In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about the most popular Chinese social media platforms.

Social media platforms from the western world are blocked in China. Facebook, Twitter, and video-sharing platforms such as Youtube are not allowed. This ban makes the Chinese social media ecosystem unique.

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First, let us introduce you to the biggest social media sites in China. (How big they are, and how they work).

And how successful brands are using them to push sales to Chinese consumers with their smart Chinese social media marketing strategies.

Finally, we will also answer the question: What is the perfect platform for you? 

Heads up: It depends on two main factors: Your industry, and your goals.

Let’s dive in.

Most Popular Social Media Platforms in China

  1. Wechat
  2. Sina Weibo
  3. Douyin (Tiktok)
  4. Little Red Book (XiaoHongShu)
  5. Kuaishou 
  6. QQ
  7. Douban
  8. Youku
  9. Bilibili
  10. Baidu Tieba
  11. Zhihu
  12. Toutiao
  13. Meituan Dianping

Contents

WECHAT – CHINA’S SUPER APP

WeChat (Weixin) has a unique place in Chinese social media landscape. But in reality, it has become much more than just an app.

Let me show you why.

WECHAT INTERESTING DATA CHINA TOP SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM

WHAT IS WECHAT?

Wechat started out as an instant messaging app for Chinese mobile users.

It is often compared to Facebook, for its dominant position. And to Whatsapp for its chat-focus look and feel, as it’s a platform primarily focused on messages. But the comparison stops there.

Unveiled by Tencent, the creator of QQ, the “Chinese MSN”. Wechat has grown to become the world’s (not just China’s) biggest super-app, with more than 750 million average daily active users.

It is a whole ecosystem on its own. With WeChat you can:

  • Chat messaging
  • Make Audio call and video call
  • Create videos on Wechat Channels
  • Payment in both physical stores and online(Wechat Pay)
  • Moments (create content, share text, images and videos)
  • You can do online shopping, there are stores on Wechat
  • Ordering services (such as Taxi) or Food Deliveries
  • Ect.

We won’t post the whole list of features available here, but you get the point: Wechat is massive. Not only by its never-ending list of features but by its incredible scale.

Wechat facts & User Statistics

Wechat Users Account 2020
Wechat Users: Data from Statista.com & WeChat Annual Report
  • WeChat reached 1.26 billion monthly active users in 2022 (Basically the whole Chinese internet population)
  • Messages:38 billion messages are exchanged daily, almost like WhatsApp (55 billion)
  • Videos: 68M videos are uploaded every day on WeChat
  • 330 millions monthly active users for video calling
  • Mini-programs: Over 450 million active users per month
  • Weight of mini-programs:70+ million mini-programs (95% of e-commerce brands have one)
  • Average time spent: Chinese users spend 82 minutes on WeChat daily
  • Frequency of daily use: 60% of WeChat users open the app more than 10 times a day
  • Number of WeChat official accounts: 20+ million accounts

WeChat for Business: Best Features for Wechat Marketing

As we saw, everybody in China is on Wechat. And that’s not a figure of speech. This means if a company has any ambition toward the Chinese market, they need to be in it.

The central place Wechat has in Chinese users’ lives also means they spend a lot of time within the app, particularly on mobile phones. That opens great opportunities for branding & social media marketing in China.

Here are the main ways overseas companies do business on WeChat.

Wechat Official Accounts

WeChat Official Accounts are the Chinese equivalent of a brand’s Facebook page. They provide a way for businesses to communicate directly with their Chinese audience.

According to recent research, 49% of the WeChat users would share an article on their moment if they believe it’s useful. Publishing valuable and compelling content on Wechat can:

  • enhance your brand image
  • increase customer engagement and convert your followers into buyers. Among all forms of content, video format proves to be the most popular and effective on Wechat
  • Give you access to all marketing tool on the #1 Chinese social media platform.

One of the main points of Wechat business accounts is that they allow you to share and push content to your Chinese followers.

But they also open a wide range of additional services such as the ability to create a store on WeChat, manage customer service, and so on.

WeChat mini-programs

WeChat mini-programs are essentially apps within the WeChat app. They enable more advanced features than what is available in the standard WeChat app.

This includes things like ordering food, making appointments and paying for goods and services.

They are becoming increasingly popular in China, as they offer a way to do more without having to leave the WeChat app. This makes them very convenient and user-friendly.

HTML5 campaigns

Brands can create different HTML5 campaigns such as games, quizzes, and voting… to boost engagement from followers or to create sales directly.

