Top Chinese social media platforms China 2024

Top Chinese Social Media Platforms in 2024: A Comprehensive Guide for Marketers

Last Updated on January 15, 2024

According to the 2023 statistics, there are approximately more than one billion Chinese internet users worldwide. With around 76% of the country’s population transacting online, it’s no wonder more businesses are pouring efforts into their local social media marketing strategies.

While there are many tried and tested methods to attract users into patronizing your brand, the reality is that the Chinese social media sphere is different from the West.

So before you launch your digital marketing strategy, let’s scour through each top Chinese social media platform to see which option will bring you closer to your target customers.

 

Overview of the Chinese Social Media Landscape

To successfully navigate the Chinese social media space, you must stay in touch with the evolving dynamics within the landscape. You should understand that your target audience has distinct characteristics and preferences.

 

To tap into the Chinese market in the long run, here are some factors you must look out for:

 

  • User Behavior and Demographics

Reports from Oosga confirm that the Chinese social media market recorded 960.4 million monthly active users throughout the past year. Looking at the data, most users have an average surfing time of 1.95 hours and have at least eight accounts created on different social media sites.

Active users aged 16 to 64 surveyed on different platforms responded that they mostly use these apps for communication. Others noted that they stay on social media sites to find trending topics, content, and products to purchase.

Additionally, another Chinese market demographic that marketers and businesses can tap is the country’s growing number of mobile users.

According to recent data from Statista, subscriptions for mobile phones reached a peak of 1.7 billion in April 2023. With over 99% of these subscribers accessing the internet, it becomes more apparent why social media sites are overflowing with active users.

However, not all Chinese users are active on the same social media platform. In fact, there’s a generational divide between older and younger demographics. Users born in the 1990s and 2000s appear more adept at using social media apps like Douyin (TikTok). Meanwhile, older people prefer WeChat and Weibo.

 

  • Cultural Nuances and Preferences

While Western counterparts highlight individualism and self-expression, Chinese social media users emphasize community, collectivism, and shared experiences more. You must create content with cultural values that resonate well with Chinese users.

You should also remember that China has high regional variation, which marketers can use to weigh target audience preferences by releasing localized content.

 

  • Compliance with Legal Regulations

You may not know, but all Chinese social media platforms adhere to strict content regulations set by the government. Staying up-to-date with the latest policies, such as Cybersecurity and Advertising laws, can be crucial when strategizing content.

Besides avoiding legal complications, complying with these regulations exhibits your dedication to operating ethically and responsibly in the Chinese market.

 

Top 20 Chinese Social Media Platforms: Overview and Features

1.   WeChat

 

WeChat social media China

 

WeChat became one of the best social media apps in China mainly because of its versatile user interface. If you scroll through its features, you’ll notice that it goes beyond traditional social networking.

For most users, it’s an instant messaging app, live streaming channel, e-commerce platform, etc. Here’s a closer look at WeChat’s key features and their implications for businesses entering the Chinese market.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

As the most popular Chinese social media platform, it’s no surprise that WeChat has an estimated reach of 1.3 billion monthly active users in 2023. The app’s average daily active users also achieved new heights of 614 million for its mini-programs. Based on previous data from last year, it’s clear that WeChat earned a substantial growth of 13.91% or 75 million.

Local users in all age categories are fond of using this social media platform, with the highest penetration rate in consumers over 51 and under 24 years old.

Compared to other Chinese social media apps, WeChat’s popularity is not limited to first-tier cities. It has widespread adoption across urban areas, including Tier 2 and 3.

 

WeChat user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

Besides having many active users, WeChat allows businesses to create official accounts for customized content distribution, customer relationship management, and promotions. Marketers will surely find these features handy, especially when sharing relevant content with followers.

Apart from social media, the WeChat ecosystem includes “Mini Programs” within its platform. Through this, businesses can develop interactive experiences for their Chinese audience (e.g., live streaming, games, virtual storefronts) without leaving the app.

