WMOSN

Qzone vs Facebook: China vs World.

Image from Vincos Blog:  From the latest data aquisition of Google Trends & Alexa, we can see that though Facebook has colonized almost 2/3 of the world’s netizens, people in China, Russia and half of South America remain isolated. As to China, there are 400 millions active QQ users(while Facebook owns 500 million users worldwide) and this leads to the dominant position of Q-Zone. Besides Q-Zone, netizens still have more options like Renren.com, Kaixin001.com, etc.. The SNS market in China now is in a fierce competition.

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Data from Sina's China Weibo Developer Conference Page

China’s Twitter; Sina Weibo reveals usage statistics.

Data from Sina's China Weibo Developer Conference Page

On Nov, 16, 2010, Sina held a China Weibo developer conference. As the biggest blog platform in China, Sina Weibo has released data regarding platform performance since inception in 2010. Sina Weibo demonstrates how it influences Chinese netizen’s daily life; with 400 million netizens and only 50 million Sina Weiboers, Sina’s got a good first step into huge online market.

The Data:

Monthly Increasing Rate of Register: 33.8%

Rate of Mobile Blogging: 38%

Number of App(Plugin) in Sina Weibo: More than 800

Blogs per Day: 25,000,000

Number of Users of Sina Weibo: 50,000,000 (Oct, 20, 2010)

Number of Partnered Sites: 10,000

Total Blogs: 200,000,000 (Nov, 7, 2010)

Blogs per Second: 785

Daily Traffice that Weibo Brings: 30,000,000

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kaixin

Understanding Kaixin001’s Audience.

From Holaba SNS Overview: A detailed analysis of how the Chinese people in different parts of China handle Kaixin001. From the graph we can find that Kainxin001 really dominates in east & central part of China mainland. HS means Holaba Score, it is a reliable indication of the recommendation power of the SNS, or a brand.

SRH

Holaba; Ranking China’s Social Networks: Tencent Qzone Tops the List.

Data from Holaba: Holaba.com is a site speciallized in aggregating comments on different prestige brands in almost every business field in China. The resource of this graph comes from its poll function (see the screenshot below) which has now ranked Qzone (Tencent) as the 1st SNS in China.

CNSM

Major vs Minor China Social Media Networks.

This illustration is chosen from Nielsen‘s APAC Social Media Report (June, 2010):

The 4 dominators are colored brown and they are:

BBS section, including mop.com, bbs.sina.com.cn, tianya.cn,  bbs.qq.com, club.sohu.com;

Social Network section, including kaixin001.com, renren.com;

Blog section, including blog.sina.com.cn, blog.sohu.com, hi.baidu.com, blog.hexun.com;

Microblog section, including t.sina.com.cn, digu.com, t.sohu.com, t.qq.com.

Report

Evolution of China Social Media (1994-2010).

Selected from Roland Berger and CIC Strategy Consultants’ Chinese Consumer Report 2010:

China netizens prefer to share their reviews or experience through internet in recent years, and they have changed from discussing simple topics, to becoming active participants in all things digitally social. From discussing topics through BBS, to discussing their lives on IM, and expanding their friendships through social networks, as in the West Chinese have evolved their online interactions; albeit through completely different networks than their western counterparts.

resonance_netizen interaction

Engaging China’s Netizens; Activity + Reward.

From CIC, China’s netizen’s preferred activities online.

We see a distinct preference for Entertainment driven activities, followed by events and lottery. China’s social environment, both online and offline push emphasis for low-cost methods of interaction on the web, be it social or entertainment driven.

This leads us to rewards for interaction. China’s netizens tend to be practical, rather than gaining knowledge, they look to getting cash or gifts, or free product trials.

When Brands plan campaigns, its important to take into account what drives the average Chinese netizen; while there is connection and engagement with the Brand, this doesn’t come without addition costs in the form of rewards. while China’s market is not unique to rewards for interaction, it may be unique in its emphasis of the tangible over the intangible.

resonance_renren

Prestige Brands Most Buzzed on RenRen & Qzone.

Complied by L2, the below graph shows brand buzz on one of China’s most popular SNS sites RenRen.com (a Facebook clone) and Qzone. From this we get a pretty good idea of buzz in English and Chinese, but further, we get a sense of populations across these social network sites.

You could almost see these two networks as reflective of tier1 cities (Renren) and below tier one cites. Population on Renren tends to be more educated, evidenced by English speaking ability taught in high school and college, vs. lower tiered cities that show less education, but greater overall population.

However, education isn’t necessarily an indicator of wealth; and its definitely not correlated to dreaming about wealth. China’s netizens think in parallel about major brands with BMW, Mercedes, and LV at top of mind as status symbols.

nielsen

Nielsen Asia Pacific Social Media Report.

