Tag Archives: China

China’s Sina Weibo Logs 119M Olympics-Inspired Tweets On Opening Day

Sina Weibo Sees 119M Olympic-Inspired Tweets on Opening Day of the GamesSina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging platform in China, logged 119 million Olympics-related messages on the first day of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Nearly all posts came from China (114 million), with 2.4 million originating in the UK and 2.38 million from the US.

Sina Weibo’s official infographic estimates it would take a person 27 years of non-stop reading to get through all of the messages (The Next Web).  The specific criteria for the 119 million posts were not named, but the number most likely includes retweets and comments.

Video viewing was extremely popular on the platform; Olympic videos from Sina racked up 49 million views.

How does this compare to Twitter? A direct comparison isn’t possible, since “the measuring methodologies for the two figures don’t match up” (The Next Web).  But Twitter did see 9.66 million tweets during the opening ceremony. And within the first 24 hours of the games, Twitter surpassed the number of tweets sent in that same time frame during the 2008 games.

Overall, Olympic fans have been so prolific with tweets and text messages that officials have asked them to limit “non-urgent” messaging during events, in hopes of avoiding an overloaded network.

Social Networking Stats: Sina Weibo Tops 300 Million Users, #RLTM Scoreboard

The #RLTM Scoreboard:  Social Networking Stats for the Week

Facebook: over 845 million users via Facebook
Twitter: over 500 million users via Twopcharts
Qzone: 500 million active users via China Internet Watch
Sina Weibo: over 300 million users via Bloomberg Businessweek
Renren: over 170 million users via iResearch iUser Tracker
LinkedIn: 150 million members via LinkedIn
Google Plus: over 90 million users via Larry Page
Tumblr: 50 million blogs via Tumblr
Instagram: 27 million users via TechCrunch
Tagged: 20 million active users via The Wall Street Journal
Foursquare: 15 million users via Mashable
Pinterest: 11.7 million unique monthly users via TechCrunch
Posterous: 3.9 million members via SF Gate

Please email marissa@modernmediapartners.com if you have additional updates, or a social network that you feel should be on the list.

Chinese Microblogging Site Sina Weibo Tops 300 Million Users

China's Sina Weibo micro-blogging service has 300 million usersChina’s Sina Weibo microblogging platform – a Twitter-like service – has more than 300 million users, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. This number represents total registrations for the site; it does not reflect the active user numbers for the service. However, The Next Web speculates that Sina Weibo has more active daily users than competitor Tencent, “as [Weibo] has grown into the overwhelming popular choice for microbloggers in the country.”

Of course, both Chinese microblogging services have “large numbers of fake ‘zombie’ users” which “cloud the accuracy” of their user numbers.  The Wall Street Journal also mentioned the “mystery of Chinese Internet statistics” and a “lack of reliable numbers” in an article about Renren, often called “The Facebook of China.”

But Sina Weibo is subject to government supervision (as are the other social networking and microblogging sites in China), as evidenced by a 72-hour suspension of commenting on the site that began on March 31st.

While a statement on Sina Weibo claimed the suspension was due to a need to “clear up rumors and illegal information,” it is widely understood to be part of a wider crackdown on Internet-related crimes in China that began in mid-February.  A similar message could be found when users tried to log onto another major micro-blogging site in China, run by Tencent.

According to New York-based analyst Echo He, Sina’s share price will be weighed down by “the prospect of further government-ordered shutdowns.”  What about the site’s growth in China?  Will government regulation and potential shutdowns turn users and advertisers away, or is it simply a routine risk in a country where the internet is heavily monitored?

Qi Guo, a San Francisco-based analyst at ThinkEquity Partners LLC, told Bloomberg Businessweek that “comment functionality is key to Weibo user engagement.”  If the government continues to threaten that key functionality, there could be negative consequences for Weibo’s share price, ad sales, and user numbers.

20% of People Worldwide Will Use Social Networks This Year

Social Network User Penetration Worldwide via eMarketerA new report by eMarketer, “Worldwide Social Network Usage: Market Size and Growth Forecast,” lays out the numbers for social networking growth over the next few years. In 2012, there will be 1.43 billion social network users, a nearly 20% increase over 2011.  One out of every five people worldwide will use a social network this year; one in every four will do so in 2014.