Also, sales letters and other promotional documents can be shared easily on Wechat in an HTML5 format.

KOLs Promotion

Key Opinions Leader’s campaigns are a very common way to promote products in China. Brands leverage popular Wechat accounts of KOLs who have huge followings to spread the message. This is a technique we will see being used over and over in every single Chinese social media platform.

Wechat Advertising

Like all China Social Media, Wechat has a paid promotion option. Wechat ads include Moment ads (shown on Moments) and banner ads (blended into targeted articles) to increase the reach of brands.

wechat ad

Check out our WeChat paid ads guide. It’d give you a more detailed understanding of WeChat’s advertising and growth.

Wrap-up – You need to be on Wechat

Wechat is the biggest social network in China. You need to be on it, this is a no-brainer. It is in fact so big and integrated into Chinese people’s lives that it is in a category of its own.

It gives you a direct channel of communication with the Chinese audience and your potential customers. 

So if WeChat is the biggest and most popular social media platform in China, why bother with the others? 

The catch is that while massive in scale, Wechat is not necessarily the best place to promote to Chinese consumers.

But as an advertising platform, it is somewhat limited. Its business model is not reliant on ads revenue. Consequently, it isn’t the platform’s main focus. 

The rest of our list is, however, much keener in getting your ad budget.

SINA WEIBO – The chinese Twitter?

Weibo has long been called the “Chinese Twitter”, but in 2022 it is fair to say that it has very much grown past its western inspiration. But can it be considered the largest communication platform in China?

WHAT IS SINA WEIBO?

Weibo is one of the oldest Chinese social media sites. The micro-blogging platform describes itself as an open social media platform. More than Wechat where people not only post, share and interact but also get updated on trends and news. 

SINA WEIBO DATA OF TOP CHINESE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

This is the place for content to go viral and for KOLs to build their online communities.

Sina Weibo facts & User Statistics

  • Weibo active users: 573 million (2022)
  • Daily active users: 249 million (2022)
  • 94% are mobile users (400+ millions)
  • Created in 2009
  • 82% of Weibo users shop online

Social Media Marketing on Sina Weibo

Like most platforms in the Chinese social media space, Weibo has been monetized and as such offers marketing tools that are available through business accounts. 

Like its counterpart in the western world, Weibo can be used for corporate communication and announcements. In fact, if there is one app on top of WeChat where companies create official accounts, it is Sina Weibo. 

Chinese Social Media - Weibo Paid Ads

However, this social media app has been known to have fake users and followers. Something to be careful about when building your own followers base and hiring KOLs. Finding the relevant users within the Chinese consumer is key to social interaction, and to your brand’s success with social media marketing.

Content marketing on Weibo

Like on any Chinese social media, brands can create their accounts and post interesting content to attract and engage followers. Once articles are read by a certain number of users, they can gain popularity on the hot-topic or super-topic community forums.

Videos and live streaming

Weibo has its own live stream platform, called Yizhibo live, which quickly rose to popularity after its release. It has attracted KOLs and celebrities to do product and service promotions.

E-commerce integration 

Brands can link Taobao stores and products in their posts. With many users already having Alipay linked to their Weibo accounts, they can purchase featured products with just one click. Therefore, Weibo can be very effective in driving online sales.

Weibo stories 

One of the most recent features on Weibo is the stories feature. It’s very similar to Instagram stories but as of now, only verified official accounts can post a story.

Sina Weibo Paid to advertise

As a social networking platform, Weibo is great but the app is much more than that from a pure marketing point of view as its native ads system is well developed. The varied public allows marketers to reach various niches at a reasonable price.

Little Red Book / XiaoHongShu – The Chinese Instagram

Xiaohongshu is also called Little Red Book. Or sometimes even just “Red”, for short.

XIAO HONG SHU CHINESE SOCIAL MEDIA ECOMMERCE PLATFORM FOR BEAUTY AND LIFESTYLE BRANDS

What is XiaoHongShu (Little Red Book)?

Xiaohongshu is a Chinese social media app that’s similar to Instagram. It’s mainly used by young people in China to share photos and videos of the clothes they’re wearing, the food they’re eating, and the places they’re visiting.

This social media is a great tool if you need to market to Chinese women. Why? Because 80% of the community on Xiaohongshu are women.

