Sina’s Weibo, often referred to as Chinese Twitter, is one of the most influential social network platforms in China. In 2017, the Beijing-based microblogging site had more than 290 million registered users in China, accounting for one-fifth of the total population. As of the second quarter of 2019, the number of Weibo’s monthly active users across the world had already reached over 480 million.
The transformation of Weibo
While many internationally popular social media sites were blocked in China, Weibo was launched by the Chinese technology company Sina to provide micro-blogging services in 2009. Before Alibaba’s acquisition in 2013, the microblogging site reported over 46 million daily active users. To attract more, the social network decided to extend its 140-character restriction to two thousand in 2016. Although Weibo still shares some similar features with Twitter, the Chinese platform has evolved into a microblogging hybrid with Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, and YouTube. It has even launched an online game center to make its users stay longer on the platform. With these strategic changes, the company remains one of the most popular social media platforms in China. In 2018, around 42.3 percent of the Chinese online population used Sina’s Weibo.
Everyone is using Weibo
Chinese internet users, especially the Generation Z group, often use Weibo to discover the trendy brands and the latest promotions from key opinion leaders. Each day, there are around 130 million words and 1.5 million videos and live streaming published in the platform (321028). Many journalists, celebrities, and brands consider the microblogging site as one of the effective promotions and marketing channels in China. In 2018, over 70 percent of Sina’s 2.11 million U.S. dollars revenue was generated from the advertising and marketing on Weibo. Amid the booming live streaming and video advertising in China, there is still plenty of room for Weibo to grow.
Number of Sina Weibo users in China from 2017 to 2021
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eMarketer. (November 8, 2018). Number of Sina Weibo users in China from 2017 to 2021 (in millions) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved June 26, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/941456/china-number-of-sina-weibo-users/
eMarketer. "Number of Sina Weibo users in China from 2017 to 2021 (in millions)." Chart. November 8, 2018. Statista. Accessed June 26, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/941456/china-number-of-sina-weibo-users/
eMarketer. (2018). Number of Sina Weibo users in China from 2017 to 2021 (in millions). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: June 26, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/941456/china-number-of-sina-weibo-users/
eMarketer. "Number of Sina Weibo Users in China from 2017 to 2021 (in Millions)." Statista, Statista Inc., 8 Nov 2018, https://www.statista.com/statistics/941456/china-number-of-sina-weibo-users/
eMarketer, Number of Sina Weibo users in China from 2017 to 2021 (in millions) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/941456/china-number-of-sina-weibo-users/ (last visited June 26, 2022)