The Special Chinese Social Networks Landcape 

What are the most used platforms in China? Here are the Top 10 Chinese social networks, we will see what are their characteristics, functions and opportunities for each social network.

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1. Tencent QQ : Chinese still use QQ to chat


What is the success of this application ?

QQ is the largest user base. There are about one billion monthly active users.

What is its special feature ?

The platform includes instant messaging with other online services such as blogs, micro blogs, games, email, and online payment.

How brands can benefit from this social network ?

To promote their brands, local and international brands use the QQ Zone to interact with its consumers. For example, in July 2014, the great Chinese Xiaomi phone brand has launched a campaign on the exclusive sale of its Smartphone called “Hongmi”.

To attract the attention of its customers or potential customers, brands will send messages via QQ Mail, access to “social graph data” that will allow them to take advantage of fan followers and networks, share information in interest groups.

2. Wechat : the leader Mobile APP

Wechat in china

What is the success of this application?

WeChat is no longer a simple application to communicate, it is a multifunction platform. Users can order a taxi, book a table at a restaurant, a plane ticket, make money transfers, make investments, make online purchases and much more. WeChat has evolved and very apart from its competitors by becoming a versatile and practical for the Chinese. More than 8 billion red envelopes were sent via WeChat Wallet during the Chinese New Year 2016. The application was able to do more transactions in this period that all Papypal transactions in 2015.

What is its special feature ?

WeChat is a platform combining instant messages with e-Commerce market. WeChat users are very keen of activities based on an application, pay directly, or go shopping it.

How brands can benefit from this social network ?

Many brands use WeChat to promote their brands. From top brands like Tiffany & Co., Burberry, L’Oréal Paris use this platform to communicate with customers.

They set up HTML5 pages, minis sites for a specific use on WeChat. To keep data on its customer base, brands distribute loyalty cards allowing customers to take advantage of promotions as a member, earn points but also they can find shops close to home. The last thing is the use of opinion leaders: they can represent the brand in a community and influence the opinion of the consumer.

3. Sina Weibo : for stars & Buzz

Weibo logo

What is the success of this application?

Sina Weibo, often called the “Chinese Twitter” is appreciated by many companies, organizations, public figures and celebrities. In the same principle as Twitter, Weibo will tell the latest news to second.

What is its special feature ?

Weibo is a unique platform in the sense that it allowed the Chinese community to express themselves, to open the debate. Similarly, the police and local authorities have set up Weibo accounts in order to communicate with the public and receive feedback.
Although Weibo is often compared to Twitter, Weibo offers more features than the US giant. Weibo offers a microblogging platform: here it is possible to write longer posts, post up to 10,000 characters and can be customized by changing the font and size. It is also possible to add images and videos in the type of message, or surveys and share files.
All brands of the world wishing to operate in China must have a Weibo account to communicate with the Chinese community. The most followed accounts are those celebrities such as footballer David Beckham almost 6 million followers.

How brands can benefit from this social network ?

In May 2015, the famous American brand Tommy Hilfiger published content about his show in Beijing for his birthday 30 years. This marketing campaign was a success: the conversations around this event has grown 2000% on their official Weibo account, increasing user engagement of 1.900%. The Tommy Hilfiger shop in Beijing has grown by 21% in its turnover and on its online store in China, sales doubled.
Weibo has the advantage of highlighting the commitment regarding the brand to their customers, but also is a key area for brands and their customers to interact together.
Moreover, brands can rely on accounts of opinion leaders, that they have their own base of followers. They can convince them to become potential customers for your brand.

4. Baidu Tieba for exchange ideas

Baidu tieba

What is the success of this application?

Baidu Baidu Tieba belongs to the group, the most used search engine in China. Baidu Tieba is one of the biggest communications forum in China.

What is its special feature ?

This is a social network as a forum engine and is based on keywords. Tieba has the largest online community in China, with over 200 million accounts and more than 8 million forums. Through keywords, users can initiate discussions. It’s simple to use and it is not necessary to have an account to see the content. Tieba can provide good visibility for your site if a discussion was initiated on.

How brands can benefit from this social network ?

Brands can use this platform to be more visible and known to users. If the mark is the subject of several discussions it will attract the attention of users who will be curious about the brand. Among the most popular discussions, there are the online games. For example the page of “the World of Warcraft” has more than 6 million users.
Through Tieba, brands can use several techniques: launch targeted ads using interest groups or community pages; communicate with users and gain their trust by sharing high quality content; it is also possible to monitor the discussions and censoring inappropriate messages that may be lacking in the brand.

5. Douban : the clever community


What is the success of this application?

Douban is a social network that gathers opinions and recommendations of movies, books. personal opinions of other consumers who have already tested the product are very important to Chinese customers. It is therefore essential for a brand to leave a positive impression to consumers to increase their chances of receiving new customers.

What is its special feature ?

Users will share their views, opinions on topics such as music, movies, free, events. It is a popular platform in the middle-class, as Douban gathers different impressions of each one and also it is a way to learn about the current lifestyle in China. It’s simple to use and it is not necessary to have an account to view content.

How brands can benefit from this social network ?

Major brands of luxury and creativity of brands are present on this platform.
Montblanc German manufacturer is one of the brands that made a success on Douban with over 400,000 visits their page.
The success of this social network is based on word of mouth, users will leave their opinions, notes on the products and services they were lucky or not to use.
The strategy of the Online to Offline works pretty well too: brands can organize events that are likely to attract the interest of users, inviting them to discover the brand through discussion groups and fan pages.
Douban enables interaction between brands and consumers on the various discussion pages or the official pages of the brands.
Finally, Douban is a good tool to identify current trends, it was said a little earlier that the lifestyle is an important point in this platform. And brands can benefit by drawing on what Chinese consumers want.

Further readings :

Social Media in Fashion industry in China 

10 new million users of social networks every month in China

Mistakes on Social Media in China

Tencent the leader of SNS in China

These Social Networks are Dying but are in 2015 in the Top 10 !


6. Renren is dying

renren logo

What is the success of this application?

Renren was a social network very similar to Facebook in both appearance and in functionality. This social network is from the first generation of Chinese social network, now with nearly 100 million active users every month. It was founded in 2005 by a group of students, and was one of the first social networks to register in China. Renren has still difficulties to compete with other social networks in China, so he turned instead to an online gaming portal.

What is its special fature ?

Most users are students, in fact before making its official name, Renren was called “Xiaonei” ( “on campus”). It is often compared to the American social network Facebook. You can learn more about the competitors of Facebook in China in this article.

How brands can benefit from this social network ?

Popular brands such as Coca-Cola and Budweiser have their official account on Renren. Brands can use Renren to generate publicity, targeting the right consumers can provide an effective message.
Brands can also create games to interact with users. For example in 2010 Dell has launched a campaign with an online game with a promotional coupon. Points earned in the game could buy Dell products.

7. Pengyou is really small


Pengyou (“Friends” in English) is a Chinese social network founded in 2010, it allows users to connect to other people and in appearance much like Facebook.



Kaixin a Chinese social network that can be considered a competitor of Facebook, offers online games, users can share videos, photos and content such as Facebook. People using the more this application are rather young Chinese graduates and executives.

9. Jiayuan


In China, dating sites such as Tinder are blocke but here is Jiayuan the most popular online dating site in China.

10. Dian Dian

Dian Dian is a social platform as a blog which allows users to share messages, videos, photos and other content.

More information :

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