Users can also incorporate WeChat stores within their accounts. These virtual storefronts include a built-in digital payment service, helping businesses facilitate seamless and secure transactions.

Similar to other e-commerce platforms, WeChat runs with location-based features. It allows the targeting of active users based on their geographic position and opens opportunities to launch location-specific offers, promotions, and events.

2.   Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book)

 

Xiaohongshu social media China

 

Xiaohongshu is a popular social media platform for younger Chinese consumers with a community-driven environment focusing on fashion, beauty, travel, and lifestyle.

Users can use the platform’s content creation features to share and find recommendations, tips, and experiences within the platform’s interface. Besides social media features, it also has integrated e-commerce functions.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

Given that Xiaohongshu has a contemporary and feminine niche, it’s not unexpected that most of its user base is within the younger female population.

It has a younger demographic, with users varying from early 20s to late 30s. The lifestyle app also reported around 163 million active users monthly, most of which have higher spending power.

 

Xiaohongshu user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

The dynamic content creation and online shopping elements within this app led to the production of reliable key opinion leaders. Thanks to this, you can form influencer partnerships and count on their loyal followers to make your brand more visible and credible.

Additionally, Xiaohongshu has a very opinionated and active community. You can use it by encouraging users to create and share content related to your brand.

 

3.   Douyin (also known as TikTok)

 

Douyin social media China

 

Douyin, internationally known as TikTok, is undoubtedly the hottest and best social media app in China for the younger generation. Launched in September 2016 by ByteDance, this popular platform gained significant global traction in 2020 with 2 billion mobile downloads.

The feature that sets Douyin apart from other Chinese social media apps is its capability to let users create and share short videos set to music. As of now, the app expanded with live streaming options and e-commerce platform tools.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

Besides the whopping 2 billion mobile downloads, Douyin also brings in 743 million monthly active users. Compared to other popular social media platforms, most of its users are under 30.

And while a significant concentration of its demographics is ages 16-24, the platform has recently seen an increase in older user adoption.

 

Douyin user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

When implementing content strategies in massive Chinese social media platforms like Douyin, one of the most effective ways is collaborating with known influencers who resonate with your brand. The short videos that the KOLs will produce can help you tap into their established fan base.

You can also opt for hashtag challenges. It’ll encourage users to create videos about your products and services, resulting in going viral and driving brand awareness within the platform.

Brands are also encouraged to utilize Douyin’s creative tools, effects, and filters. These elements can enhance your content and branding materials so that the business can establish recognition among the platform’s users.

 

4.   Kuaishou

 

 

True to its translation “Fast Hands,” Kuaishou quickly gained fame as a Chinese social media app because of its emphasis on creating and sharing short-form videos. The platform prioritizes explicitly unfiltered content, such as live streaming and vlogging.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

While it’s not comparable to Douyin’s user base, Kuaishou’s daily active users reached a substantial range of 347.3 million. Unlike other platforms, its demographics cater to both urban and rural areas. And since it has a significant reach in lower-tier cities, marketers leverage localized content to appeal to its specific user base.

 

Kuaishou user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

As a Chinese social media app that values real-time content, adding the platform’s live-streaming features to your marketing strategy can yield positive results. It’ll allow your brand to communicate with potential customers directly. On top of that, marketers can utilize it for exclusive product launching and question-and-answer portions.

 

Successful Brand Campaigns on Kuaishou

In the past, Chevrolet tapped into Kuaishou’s roster of influencers to launch their “Little White” campaign. The event includes posting short videos with the famous character “Little White” while showcasing the vehicle’s components. It generated interest and buzz among younger Kuaishou users.

 

5.   Sina Weibo

 

Weibo social media China

 

Most social media users refer to Sina Weibo as Chinese Twitter mainly because it features an intriguing microblogging function that allows sharing of texts, media files, and links.