Defining users as those who visit a social network at least once a month, 63.2% of the world’s internet audience will use social networks.  This number is projected to rise to 67.6% in 2013 and then to 70.7% in 2014.

“The strength of social networking as a worldwide online activity cannot be understated,” says Debra Aho Willamson, eMarketer principal analyst and author of the report.

How does Facebook play into this growth?  The social networking giant is the leading reason for this expansion, according to eMarketer, especially Facebook’s rapid growth in Brazil, India and Indonesia. In 2012, 837.3 million people worldwide will use Facebook, a 27.4% increase from 2011.

Among the top five social networking markets in 2012, three are dominated by Facebook:  the US, India and Brazil.  But China and Russia are also have huge social networking populations, independent of Facebook.

The countries with the largest Facebook followings include: the US (141.2 million in 2012), India (68.1 million), Indonesia (49.1 million), Brazil (45.4 million) and Mexico (25.6 million users).

50% Of Internet Users In China Are On Social Networks

A new report by eMarketer looks at China’s online audience – the largest in the world, with 513 million people in 2011 – and its continued growth, as well as the expansion of social networking and microblogging (weibo).

Social Networking Use and Penetration in ChinaSince 2011, the majority of China’s internet population has engaged with social networks.  By 2014, eMarketer predicts that 63% (nearly two-thirds) of China’s internet audience will be using social networks, or 30% of the general population.  Social networking use will grow 20% in 2012, 19% in 2013, and then drop to 13% growth in 2014.  Clearly the lack of Facebook (which is officially banned in China) hasn’t impeded growth, with 257 million social network users in 2011.

The social network leaders in China are: Tencent QZone with 536 million users, Tencent Weibo with 310 million, Sina Weibo with 250 million, Renren with 137 million and Kaixin001 with 116 million (We Are Social).

While the internet won’t reach a majority of China’s population until 2015, eMarketer predicts that the growing online population – combined with recent government restrictions on broadcast advertising – will have a significant impact on online advertising.  And as users continue “flocking to microblogs” – microblog use increased 296% in China in 2011 – some advertising will be pulled away from more traditional social networking sites (Renren) and focused on Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo.

Social Networks Grow 23% Worldwide; India Sees Fastest Growth

According to new estimates by eMarketer, over 1.2 billion people worldwide used social networking sites at least once per month as of December 2011.  By the end of 2012, this number will climb to nearly 1.5 billion internet users.  The study also examines the number of social networking users, penetration rates and growth rates in countries around the world, as well as the projected global growth of Facebook from 2011-2014.

Social Network Users Worldwide via eMarketerWorldwide, social networking saw 23.1% growth over 2011, and while the growth rate will drop in the next few years, it will remain in the double digits. This growth is largely fueled by Facebook’s expansion – except in China, where the site is banned – which is expected to pass the billion-user mark by the end of 2013.  Facebook saw 44% growth in 2011; this is expected to drop to 13.9% in 2014.

India will see the fastest growth in social networking this year (51.7%), followed closely by Indonesia with 51.6%, and China lagging further back with 19.9%.

Countries were also ranked by social network penetration, or having the greatest share of social network users as a percentage of the total population:

  • US took the lead with 49.9%
  • followed by Canada (49.3%)
  • South Korea (46.6%)
  • Australia (44.4%)
  • Russia (41.9%)

Developing countries – where fewer people are online overall – showed social networking as a highly popular activity for those who are online.  In Brazil, 87.6% of internet users will use social networking sites in 2012 (Indonesia follows closely behind with 87.5%).

In terms of overall users, the Asia-Pacific region has the highest number of social network users in the world, with 615.9 million internet users logging on to social sites by the end of this year. Nearly half of those users will be in China, where social network users will outnumber their counterparts in the US by nearly two to one (despite the absence of Facebook).  China and the US are the two countries with the highest number of social network users overall.

These are eMarketer’s first worldwide estimates of social network usage and Facebook usage.


Social Media Users in Emerging Markets More Likely To Engage With Brands Online

An October 2011 survey by Jack Morton Worldwide asked consumers in Brazil, India, China and the US why they buy (and buy into) brands, including their presence on social media.  The results indicate that consumers in emerging markets are more responsive to brands on social media than US consumers.

Social media users in Brazil (31%, China (23%) and India (27%) were more likely to consider social network sites a good source of word-of-mouth information on brand experiences than users in the US (18%).