XiaoHongShu facts & User Statistics

  • Created in 2013
  • Over 300 millions registered users
  • 150 millions monthly active users in 2022
  • 85% Women audience
  • Young Audience, 70%+ of users are Millennials
  • Wealthier audience, ​​over half of users live in 1st and 2nd Tiers Cities (Shanghai, Beijing etc.)
  • Has e-commerce capabilities within the platform

Social Media Marketing on Little Red Book

Few platforms offer such a complete, self-contained, and focused ecosystem as XiaoHongShu. The Chinese social media platform primarily focuses on UGC (user-generated content) but also offers a variety of tools to both its users and brands as follows:

Chinese Social Media and Kols - RED Shopping Notes

E-Commerce

You can create your shop on XiaoHongShu and sell your products directly to Chinese consumers. The most popular sectors that work on the platform are:

  • Lifestyle products
  • Beauty and Cosmetics
  • Travel and Food
  • Health and Well-being
  • Maternity

If your business is in one of those industries it can be a great alternative (and a cheaper one too) to bigger marketplaces such as Tmall.

Chinese influencer marketing (KOL Campaigns)

As Instagram does, Xiao Hong Shu is filled with influencers monetizing their audiences. The difference with some other platforms such as Weibo is that here you have them listed and available within Little Red Book itself. 

The fact that the social media company is directly involved in this business helps to avoid some of the pitfalls that sometimes happen when dealing with influencers.

Official Xiaohongshu Business Accounts

You can create your own company account and share your own content. Having a business account gives you access to the app KOL network but also to their integrated eCommerce feature. On top of that, all reviews can be linked directly to your verified account, great for “recommendation” marketing. 

Advertising

The platform offers several types of ads to show promotional offers. Mainly those take the form of banners and popups. Advertising follows a strict set of rules on the little red book as the app wants to stay loyal to its core: a genuine review.

Wrap-up – why use Xiao Hong Shu?

Little Red Book / XiaoHongShu is a smaller social network compared to some other big names on our list. But it offers a very focused community of young women. 

If that is your target audience, then it might just be the perfect platform for you to invest in.

Douyin – The Chinese TikTok

While other Chinese social media apps source their inspiration from western social media sites, Douyin is different. It is the unicorn of Chinese Social Media that has conquered the World.

What is Douyin?

Douyin is a short video social platform made for creating and sharing short videos with special effects. Relying on user-generated content. 

TikTok is available in over 150 markets, and in 75 languages. ByteDance has also launched Douyin’s

The app is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, which first released Douyin in September 2016 for iOS and Android in China.

Douyin facts & User Statistics

  • #1 short videos platform in the world and in China
  • Created in 2016
  • Monthly active users: over 800 million (2022)
  • Daily active users:over 600 million (2022)
  • The number of users increased by+200% in only 2 years
  • Average time spent on Douyin:45 minuter per day
  • 57% of the Douyin/TikTok worldwide users are in China

Social Media Marketing on Douyin

douyin marketing - top chinese social media

Douyin allows users to create and share creative and trendy short-form videos. Short videos are, unlike long-form videos, optimal for engagement and virality. 

Douyin provides the ability to edit videos with engaging special effects and funny stickers to inspire its users to produce more and share more of these kinds of funny short videos with their friends.

Brands can use content marketing to attract users. However, a brand’s content has to carry the right tone to be a good fit for the platform and must not be intrusive. 

Some brands (Airbnb, Harbin Beer, and Chevrolet) collaborate with Douyin influencers to share their brands (through content that appears in the user’s information stream) in a way that is consistent with both the Douyin tone and brands’ personalities.

Customized challenges on Douyin are an effective way to create a social buzz for brands: Douyin is really great at creating challenges for users to engage and prove their creativity. This tactic incentivizes mass participation and results in the social buzz that can connect users to brands more effectively.

Douyin also offer brands the opportunity to have a business account that comes with many benefits such as access to paid advertising tools, better visibility, and the possibility to publish longer visibility than regular users’ account.

Kuaishou – TikTok’s Innovative Challenger

Kuaishou is Douyin’s main competitor in China. It has gained momentum in China’s lower-tier cities and is now starting to close the gap with the bigger players.

What is Kuaishou?

Kuaishou is one of China’s leading social media platforms, thanks to its innovative and surprisingly addictive short video feature. The app allows users to share quick, 15-second clips of their everyday lives with friends and strangers alike.  

While it may not be as well-known as some of the other major Chinese social media apps outside of China, Kuaishou has a strong user base within the country – second only to TikTok in terms of active monthly users. 

Kuaishou facts & User Statistics

  • Founded in 2011
  • Over 500 millions registered users
  • Over 300 millions daily active users
  • Pre-dominant in lower-tiers cities
  • Very well integrated with e-commerce platforms
  • Short user generated content.