However, if you look closely, this app shares more similarities with Facebook, specifically when boosting user engagement through liking, commenting, and sharing. This unique user interface is why it remains one of the most popular Chinese social media platforms.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

Despite the stiff competition with massive social media platforms, Sina Weibo managed to maintain its popularity with 586 million monthly active users. The app also serves around 260 million accounts daily, and its user base is more prominent in Tier 1 and 2 cities.

Although it initially gained popularity among younger demographics, this Chinese social networking platform eventually expanded its user base to older age groups. This transition transformed the app with diverse age representation.

 

Weibo user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

Since Sina Weibo’s main feature is utilizing hashtags and trending topics, marketers and brands can leverage it to facilitate content discovery and conversation. They can use popular hashtags and trending topics to weigh into relevant discussions, increase visibility, and reach more potential audiences.

The platform also has an established influencer culture, so it’s wise to integrate it with your current social media marketing plan. Collaborating with these Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) can help shape consumer opinions and preferences.

And if you’re looking to attract more Chinese consumers to follow your brand, you can run contests, giveaways, or interactive campaigns on Sina Weibo.

 

6.   Meituan-Dianping

 

Meituan Dianping social media China

 

At first glance, Meituan-Dianping may seem similar to typical delivery and e-commerce platforms. However, it offers comprehensive recommendations for local services near the user, like hotel and travel bookings, movie ticket purchases, and other business establishments.

Famously dubbed “China’s Yelp,” this platform is integral to the country’s urban daily life to find convenient and reliable services.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

In 2021, Meituan-Dianping’s daily orders reached around 43.6 million. Most of the app’s user demographic is highly urban-focused, but its convenience appeals to different age groups. The platform’s food delivery transactions alone garnered 690 million monthly active users.

 

Meituan Dianping user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

Meituan-Dianping provides exclusive deals to brands promoting within their platforms. The features marketers can avail range from discounts to in-app advertisements, attracting new customers and driving a loyal user base.

 

7.   Bilibili

 

Bilibili social media China

 

Bilibili is another video-sharing platform that is immensely popular in the Chinese social media landscape. While it’s open for user-generated content, its primary focus falls under animation, comics, and games (ACG). Besides these videos, Bilibili also prioritizes live-streaming content.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

Considering its content niche, it’s no wonder Bilibili has a younger user demographic than other Chinese social media platforms. A considerable percentage of their current user base ranges between 18 and 35 years old.

With 102.8 million daily active users, the platform continues to overflow with enthusiastic and passionate discussions about games, anime, and manga.

 

Bilibili user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

Through Bilibili’s bullet chat feature, any brand can formulate interactive campaigns like challenges, quizzes, or events. These user engagements can result in extended market reach and buzz about the brand’s product or services.

As a popular video-sharing and social media platform, Bilibili also has its roster of influencers. Since this app has a particular niche, the dedicated ACG fan bases can support your brand if your products and services resonate with them.

 

8.   Zhihu

 

Zhihu social media China

 

If there’s an easier way to describe this Chinese social media platform, it’s how most people call it Quora of China. You may not know, but Zhihu is a go-to site for students or individuals seeking to ask questions, reply to queries, and find answers.

Its community comprises highly knowledgeable individuals, so the platform makes it to a point to prioritize well-researched content, from featured articles to essays.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

Most Zhihu users hold significant educational attainments like bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees. Considering its unique user base, the platform fostered an active community of experts from different fields.

In the first quarter of 2023, the platform’s average monthly active users (MAUs) reached 102.4 million. It showcased a significant rise from 101.6 million in the same quarter of 2022.

 

Zhihu user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

Establishing your business as a thought leader can be crucial, so it’ll help to release insightful content using this app to build credibility. You can do this by sharing your expert knowledge, answering relevant questions within the community, and engaging with existing topics.

Unlike other Chinese social media sites, Zhihu integrates native advertising options. Their sponsored articles blend seamlessly with the platform’s content. It allows you to reach the intended audience without being intrusive.

