Social Media Impact Report 2017

China Social Media Impact Report 2017

Last Updated on May 22, 2024

Kantar, the data, insight and consultancy division of WPP, has released its fourth annual China Social Media Impact report.

As opposed to other social media reports published during the year, Kantar’s impact report specifically focuses on qualitative research analysis and attempts to understand the reasons behind certain increases or decreases in user penetration or monthly active users, for instance.

This year’s report was carried out through data mining, mobile behavior data analysis, online polling, and cross-analysis of purchasing data with social behavior data.

It takes into account the answers of more than 100,000 real-ID registered users as well as data from 12,000 households.

The report itself is 84 pages long, so we’ve done the hard work for you and sifted through everything to find the information you actually care about.

Let’s dive in.

WeChat is China\’s most satisfactory social platform

China’s social media landscape is immense and won’t stop growing.

While it used to mean WeChat, Weibo and QQ, social media in China has evolved into an extremely large category due to the “socialization” of all other apps.

Indeed, most Chinese internet companies nowadays are investing in social functions.

But despite the increasing competition, WeChat is still leading the way. Not only in terms of user engagement, but also with regards to the experience it provides users with.

The following graph gives us an idea how social media users perceive the impact WeChat has on their lives, compared to other social media sub-categories.

Survey participants were asked to rate their feelings towards the impact of each sub-category by giving it a score out of 100.


What’s even more encouraging for WeChat is that its satisfactory ratings were high across all ages, locations and both genders.

Life service apps and sites such as Dianping or even Ctrip ranked second while satisfactory ratings for dating social networks were much lower than the rest.

So what makes the impact of WeChat and social media in general so satisfactory in the eyes of Chinese netizens?

  • It allows them to know what their friends and family are getting up to.
  • Makes it easier to communicate with friends and family.
  • Good way to follow the news and hear about hot, trendy topics.
  • Widens their scope of knowledge.

But there are also other positive impacts…


Chinese netizens do nevertheless recognize that social media has its flaws.

When asked what negative impacts social media has on their lives, they mentioned the following concerns, among others:

  • They read less as a result. (print)
  • Privacy concerns.
  • Their eye-sight is getting worse.
  • Lack of sleep.


Weibo is fighting back

While it’s a well-known fact that WeChat has more monthly active users than Weibo, recent figures suggest that Weibo may be catching up.

WeChat is still far ahead but it’s been reported that Weibo stock prices are increasing in parallel with the platform’s 30% year-on-year increase in monthly active users.

But what’s particularly uplifting for Weibo, based on this report, is that while Weibo’s satisfactory ratings may be slightly lower than WeChat’s, it’s clearly very popular among younger generations.


If that doesn’t convince you that Weibo can still compete with WeChat, maybe this will.


Data extracted from the China Netizen Behaviour Analysis Platform in April 2017 shows that over the last year, many young users have started using the platform and have largely contributed to the overall increase in Weibo’s usage penetration rate.

The same can be said for Weibo’s daily active user rate.

Not only is Weibo gaining new users, it’s becoming increasingly popular among younger generations.

Kantar’s report also provides us with extensive information regarding China’s most popular KOLs and advertising methods, but we’ll address that in another article.

The important thing to take from this section of the report is that while WeChat is still going strong, Weibo has the potential to at least threaten their domination.

Winning over the next generation would certainly give them a lifeline.


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