Social Media Marketing on Kuaishou

As a social media, video, and live streaming platform, Kuaishou offers many tools that both brands and influencers can leverage to grow their reach in the Chinese market and more specifically 3rd and 4th tier cities. 

Online Paid advertising in China - Kuaishou Display Paid Ads

Does Kuaishou have an official account option for companies, organizations, and influencers? The answer is yes. Just like Douyin, you have different types of official accounts for different types of organizations. 

The main benefits of having official accounts are:

  • Increased visibility & credibility with a verified “icon” on your profile picture.
  • Ecommerce integration
  • Access to marketing tools such as paid ads.

The two most efficient ways to promote a brand on Kuaishou are: 

  • Through influencer partnerships. You can find popular KuaiShou influencers in your industry and partner with them to promote your brand on the platform.
  • By running ads. Just like its competitors Douyin, Kuaishou has a precise targeting algorithm, making it a great place to advertise through paid ads. These paid ads can link to varied landing pages outside of Kuaishou, such as your ecommerce store. For instance Kuaishou has partnerships with famous Chinese online retailers such as JDcom.

Wrap-up – Why use Kuaishou?

Kuaishou is a great alternative to Douyin for short videos. In 2020, Kuaishou reached 300 million daily users and a total of 20 billion videos uploaded on the platform. Today, the way we sell online with videos is evolving fast and you need to stay up-to-date with all the existing social media.

QQ – The Chinese MSN (Still Kicking!)

This might be the biggest Chinese social platform you have never heard of.

QQ-Social-Media-China

What is QQ?

QQ is a Chinese instant messaging software app. It was created in 1999 by Tencent, and it became very popular in China. Similar to MSN messenger, QQ allows users to communicate with each other via text, voice, and video chat. 

It also includes features such as games, shopping, and music downloads.

At launch, QQ was just a simple instant messenger. Today, you can play online games, send and receive emails and large files, share Snapchat-style disappearing videos and animations, and join online groups of like-minded individuals. 

You can also stream music, find a partner via QQ’s dating service, and use the Facebook-like Qzone for sharing with friends and reading their posts in your news feed.

QQ facts & User Statistics

  • QQ was launched in 1999 (5 years before Facebook!)
  • #2 most popular messages app after WeChat
  • QQ monthly active users:660 million (2020)
  • Daily messages:13.6 billion
  • Time spent online by post-90s generation:3h48 per day
Chinese Social Media: QQ type of users

How to use QQ for your Chinese Social Media Strategy?

Most of the trendy Chinese social media platforms target the urban online population from first-tier cities. QQ’s demographics trend towards the young and unsophisticated. 60% are under 30 years old and come from 2nd and 3rd tier cities. This population has a strong consumption potential as they have an increased purchasing power and actively participate in the economy. 

They also tend to spend more time on online entertainment/Chinese social media and are more willing to try new stuff. Brands can use QQ to engage with younger and future generations of consumers.

QQ is also popular in the workplace. They like its ease of use and facility for transmitting large files like images and video. White-collar workers use QQ for daily communication and file transferring instead of email.

Many celebrities also use QQ and Qzone to communicate with fans. Chinese boy band TFBoys boasts 42 million QQ followers.

QQ group chats allow users of the same interests to connect and brands to run targeted campaigns

QQ shopping enables users to browse products from JD.com and purchase them easily.

 Chinese social media users might not consider QQ their favorite platform, but it is likely that they are still using it in some capacity.

Douban – The Platform for Art and Culture

A simple yet powerful platform.

Douban-App-Animation

What is Douban?

Douban is a Chinese social networking platform that allows users to connect with like-minded people, discover new friends and acquaintances, and exchange ideas and information. 

The site was founded in 2005 by three university students in Beijing who were passionate about the potential of the internet to bring people together. 

Since then, it has grown into one of China’s most popular online communities, with over 200 million registered users.

The name “Douban” comes from a Chinese idiom that literally means “to criticize books.” This reflects the founder’s mission to create a platform for people to share their opinions and ideas freely. Within the limits of what is allowed by the Chinese government.

Mainly focused on culture (books, movies, art, etc.)

Douban facts & User Statistics

  • Founded in 2005
  • Over 300 millions monthly active users most are non registered users
  • 180 millions registered users
  • UGC (users generated content) based

Social Media Marketing on Douban

It is unlikely that the lion’s share of your budget will go to Douban. Of all the Chinese social media platforms available, Douban is rather a niche. 

