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Sina Weibo launches English language interface – are chinese microblogging services going global?

January 09, 2013 at 12:26 PM


by Mikul Patel

Digital Marketing Consultant at Matraxis

In a move to help bridge the gap the between China social media and the rest of the world, Sina Weibo (weibo.com) have rolled out a partial English interface – allowing visitors outside China to read translated content on weibo.com.



I thought social media was banned in China?

Not strictly true, whilst some platforms are banned, there are many Chinese social media services geared towards the Chinese market. A breakdown of the most popular Chinese platforms include:



  • Sina Weibo – "China's Twitter" and recently surpassed 400 million registered users
  • Renren – similar set up to Facebook for the college-educated population in China
  • Tencent – platform built on QQ Instant Messaging service – part of a social media hub
  • Douban – open forum that allows unregistered users to access content



It is also worth noting that whilst services such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are banned, this hasn't stopped around 63 million Chinese users getting around the firewall ban.



Targeting the Chinese social media market

Chinese social media platforms have been slow in adopting multi-language versions of their services; Tencent was one of the first to go bilingual ahead of Sina Weibo. Global brands now have opportunity to target consumers using local social media services to reach the younger generation.


In a recent annual report by the L2 Think Tank, grading brands on their approach to social marketing and web presence for Chinese consumers, top ranking brands included Estee Lauder, Audi and BMW. 


Digital IQ Index®: China 2012 from L2 Think Tank on Vimeo.



Are Chinese social media services going global?

Whilst it is highly unlikely that the average person will replace their Facebook or Twitter account with a Sina Weibo or Renren account, we may start to see recognisable global celebrities and brands using Chinese social media services.


Recognisable western names such as Tom Cruise and NBA star Kevin Durant already have weibo.com presence to communicate with their Chinese audience…whether they are personally using the service is questionable!



To find out more and learn to monitor your online brands and competitors, please get in contact with Matraxis to discuss Social Media Monitoring and all things analytics!

Tags: Social Media Facebook Twitter Web Analytics Sina Weibo China
Category: Social Media News

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