xiaohongshu is also known as “RED”. The purpose of the site is to share opinions and purchase recommendations. The product and service review app is available on both Android and iOS.
How many users does Xiaohongshu have in China?
In October 2021, Xiaohongshu counts more than 200 million active users every month. More than 300 million Chinese have an account on this platform.
Meitu is a Chinese social network founded in 2008. The site is mainly for photo editing and photo sharing. Meitu also provides blog, micro-blogging and forum services.
How many users does Meitu have in China?
Meitu is a very popular photo editing and photo sharing app in China. She counted 246 million monthly active users of active users in 2021.
Bilibili is an entertainment social network for teens and young adults in China. Launched in January 2009, the site is mainly used for sharing anime, manga, and cosplay videos.
How many users does Bilibili have in China?
In February 2021, Bilibili surpassed the 400 million active user mark in China. This represents an increase of more than 50% compared to the previous year.
Zhihu is a Chinese social networking platform similar to Quora, founded in December 2012 by Zhang Haidi and Victor Koo. Zhihu allows users to ask questions and answer questions on different topics.
How many users does Zhihu have in China?
Zhihu counted in Q1 2021 nearly 102 million active users each month.
Snow is a Korean social network launched in 2015 by Naver, the company that manages the famous South Korean search engine. Snow presents itself as an alternative to other social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. The application is both very popular in South Korea but also in neighboring countries including China and Japan.
How many users does Snow have in China?
While it is difficult to accurately estimate the number of Chinese users of SNOW, the application has a total of more than 200 million users.
Chinese Social Media FAQ
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Chinese social media.
What is the equivalent of Facebook in China?
The closest Chinese social network to facebook is WeChat. It is used by more than 1.2 billion Internet users in China.
Social networks in China are very different from those we use in the West. Indeed, the most popular ones are controlled by the government, which allows them to closely monitor users’ online activities. The main Chinese social networks are WeChat, QQ and Sina Weibo.
What is the most popular network in China?
In China, the most popular social networks are WeChat and QQ. WeChat is a mobile social network that allows users to share messages, photos, videos and make voice and video calls. QQ is an instant messaging platform that allows users to chat online.
Which application is similar to Twitter in China?
Weibo is the Chinese social network most similar to Twitter. Their level of similarity is such that in its infancy, Weibo allowed its users to share only 140 characters like the famous American microblogging social network co-founded by Jack Dorsey.
Which app is similar to TikTok in China?
If TikTok is an international social network managed by a Chinese company (ByteDance), China has its own version of the platform for sharing short videos: it is Douyin, which is also managed by the same parent company.
Is there an Instagram equivalent in China?
In China, there is no real alternative to Instagram, however the Chinese use Douyin a lot to share short videos and WeChat to exchange.
Which app is similar to Snapchat in China?
Snapchat’s closest social network to China is SNOW, a South Korean app very similar to the US app.