While 180 million registered users might seem like a huge number. It is but a fraction of the overall Chinese population, making it short of the mainstream.

Most of its audience live in wealthy cities, are young, active, and are degree holders interested in culture. If this is your target audience, or you operate in the cultural industry, then this is an alternative avenue worth checking. 

In terms of marketing actions, you can take the app is limited as it only offers banner ads. However, this is also a blessing in hiding. The lack of paid and branded content allows organic content to bloom and offer a more natural feel to the user’s experience. 

What does it mean exactly? It means that the content produced on Douban is more likely to be trustworthy and meaningful than content posted on Weibo for instance. 

This makes Douban a great platform for undercover marketing where you can slowly work on your reputation and “word of mouth”. 

What else? Douban now has an integrated eCommerce function where brands can display their products and Chinese users purchase them directly from the app.

YOUKU – The Chinese Youtube

Youku is not the first site you’ll think about when it comes to Chinese social media platforms, but the video-sharing site has its niche to fill in the Chinese market.

What is Youku?

Youku is often called the Youtube of China. Yes, like Youtube, it is a video hosting service. In China, Youku is one of the most important online video and streaming service platforms. 

The unique point of Youku is that it offers long-form videos. Despite the emergence of short video and live streaming platforms, longer videos are still preferred when users want to gain deeper knowledge, learn about a topic, or watch the news.

There is definitely still life in long-form video. It’s more searchable and appealing if you want to learn something or have a fuller experience with a content creator.

Youku facts & User Statistics

  • Monthly active users: 500 million (2020)
  • Daily active users: 39.6 million(2020)
  • Daily video views: 1.18 billion video views (2020)
  • Average visit duration: 4min24 (2020)

Social Media Marketing on Youku

Advertising

Youku can help you reach out to a wider audience. It is a widely accessible media platform with tons of views every day. 

This is a great social media to promote digital ads. You can use the pre-roll ads, the post-roll ads, or even the banner ads. Your advertising will be displayed while the user is watching a video, which will increase your brand visibility. 

Indeed, Youku wisely selects a target audience depending on the content they used to be interested in.

Positive exposure

For Chinese digital lovers, Youku is considered a premium video platform. If your brand is visible on this platform, users will discover your brand in a positive way. 

You are linked to the quality of the support and users will trust your brand.

Website visibility 

Youku is a great tool to increase brand awareness and loyalty. It offers great exposure for your brand via video content and drives traffic to your website. Chinese netizens cannot necessarily find your website, especially if you have a bad Baidu SEO. So, having visibility on Youku will help you increase your conversion rate and your sales.

Bilibili – The Chinese Youtube, also?

Bilibili could be overlooked by some as yet-another youtube-clone. But its initial focus on Chinese youth and its subcultures and community features has made it one of the most interesting Chinese social media platforms to explore for advertisers.

Videos about Genshin Impact on Bilibili

What is Bilibili?

Bilibili is a short video platform in China that allows users to share and upload videos. The site is also popular for its unique visual style and community-based features. 

Most of the videos on Bilibili are fan-made. And the site is especially popular amongst young adults. Initially focused on anime-related content and video games lovers. 

Now a wider range has joined the platform to consume videos, notably Korean drama, and other trendy shows, not always welcome by mainstream Chinese media.

In recent years, Bilibili has become one of the most popular video-sharing platforms in China, with over 600 million monthly active users.

Why is Bilibili Different? – The Community Virality

Unlike YouTube or TikTok, the promotion of a video is not based on a specific algorithm to boost visibility. It is all about community (pop culture junkies ;)) and recommendations, a great opportunity depending on your local strategy.

Bilibili facts & User Statistics

  • Years of Launched: 2009
  • Monthly active users: 237 million (2021)
  • Average age of Bilibili users: 21
  • Monthly active users Mobile: 220 million (2021)
  • Users under 35 years old: 80% (2021)
  • Average daily videos views: 514 million (2021)

Social Media Marketing on Bilibili

Bilibili offers brands the traditional social media way to promote themselves:

  • Creation of a Bilibili Brand account for your business
  • Strong integration between Bilibili and e-commerce platforms to push sales
  • influencers (KOL) campaigns with Bilibili Sparkle
  • Advertising with ads placement

Wrap-up – Why use Bilibili?

This is a trending and engaging platform. Bilibili has its own DNA when compared to other Chinese social media platforms. It comes to the content that is shared on it. If you target mainly a younger audience then our advice is to first collaborate with a KOL that knows how to navigate the platforms and their codes. 

If you’re having a positive response, then you can go forward with investing more in the platform.

