Today’s Ad Age announcement of WPP Group’s purchase of Chinese social media analytics firm CIC was another reminder that no matter how restrictive the Chinese government is (in 2010, over 1,000,000 articles were censored), China’s digital and social media channels are important to all global brands, including those of our clients (61% of Chinese social network users made a purchase based on a digital marketing campaign).
According to the article “China has 513 million internet users, up 12% from a year earlier, …[and] more than 70% of them are on social media.” That means one quarter of the world’s social media population is based in China.
While Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Hulu, and more are blocked, there are plenty of local Chinese sites that perform similar roles.
If you haven’t done so already, get to know the major social media players in China. Weibo, the rapidly growing microblogging site, is worth particular note for its huge role in Chinese events during 2011. (Also, beware the term “copycat”. In some cases China’s social media platforms predate their Western counterparts.)
Ready to go deeper into the digital statistics of China’s population? Click through the following presentation from We Are Social.
For a little more background, check out Damien Ma’s excellent article in The Atlantic chronicling the coming of age of China’s social media outlets in 2011. He lists Beijing’s air quality, the high-speed rail crash, and rockstar U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke as key drivers in the social media’s explosive growth and new-found credibility.