 

9.   Douban

 

Douban social media China

 

As a community-centric Chinese social media platform, Douban has become a go-to digital space for intellectual discourse and cultural discussions. Users can form groups and forums to connect with like-minded people and share reviews or recommendations.

User Demographics and Statistics

Douban is the perfect Chinese social media app for users with niche and specialized interests. This community environment attracts culturally-engaged people like music lovers, artists, and pop culture fans.

The app has over 60 million registered accounts recorded and 150 million unregistered platform visitors.

 

Douban user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

Douban users value content that resonates with their interests. Fortunately, the platform helps brands to establish a positive business image through native advertising options. If you’re promoting a book or movie, collaborating with critics and reviewers in the app can help generate interest in your offerings.

 

10.   Tencent QQ

 

Tencent QQ social media China

 

Although Tencent QQ started as an instant messaging app in 1999, it has developed into a diverse platform that caters to a wide range of internet user needs. If you check today’s version of this platform, you’ll notice that it provides various interactive functions like voice and video calls, online gaming, social networking, and more.

Users can also access other services directly built within the platform, like news updates, weather forecasts, online purchases, music streaming, and more.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

Some may say Tencent QQ is less massive than other Chinese social media platforms, but it still had a reported 558 million monthly active users in 2023. When first unveiled to the public, it became popular among younger demographics.

Its user demographics mainly include college students, the younger workforce, and others seeking to connect and communicate with others.

 

Tencent QQ user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

Like most local platforms, Tencent QQ provides official account privileges to businesses. Foreign marketers can leverage this feature to enhance their brand’s authenticity and visibility in the Chinese market.

Besides that, did you know that this platform includes community forums? QQ groups are where users can join and interact with like-minded individuals. Brands can take this opportunity to create or join these communities to build relationships with their target audience.

 

11.   Youku Tudou

 

Youku social media China

 

If Sina Weibo is the Twitter of China, Youku Todou is the Chinese social media marketing platform equivalent to YouTube. This video-sharing app allows you to upload, watch, and share personalized video content.

This platform also houses licensed TV shows, movies, and documentaries. With the content diversity prevalent within Youku Todou, the app naturally built a vibrant community of content creators.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

While it’s not as mainstream as Douyin, Youku Tudou has approximately 247 million monthly active users. Due to its varied video content, the app attracted and maintained a significant domestic audience.

Youku Tudou appeals to a broad range of audiences. While the younger users prefer to watch user-generated videos and popular TV shows, the older age group opts for films and dramas.

 

Youku social media China

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

Part of the opportunities Youku Tudou offers marketers and brands is the ability to reach their target audience through video ads. You can select this option if you have readily available video advertisements already created to gain more visibility and exposure within the platform.

As mentioned, this app has already fostered a long list of content creators. Since these influencers have an established following, businesses can approach them to create sponsored content or endorse products.

 

12.   Toutiao

 

 

Toutiao is a modern content platform driven by AI technology. It utilizes machine-learning algorithms to give users a personalized newsfeed according to their app behavior, preferences, and engagements. The app is also rich with content variety generated by users that address different information needs.

User Demographics and Statistics

Toutiao has approximately 300 million daily users based on 2021 data. Most of its demographics use mobile devices to access the application.

Since Toutiao has diverse content categories, users of all ages are interested in using this platform. Its consumption also heavily leans on the urban population instead of the rural area.

 

Toutiao user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

Most of Toutiao’s user base prefers high-quality content, so integrating your social media marketing plans with informative materials related to your brand will undoubtedly draw their attention. You can utilize this element to establish business authority and attract organic engagement.

 

Successful Brand Campaigns on Toutiao

When Coca-Cola’s  “Share a Coke” campaign reached Toutiao, it encouraged users to buy and share their personalized Coke bottles within the platform. The brand utilizes the app’s native advertisement tools to foster engagement and social sharing.

