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Setting the Scene in China An Overview of the Social and Digital Landscape
Social Media in China: An Overview There are around 600 million Internet users in China; this makes it the largest Internet market in the world. Chinese internet users, including important audiences for UKVI, are turning to one another for new ideas and fresh information. Social media provides a platform for these conversations, through bulletin board systems (BBS), blogs, WIKIs, Q&A platforms, microblogs, and social networks. Due to government restrictions, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many other international social media players are inaccessible in mainland China. In their place a number of domestic equivalents have thrived. In many ways these Chinese sites are clones of their foreign counterparts, yet as we will see there are a number of important differences.
Social Media in China: An Overview Microblogs (Weibo) Microblogs, better known as Weibo, are the leading platforms among general audiences in China. These function similarly to Twitter, but with more multimedia functionality. Sina Weibo, the leader, has more than 140 million monthly active users. WeChat WeChat, with 400m+ users, is a mobile instant messaging service similar to What’sApp that features social functionality similar to Twitter. WIKI and Q&A Platforms With over 2 million entries, Baidu Wiki is an important source of information in China. Less authoritative, but equally popular with over 1 billion views per month, are Chinese Q&A platforms. Social Networks RenRen and Kaixin functioned similarly to Facebook in the West, yet due to the rise of Weibo and WeChat are fading in relevance. Weibo Baidu WIKI & CN Wikipedia