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Social media penetration in China 2017-2023

In 2020, the penetration rate of social networks was estimated to reach 52 percent of the population in China. Despite global social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube being blocked by the “Great Firewall”, Chinese homegrown equivalents such as WeChat, Weibo, and Youku Tudou have captured millions of users in the country.

How active are Chinese social media users?

In 2020, the number of social network users was projected to reach 927 million with a 20 percent increment expected over the next five years. Social media plays a huge role among Chinese internet users. (1053903) During the third quarter of 2019, Chinese netizens spent circa 350 minutes on average per day on the internet. Sites such as WeChat and Sina Weibo each held a bulk of the share of internet users in China.

What is the role of social media in China?

For the end user, social networking sites allow for the establishment and reinforcing of social relationships by sharing photos, videos, posts and statuses. Microblogging has become a novel tool of social debate and free-speech across China with over a hundred million words and photos each posted daily. On the business end, social media also presents an attractive avenue for advertising with ad spending accumulating to 65 billion yuan in 2019.

Social network penetration in China from 2017 to 2018 with a forecast until 2023

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Release date

February 2019



Survey time period

2017 and 2018

Special properties

excludes Hong Kong

Supplementary notes

* Forecast.
Internet users who use a social network site via any device at least once per month.

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