 

13.    Taobao

 

Taobao e-commerce platform China

 

Although Taobao is an e-commerce platform developed by Alibaba Group, it includes social media features that allow users to leave ratings and comments. The app displays extensive product selections from different sellers, allowing buyers to engage with them or other shoppers to foster a more informed purchasing decision.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

This popular e-commerce and social platform garners about 895 million monthly active users, according to the data from 2023.

Although it has a broad market reach, it’s particularly popular with younger and tech-savvy populations. Its online shopping convenience also helped boost Taobao’s mobile device usage.

 

Taobao user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

An official store within the platform gives existing customers a more accessible avenue to purchase your products. Besides that, marketers can customize the store layout and product listings to create a more comprehensive promotion and attract potential audiences.

 

Successful Brand Campaigns on Taobao

As L’Oreal caught on to the beauty tutorial trend, the brand utilized Taobao’s live-streaming tools for product showcases. Experts from the field hosted the event and demonstrated the proper product application. Obviously, the campaign resulted in high engagement and user base loyalty.

 

14.   JD.com

 

JD e-commerce platform China

 

Like other platforms specializing in selling products, JD.com has a varied catalog ranging from electronics to home goods. The app also has an established logistic network and customer service team, allowing it to address customer concerns and delivery issues.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

Around 80% of JD.com users use mobile devices to purchase and interact with the platform. Based on the usage report from the brand, they serve approximately 580 million customers, all of which are China consumers.

 

JD user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

If you want to market your products at JD.com, using social media features and interacting with your customers via Q&A sections or user reviews is highly advisable. You can also opt for sponsored product listing options to increase the brand’s visibility and sales.

 

15.   Miaopai

 

Miaopai social media China

 

As one of the top Chinese social media platforms using short-form videos to engage users, Miaopai managed to stay in the game by providing easy-to-use editing tools. Besides video content creation, the app (previously called “China’s Vine) also focuses on live streaming.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

Around 55.3% of Miaopai users reside in Tier 1 and 2 cities, with a daily user base reaching approximately 70 million. Like other popular video-sharing platforms, Gen Zs and Millennials dominate a massive chunk of its demographics.

 

Miaopai user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

Launching joint campaigns with KOLs can help marketers to reach specific target customers. You can offer to sponsor the influencer’s video through branded content or product placements for a more natural marketing strategy.

 

16.   Renren

 

Renren social media platform China

 

Founded in 2005, Renren established its name as a platform similar to Facebook. From posting media to connecting with friends, every feature of this app is reminiscent of the old Facebook platform.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

During its recent peak, Renren serves around 30 million daily active users locally. However, in the 2021 data, it’s hard to ignore that the platform has a declining user base due to tough competition with more prominent apps like WeChat.

Its mobile version launch in 2021 allowed Renren to climb as the eighth most downloaded iOS in the country. To this day, the platform still faces difficulties attracting younger generations.

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

The app’s active users may decline, but it still has significant consumers that you can attract via niche marketing. Brands can create tailored content and connect with groups or communities related to their business niche.

 

17.   Tmall

 

Tmall e-commerce platform China

 

As China’s largest e-commerce platform, Tmall is a digital space sought-after by major brands and retailers to sell their products. The online marketplace also integrates social media-like features within its interface, like brand pages, user-generated content, and product reviews.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

Since Tmall dominates around 51% of B2C transactions in the country, it’s only natural for the platform to gain about 780 million monthly active users in 2022. Most of its dominant user base is also from Tier 1 and 2 cities.

 

Tmall user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

Businesses can create branded storefronts within Tmall’s virtual space to elevate their brand image and reputation. After customizing these branded profiles, marketers can take the next step and integrate their marketing plans with the platform’s advertising options, like banner ads and sponsored listings.

 

Successful Brand Campaigns on Tmall

Tmall launches the Singles’ Day Global Shopping Festival every year at 11.11 to help different brands achieve higher sales through exclusive discounts, promotions, and limited-edition products.

 

18.   Yizhibo

 

Yizhibo social media platform China

 

Another video-focused social media app popular with local influencers, celebrities, and brands is Yizhibo. It has various streaming features essential for real-time content marketing, like chat engagements, virtual gifting, and monetization tools.