In addition, social media users in Brazil (23%), China (22%) and India (21%) are twice as likely as US users (11%) to use social network sites to share brand information and experiences the same way they do with family and friends in “the real world.”

The size of a brand’s following on social media is more likely to impress users in emerging markets; social media users in Brazil, China and India are significantly more likely to consider a brand that has a lot of “friends” or is “liked” by many on a social network. Social media users in emerging markets are also more likely than US users to “like” or “follow” most brands they like on Facebook (if asked).

For global marketers, this means social media may be a key way for brands to gain a foothold in emerging markets.  According to an eMarketer forecast, “just over half” of total social media ad revenues in 2012 will come from outside the US.

Attitudes Toward Social Media Brand Interactions in Emerging Markets via eMarketer

Data was based on an online survey of 2,400 consumers between September 26 and October 11, 2011, with participants equally drawn from the US, Brazil, India and China.

China: Microblog Users Increase 296% in 2011

Microblog Users Now Outnumber Social Network Users in China via eMarketerData recently released from The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) – a state-supported research organization – revealed that the number of microblog users topped the number of social network users in China in December 2011.  According to the “29th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China,” there were 513.1 million internet users, 249.9 million microblog (aka “weibo”) users and 244.2 million social network site users in China in December 2011.

The number of microblog users in China increased a whopping 296% in 2011, according to the report.  Social network user growth was even slower than the growth of general internet users, showing a decline in total penetration for social networks in China (eMarketer).

But according to eMarketer, these growth levels are unlikely to continue. “Regulators are rolling out real-name registration requirements to tighten control over popular social media services, which will likely deter new (and multiple) signups.”

How will social networking and microblogging growth continue to play out in countries where social media platforms are heavily regulated by the government?

Mobile Payments To Reach $670 Billion by 2015

According to a new study by Juniper Research, the next few years will see a rapid adoption of mobile ticketing, NFC (Near Field Communications) payments, physical goods purchases and money transfers as people use their mobile devices for everyday transactions.

This will happen in both developed and developing countries, and the study predicts that the total value of mobile payments for digital and physical goods, money transfers and NFC contact-less transactions will reach $670 billion by 2015, nearly triple the current value of $240 billion. (These forecasts represent the gross merchandise value of all purchases, or the value of money being transferred.)

The top 3 regions for mobile payments – East Asia and China, Western Europe and North America – will represent 75% of the global mobile payment gross transaction value by 2015.

Other highlights from the report:

  • 20 countries are expected to launch NFC services in the next 18 months
  • global NFC transactions will approach $50 billion worldwide by 2014
  • active mobile money users in developing countries will double by 2013
  • digital goods payments will account for nearly 40% of the market in 2015
  • new technology means that 2011 and 2012 are expected to be ‘banner years for NFC service rollouts’

Are these numbers realistic?  What effect will increased use of mobile payments have on developing nations, where there is a need for financial access?

65% of Companies in China Use Social Networks Successfully For Customer Acquisition

A recent survey by Regus reveals that 47% of businesses successfully used social networks for customer acquisition in 2011, a 7% increase over 2010.  The US was slightly behind this average, with 43%.  Out of all the countries studied, China saw the greatest change in successful customer acquisition, rising from 44% in 2010 to 65% in 2011.

Other countries leading in using social networking successfully include:

  • India at 61%
  • Netherlands 57%
  • Mexico 55%
  • Spain at 53%

The survey included countries in both developed and developing markets, and eMarketer concludes that social networks made the biggest impact for companies that were operating in developed markets. In developed markets – especially in the Netherlands, Canada, and the UK – a higher percentage of  companies that used social networking saw revenue increases over the past year vs. companies that did not use social networking for customer acquisition.  Companies in developing markets saw revenue increases regardless of social networking use.

Some other highlights from the survey:

  • More companies are actively devoting marketing budget to social networking – 34% do so now, up from 27% a year ago
  • More than half of businesses (52%) use social networks to interact with and inform customers (this number has stayed relatively stable since last year)
  • 44% of businesses globally believe that customers are reaching out to them via social networks
  • 74% of businesses agree to that social networking is essential for success
  • However, 61% of businesses believe single channel social media campaigns will not be successful unless other media are also involved

Data comes from a survey of over 17,000 senior managers and business owners in 80 countries, from the Regus database of over 1 million contacts.