In 2020, there were around 926.8 million social media users in China. Despite Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter being blocked in the country, local social networking sites such as Tencent WeChat and Weibo have been attracting millions of users, making China the world’s biggest social media market.
What is the role of social media in China?
Around 65 percent of the Chinese population use internet. Social networking plays a huge role among netizens, especially the younger generation. Chinese social media, just like Western equivalents, not only serves as a way to communicate online, but also as one of the main sources of news and entertainment, shopping advisors, dating channels, and e-payments. In 2017, over 60 percent of surveyed social media users said they mostly appreciated that social networks help them to keep in touch with friends and family, but also widen their knowledge and awareness of what is going on in the world. At the same time, over 40 percent complained that social media keeps them away from reading printed books or newspapers and allows less time for sleep.
What are the most popular social media platforms?
WeChat (Weixin in Chinese) is by far the most commonly seen social app in the country, used for anything from texting/calling to photo and video sharing, dating, financial services, game-playing, shopping, ride hailing, and so on. However, Chinese social media scene is quite diverse and dynamic, therefore, it is not just about WeChat. Instant messaging app Tencent QQ, microblogging site Sina Weibo, video sharing app Youku Tudou, short-form video app Douyin (aka TikTok), photo editing and sharing app Meitu, restaurant recommendation and food ordering platform Meituan, Quora equivalent Zhihu, and dating app Momo are just a few among the most popular Chinese social media examples.
Number of social network users in China from 2017 to 2020 with a forecast until 2026
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Statista. (July 21, 2021). Number of social network users in China from 2017 to 2020 with a forecast until 2026 (in millions) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved November 28, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/277586/number-of-social-network-users-in-china/
Statista. "Number of social network users in China from 2017 to 2020 with a forecast until 2026 (in millions)." Chart. July 21, 2021. Statista. Accessed November 28, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/277586/number-of-social-network-users-in-china/
Statista. (2021). Number of social network users in China from 2017 to 2020 with a forecast until 2026 (in millions). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: November 28, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/277586/number-of-social-network-users-in-china/
Statista. "Number of Social Network Users in China from 2017 to 2020 with a Forecast until 2026 (in Millions)." Statista, Statista Inc., 21 Jul 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/277586/number-of-social-network-users-in-china/
Statista, Number of social network users in China from 2017 to 2020 with a forecast until 2026 (in millions) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/277586/number-of-social-network-users-in-china/ (last visited November 28, 2022)