Nielsen’s recent social media report release gives great insight into the region; but let’s focus on China specifically.

Some of the key elements to note; of which we’ve discovered through our own campaigns; is that BBS’s dominate China social media, and this is where buzz campaigns and engagement are typically generated.

Looking deeper; social gaming is an excellent, through very expensive alternative to engagement on BBS, and the use of online celebs and bloggers are a common staple in a social media campaign diet.

Chinese being more likely to write a negative review is also quite true; though we’ve found they tend not to be as negative as those found in the west; so while overall quantity of negative comments are high; the overall depth of the negativity isn’t.

From Nielsen’s press release:

  • All about BBS, not the SNS: Bulletin board systems underpin popular social media behaviour in China – over 80 percent of social media content is bulletin board systems.
  • Revenue from Social Games: Social media games are used as a stimuli to drive new users and gain reach with existing users, while content sharing behaviours are more popular among the more experienced users. Virtual product placement within social networking site games is becoming one of the most profitable methods of revenue for social networking sites, generating between US$200,000 to US$500,000 per month on product placement.
  • Online Celebs are hotter than offline: ‘Grass roots’ celebrity tracking dominates online conversations in China, with grass roots celebrities such as Phoenix Sister and Mr Yuan outperforming real life celebrities in popularity.
  • Chinese are negative: Chinese Internet users are the most likely in Asia Pacific to post a negative online product review, and are the only consumers in the region more likely to share negative reviews than positive reviews – 62% of Chinese Internet users say they are more likely to share a negative review compared to 41 percent globally.
resonance_budweiser

R3: Budweiser Kicks off 2010 FIFA World Cup “Bud Babe Call” China Digital Campaign.

Budweiser partners with wwwins Isobar to launch a 2010 FIFA World Cup ‘Bud Babe Call’ campaign for Anheuser-Busch InBev, using state-of-the-art interactive voice response (IVR) technology. Launching at midnight on June 10th for the duration of the 2010 World Cup, the campaign marks the first time IVR is introduced into China.

The Budweiser Soccer Babe campaign hopes to attract users, or mostly men, beer and football fans as the main target audience, to virtually interact with their preferred Bud Babe via IVR technology.Fans can book calls with selected Bud Babes and also vote for their favourite. The winner of the Bud Babe beauty and talent competition will become the new Budweiser brand ambassador in China.

“Adopting such a break-through innovation into this campaign will enhance the image of the Budweiser brand. It is expected to generate massive user engagement because of the highly customised interactivity,” said Daniel Tao, business director at wwwins Isobar.

Research R3 Beijing; See source post from imcbrand.com

littleredbook_china social platforms

Which Social Platforms Do Chinese Prefer?

How do Chinese netizens prefer to interact with Brands? According to CIC netizens prefer neutral 3rd party BBS (bulletin board systems) for brand information, rather than corporate owned digital assets.

This makes sense; rather than looking for canned content; finding Brand information on BBS’s give a sense of authenticity and truthful opinion; consumers go to BBS to find real information on Brands.

This being the case, Brand’s should make an effort to monitor and track conversations on BBS to give them a better sense of their impact on consumers.

littleredbook_iwom purchases

Chinese Netizen Reliance on Internet Word of Mouth.

Before Chinese netizens purchase products, do they go online to check what others say? According to CIC they certainly do.

Topping the list are mobile phones; followed closely by consumer electronics. Seeing as how mobile phones are owned by everyone (thereby more people searching/reviewing), as well as how China’s youth identify with their phones as close friends, it’s no wonder that this product tops the charts. Before the buy, China’s netizens want to make sure they are buying the right phone, with the right message to their social groups.

The bigger picture beyond mobile phones is China’s netizens rely heavily on peer to peer communications before making important “buy” decisions online. This being that case, it is important for brands to be every where consumers make decisions, if they’re to have impact in this ultra competitive landscape.

resonance_babytree

Facebook for Chinese babies.

From INSEAD; Allen Wang, founder of babytree.com, a social networking site in China talks about how he grew his membership to 12 million.

Wang states he did nothing special; but focused more on the practical usage of the site for the sites target market: Chinese mothers.

  • Focus on usability; mothers can upload 50 photos at a time for an fluid experience; this one feature is so popular that babytree.com is the largest depository for young chinese families photos; the site has almost 10 million pics.
  • Use word-of-mouth instead of traditional marketing. Wang spends less than USD 10,000 to market babytree.com.
  • Act fast, learn local, low budget. Wang’s secret is to jump on opportunities as they come, to fully understand they Chinese mindset, and to compete with low Chinese budgets.

DCCI, Comsenz Issue China SNS Report.

Source: Marbridge Consulting.

The Data Center of the China Internet (DCCI) and Chinese social platform and service provider Comsenz have jointly released the 2010 China Social Network Service Report.