Don’t be that boring company that copies/pastes its Youku content.

Baidu’s Tieba The Chinese Reddit?

The largest interest-based Chinese online community. 

What is Baidu Tieba?

Baidu Tieba is an online community that was created by Baidu, a Chinese web services company. It’s similar to other online communities like Reddit or 4chan, where users can post content and discuss things with others. 

However, one unique thing about Baidu Tieba is that it’s organized around specific topics, called “bars.” So, if you’re interested in discussing a certain topic, you can go to that bar and find other people who are also interested in that topic.

Baidu-Tieba - chinese social media and forums

Baidu Tieba facts & User Statistics

  • Social network created by Baidu in December 2003
  • Forum platform to encourage users to share opinions and comments
  • Registered users:1.5 billion people (2020)
  • Monthly active users:300 million (2020)
  • Topic boards:8.2 million

Tieba is essentially a BBS (bulletin board system) or online community where users can search or create a forum (or “bar”) by simply entering a query within the search bar. If the forum doesn’t exist yet, there will be one automatically created from the query. The concept of ‘forums’ is an old one, but is often overlooked by Chinese social media platforms.

Social Media Marketing on Baidu Tieba

One of the things that make Tieba so great compared to other Chinese social media is that the topics can be hyper-specific; anything from niche video games to types of cell phone cases can be a “bar” (topic).

One thing to keep in mind is that Tieba doesn’t allow ads. So make sure to keep your posting as informative as possible and try not to include too many links.

forum marketing china - baidu-tieba-thailand-sub-forums-tourism-china-marketing

Users, especially businesses, can create their own content and target specific niche groups through the platform. Businesses can post on a range of topics and utilize the platform to engage with other users. 

This is what makes it so popular for many social media marketers in China.

Using this platform correctly can help develop an organic presence in China without paid advertising. This platform can be very useful for businesses that have good brand awareness in China, yet have little presence on Chinese social media platforms. 

It can also be a powerful tool for collecting feedback from Chinese netizens.

ZHIHU – The Chinese Quora

China’s biggest Questions and Answers website. And a big resource for Chinese internet users to turn to when making 

zhihu data chinese social media

What is Zhihu?

Zhihu, the Chinese version of Quora, is a popular online Q & A and social platform in China.

Zhihu was attracted from the beginning to the social elites like lawyers, independent consultants, IT professionals, and entrepreneurs who want to share their specialties with others and gain wisdom in return.

Besides, Zhihu gave high authority on answers that get the most upvotes and they don’t order the answers by time series. 

This also helps encourage people to get serious about answering. In these ways, Zhihu has maintained high trustworthiness among users.

Zhihu facts & User Statistics

  • Registered accounts:220million (2020)
  • Daily active users:34 million (2020)
  • Monthly active users: 94 million (2021)
  • Number question and answers shared: 315 million (2020)

Social Media Marketing on Zhihu

Users on Zhihu are promising consumers because Zhihu’s user base is high income, high consumption, and highly educated people.

Actually, 30% of Zhihu users make more than 10,000 RMB per month.

Free SEO option; This is due to the high domain authority Zhihu has on mainstream search engines like Baidu and Sogou. 

Whenever a keyword is searched on Baidu, you can always see a Zhihu Q&A (if has) on the first SERP. In this way, a brand can also get some free rides on SEO.

Long-term branding for brands; Zhihu’s voting mechanism enables good content to last. Many brands say even today they can get upvotes on the posts/answers that were published in 2011. Long-term branding will work very well on this platform.

KOLs promotion: Similar to what happened on other Chinese social media, top contributors on Zhihu have managed to gain massive followings on the platform thanks to their in-depth answers. Collaborating with these top contributors can help brands reach Chinese consumers and cultivate a sense of trust from Zhihu users.s

Native advertising: Zhihu has an “arsenal” of paid publishing tools that are extremely well integrated within the organic content.

Some don’t consider Zhihu as one of the Chinese social media platforms. But the importance put by the site on social interaction makes it one in our opinion.

TOUTIAO – The Hottest Chinese News, Information & Entertainment Platform

Toutiao, which literally means “Today’s Headlines”, is an emerging mobile platform for content creation, aggregation, and distribution, featured by machine learning techniques. Of the various social media platforms we saw, it might be the most singular.

Toutiao Social Media China Strategy Agency

What is Toutiao?

Toutiao is a news and information content platform, founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. It is one of the most popular apps in China, with over 120 million daily active users.