User Demographics and Statistics

Yizhibo’s live-streaming services led the platform to attract a large user base of influencers, celebrities, and content creators. These users have massive fanbases that add to the app’s monthly active users of 7 million. It’s worth noting that over 50% of these accounts are under 24 years old.

 

Yizhibo user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

As a brand promoting in Yizhibo, marketers can host sponsored live-streaming events. You can also integrate product placement in real-time videos while collaborating with established influencers within the platform, as long as they have a similar niche as your business.

 

19.   Pinduoduo

 

Pinduoduo e-commerce platform China

 

Pinduoduo quickly gained popularity in China because of its interactive shopping experience and budget-friendly offerings. Besides group buying perks, the platform has incentivized activities and social commerce integration to encourage informed purchasing decisions.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

As of 2023, Pinduoduo served 910 million annual active buyers in the local market. Value-conscious Chinese consumers are its typical target audience, who are often from lower-tier cities and rural areas.

 

Pinduoduo user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

As most of its users are looking for budget-friendly options, brands can gain interest and buzz by launching discounted deals. Establishing authenticity can also be achieved by encouraging user reviews and recommendations. Such strategies can lead to viral growth and added recognition.

 

20.   Baidu Tieba

 

Baidu Tieba social media platform China

 

Baidu Tieba’s forum-type interface is the main feature that sets it apart from typical social platforms in China. The app covers various topics, including entertainment, technology, lifestyle, gaming, and more. Most social interactions within the forum stem from the community and user-generated content.

 

User Demographics and Statistics

There are around 8.2 million community topic boards in Baidu Teiba, and most of these discussions are from the platform’s estimated monthly users of almost 300 million. If you look at its demographic, 70% of forum visitors are post-90s users actively engaging and contributing content.

 

Baidu Tieba user demographics and statistics 2023

 

Marketing Opportunities and Strategies

Marketers can establish themselves as industry leaders within the platform by participating in relevant forums related to their expertise or field. Alternatively, you can also promote the brand’s messages through influencer collaborations and addressing user feedback.

 

Tips on Choosing the Right Chinese Social Media Platforms for Your Business

  • Adjust Strategies Based on Relevant Insights

You must monitor metrics such as reach, impressions, and conversion rates to evaluate the campaign’s performance. These insights will tell you which applications to consider in your marketing strategy.

 

  • Collaborate with Chinese Influencers (KOLs)

Like it or not, influencer marketing is integral to the Chinese social media ecosystem. When utilized correctly, these key opinion leaders can elevate the business’s reach and credibility.

 

  • Stay up-to-date with the Future Trends in Chinese Social Media Apps

The evolution of top Chinese social media platforms is still ongoing. Because of this, you must stay updated on the continued rise of short video content, AI technology integration, and social commerce.

 

What are the emerging social media apps in China?

  1. Vipshop: It may appear to be an e-commerce platform, but it recently expanded with social media features.
  2. Mafengwo: A social platform enhancing travel experiences and planning trips.
  3. Kugou Music: While its primary focus is music streaming, it has social features such as user-generated playlists, music sharing, and comments.
  4. DEWU: An online shopping app popular with Chinese Millennials and Gen-Z consumers.

 

 

Your Trusted Social Media Marketing Partner in China!

Navigating the top Chinese social media platforms requires a deep awareness of the unique characteristics and preferences within each user base. You must understand how crucial it is to adapt marketing strategies and stay updated with evolving trends.

 

Sekkei Digital Group Services

 

At Sekkei Digital Group, we specialize in solving these challenges and specialize in turning them into opportunities. Our team is equipped with the expertise and experience necessary to tailor a strategy that maximizes the potential of the local social media landscape for your brand.

We offer comprehensive services to empower your digital marketing strategies in China. So if you need help finding the right social network for your brand, don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

contact us SDG

 

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