According to the report, 71.8% of social network service (SNS) users reported using large-scale SNS (such as Renren, Kaixin001) on a regular basis, while 27.9% reported using industry or interest-specific SNS. 17.7% used other types of SNS, and 13.2% reported using regionally-specific SNS on a regular basis.

For SNS usage frequency in 2010, 35.7% of SNS users reported using SNS every day, while 21.9% reported using SNS 1-2 times a week, and 20.8% reported using SNS once every 2-3 days.

57.6% of respondents reported visiting 2-3 different SNS, while 25.3% visited only one, and 12.6% of respondents visited 4-5 different social networking websites.

The most common regular activities by SNS users were journals/status updates (68.9%), followed by photo-sharing (58.4%), music (51.3%) and games (49%).

According to the report, the most effective advertising format affecting users’ buying habits is brand “spaces” (i.e.: a profile or community page dedicated to a brand), followed by display, video and Flash-based advertising.

60% of respondents said that SNS advertising helps them become aware of brands, while 51.4% said that SNS advertising gave them a stronger impression of a specific brand. 39.4% believed that SNS advertising led them to independently seek more information about a specific brand, and 35% said that SNS advertising improved their opinion of a specific brand, while 33.8% said that SNS advertising made them more likely to buy a specific brand.

china online communities expression

China digital social expression.

The drive to express online is a central motivation for the Chinese. Due to China’s strong censorship and control of traditional media, the internet becomes a major destination to receive balanced views, see how others think and react to events, and share and express one’s individuality.

The above stats from BCG show how social China’s web really is; with major emphasis on self-expression, sharing knowledge and feelings; China’s web is a very personal space that allow otherwise economically and politically restricted Chinese a sense of freedom. This gives the market a unique energy, open and ready to learn, connect and experience.

sns-china

SNS in China; cultural secrets of success.

From Techcrunch; China social media site analysis; business process distinctly different from the West. Taking cues from China’s massive internet base, as well as Chinese online culture, local players have not only dominated the China social web, but thrive and prosper.

This gives us insight into how to interact with Chinese on the social web; looking at massive population, along with cultural engagement of simple applications and micropayments these major players have made a huge impact vs. their Western counterparts.

Related articles from around the web.

China Social Media Stats Revisited.

SmartBlog recently posted an article listing China’s social media stats. This was in response to a panel held by South by Southwest. Here’s a list of major stats; for more visit the previous links.

Chinese social networking habits:

  • 384 million Internet users in China, 75% of whom are under 34.
  • 221 million bloggers.
  • 222 million creators of online video.
  • 272 million instant messaging users.
  • 108 million online shoppers.
  • 265 million online gamers.
  • 321 million users who download music.
  • 40% of Chinese Web users are creators, compared with 21% of Americans.
  • China’s virtual goods were a $5 billion market last year, five times the U.S. Virtual currency is so ubiquitous that it’s actually taxed in China.

The major players:

  • The largest Internet service portal is Tencent, with 1 billion accounts (485 million active users). In 2009, its revenues surpassed $1.5 billion, 90% of which came from digital goods and games and 10% from ads. Tencent is the most important Internet company in China and the third largest in world, after Google and Microsoft.
  • Tencent’s social network Qzone has 310 million users.  Their IM service, QQ, has 50 million concurrent users.
  • China’s answer to Facebook, Renren has 200 million users, 55 million of whom are mobile.
  • Another popular social network, Kaixin001 has 75 million users.
  • 51.com has 160 million users.
  • Zhenai, the largest online dating site in the world, has 22 million accounts. Matches are made via 350 dating counselors who get direct feedback that improves users’ dating and success rates. At $450-600/month, the service is considered very valuable.

How social networking happens in China:

  • 221 million people have blogs, largely in a diary-style.
  • 176 million Chinese connect via  social networking system (SNS) with their “real” friends and online networks.
  • 117 million connect anonymously via bulletin board system (BBS). These interactive online message boards are the heart of social media in China. They’re where people go to find topic-based communities and where consumers talk about products and services.
chinasocialmediausage

China Social Media Usage Statistics.

According to Forrester Research of Chinese Social Technographics, in China, social media adoption is huge, with 40% of Chinese online adults creating blogs, publishing web pages. 44% posting ratings of products and contributing to blogs, 71% reading blogs, watching video and reading customer ratings.

A quick snapshot; local social network 51.com has over 120 million registered users; and on Fenbei.com, 22 million users gather to share music.

China_web

Social Networking Importance in China.

McKinsey quarterly reports that in China, web services, blogs, social netowrking are teh most important web 2.0 technologies; with blogs and social networking coming in second and third respectively.

The least important? Podcasts, interesting enough. This may be due to low bandwidth in China compared to other parts of the world.