Toutiao aggregates news and videos from a wide range of sources, including traditional media outlets, online publications, blogs, and major Chinese social media sites such as Weibo and WeChat.

 It has been praised for its sophisticated algorithms that personalize content for each user. In 2017, Toutiao was acquired by Bytedance for $US2 billion.

Toutiao “intelligent news feed”

The most significant selling point of Toutiao is its “intelligent news feed”, where artificial intelligence and machine learning software tailor and bring audience content based on their unique interests and browsing history. 

Its AI-powered information/content platform means, that the more people use it, the more data people can contribute. The more data people contribute, the better-fit content they will see, then the more frequently people use it.

Toutiao facts & User Statistics

  • Daily active users:260 million (2020)
  • Average app opening by user:9 times per day
  • Average time spent on Toutiao:76 minutes per day
  • #1 intelligent content distribution platform in China
  • Number of accounts:1.1 million
  • Daily content views:4.2 billion

Social Media Marketing on Toutiao?

Targeted advertising

Imagine obtaining access to Toutiao’s huge database of engaged users, hungering for new information. 

Placing advertisements on the platform or releasing advertorials can have exceptional effects on brands. Often, ads appear in the feed with no specification. There is a strong culture of clicking on ads on Toutiao because users see them as more trustworthy and useful. 

You can have access to a daily 650 million people base with a higher ROI on your targeted ads.

Baidu SEO Push strategy 

Brands can also register an account on Toutiao to publish quality content and gain followers. Various renowned news firms such as CCTV news and People.cn have joined to seek greater exposure through the platform. 

Why? 

Because the platform is not based on search queries but on content promotion. In a word, it is a Push strategy rather than a Pull strategy. 

You can perform by using HTML 5 or lead generation, which would help you reach a cost per impression (CPI) of 20-25 RMB.

Q&A opportunity

On the platform, Toutiao launched a Q&A channel. If you follow us for some time, you may have understood how important forums are for Chinese netizens. 

They love to spend time on their phone, reading opinions and recommendations on several topics. On Toutiao Q&A, users can share their experiences and interact with others. The AI of the platform goes even further! Depending on their answers on the Q&A channel, Toutiao will highlight new content in the user’s feed.

Entertaining content

Toutiao is owned by ByteDance. You know this group right? The famous holder of TikTok & Douyin that we talked about earlier.

We decided to add Toutiao to our list of Chinese social media because the app is using the same business model of entertainment and addictive content. 

The platform is not like any other content platform based on intelligent but boring content. Toutiao promotes smart and entertaining content. What is the direct impact? For your brand, you will increase your brand awareness and obtain a higher engagement.

Meituan Dianping -The Reviews and Comments Social Media App

A multi-facet platform. The first place internet users go to reviews and comment on shops and services. Not only in the Chinese market but also abroad!

Chinese Social Media Review app - Dianping

What is Dianping?

Meituan Dianping is China’s leader in O2O (offline-to-online) services, creating a one-stop super app for a range of services, from haircuts, manicures, and massages, to movie tickets, food delivery, and hotel bookings.

The company is the current golden egg of Tencent. Yes, you’re right, the supergiant Tencent, which owns WeChat! 

Meituan Dianping is the fusion of the former food delivery service Meituan (2010) and the former restaurant reviews app Dianping (2013). 

Thanks to this fusion, businesses can reach out to Meituan Dianping’s huge database through advertisements. They can choose from a wide range of services including SEO, image promotion, URL promotion, and website ads offered by the platform.

What are the services available on Meituan Dianping?

  • Meituan Waimai– The food delivery service like Deliveroo or UberEats in Europe
  • Dazhong Dianping– The restaurants’ reference to read reviews and recommendations
  • Meituan– The platform dedicated to group offers and discounts like Groupon in Europe
  • Maoyan– The cinema ticket purchasing platform covering 600 cities in China
  • And many more…

Dianping facts & User Statistics

  • #1 marketplace in China and one of the most innovative companies globally
  • Monthly active users:310 million (2020)
  • Registered merchants:6.3 million (2020)
  • Registered buyers:476 million (2020)
  • Purchasing influence: 1 in 4 Chinese people has made a purchase on the platform
  • Transactions:20 million per day
  • Type of vendors: restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, hair salons, …

Social Media Marketing on Meituan Dianping?

Omnichannel strategy

Meituan Dianping benefits from a strong customer base and app ecosystem. As you have seen they cover many daily needs from food to entertainment. 

Indeed, the platform is successful thanks to an omnichannel strategy. 80% of the users who make a hotel reservation on MD have already used the platform to order food in the past. Chinese people are more likely to use this platform as it combines all they need on a daily basis.

Location targeting 

With its enormous customer base, Meituan Dianping benefits from a large database. This social media uses the location, preferences, and habits of its users.

 It helps the platform to promote restaurants, brands, or content that the user is more likely to prefer. In a word, the app takes care of everything depending on your brand’s assets and products. 

You can have a better engagement and easily increase your ROI.

Database access 

Additionally, like other Chinese social media, Meituan Dianping owns big data of users such as demographics, location, consumption patterns, and preferences. 

By analyzing their target customers and tailor-making their marketing strategies, brands can increase customer loyalty and brand awareness.

Conclusion – What’s the best Chinese Social Media App for you?

As we saw there are many options when it comes to your Chinese social media strategy. Here’s what you should remember. Quick summary of the Chinese social media platforms:

WeChat and Weibo are the most popular Chinese social media. You must be on it no matter what. Mostly compared to Facebook and Twitter in the niche they fill.

XiaoHongShu / Little Red Book is China’s Instagram. A must if you are targeting an audience of young urban women.

Douyin and Kuaishou, short video, mostly geared toward a younger audience. Huge audience and is massively popular.

Youku and Bilibili if you have longer-form video content to share, are the two Chinese Youtube.

Baidu Tieba and Zhihu to build trust and be present in the interest-based communities related to your Brand. Where the discussion on your industry is taking place. Similar to Reddit and Quora respectively.

Toutiao is the news and social media aggregator to reach out to an educated target audience made in the majority of males. Perfect for paid advertising and lead generation campaigns especially in the field of real estate and finance.

Douban is more suitable for brands that are looking for news channels to exploit and a new way to reach out to their target through a more soft marketing strategy. 

Meituan Dianping: The first place Chinese users go for reviews and comments. Amazing for bricks and mortar business, even abroad. And specific industries such as F&B, Travel, entertainment, and so on.

Many other smaller industry-focused social media platforms exist in China. And they could be a great fit for your business.

Ask us – We are Expert in Chinese Social Media 

Social media marketing is a great tool to reach your Chinese audience. Let us help you to craft a cost-efficient Chinese social media strategy.

gma - DIgital Marketing Agency China

Get in touch with us and we will give you:

  • Free one hour consultation call based on your industry and company size
  • Access to our top case studies (that are not shared publicly online)
  • The best social media strategies for your market in China 
  • What similar business are doing successfully in the Chinese market

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12 Comments

  1. Really good article, enjoy all these information.
    Do you have case studies of Campaign on Momo?
    Did it work?
    I always think Tantan is the Chinese Tinder

    1. Momo purchases Tantan last year, and Momo is more now for make Friends as a typical social networks App.
      Nothing special (with dirty background)

  2. Hi
    Really good article, I would like to ask you what is the best socia Media marketing Campaign 2019 of this year?

  3. Why is Chinese social media so important for big brands?
    The answer is in the numbers.

    According to a study by the Chinese government, the country now has 802 million active Internet users, or 57.7% of the Chinese population.

    In comparison, the United States is pale with its 300 million Internet users, which is equivalent to 78.2% of the country’s population. China is offsetting a penetration of the market for the moment lower by a much more significant growth potential.

    Even more interesting, the incredible breakthrough of mobile phones in China: 98% of Chinese Internet users connect to the Internet from mobile devices, compared to only 73% in the United States.

    Mobile users are turning to platforms such as WeChat and Weibo for access to the latest recommendations, testimonials and advice, making Chinese social media more instant and dynamic.

    In addition, this strong penetration of mobile plays a key role in the performance of large-scale connected events, such as Alibaba Singles Day.

  4. Very good article, full of commun sens.
    Can you send me the social Media marketing report that you have 🙂
    I am really interested to discover the best practices in social media for brands in China

  5. Hello
    My name is Julia Wu, I am an international business student from The Netherlands. I am fascinated by your work and I would like to connect on LinkedIn., I add you

    1. Good piece with a lot of common sense.
      Could you please provide me your social media marketing report?
      I’m very interested in learning about China’s top social media techniques for brands.

  6. Chinese social media apps WeChat and Douyin will make its decisions public this month, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The US Commerce Department, which will implement the bans for national security reasons, is drafting documents to clarify the specific transactions that will be prohibited between Chinese companies and US companies – and when those bans go into effect, the people said. .

    It’s unclear whether the bans will go into effect as soon as this publication or whether there will be a transition period to give businesses time to comply.

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