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Top 11 Chinese Social Media Platforms

93% of businesses prioritize social media to engage customers in the Chinese market

Comparison of Western social media plantforms and Chinese social media platforms

Unlike in the Western world, popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are blocked in China. This restriction has led to the development of a unique Chinese social media ecosystem, where local platforms are preferred not only due to governmental regulations but also because they offer interfaces and language options familiar to Chinese users.


Building on this unique ecosystem, Chinese social media platforms are instrumental in helping brands and companies succeed within the market. These platforms enable tailored marketing strategies that are culturally and linguistically aligned with the preferences of Chinese consumers, enhancing brand resonance and loyalty. The extensive reach and sophisticated data analytics these platforms provide allow businesses to effectively segment their audience and optimize their marketing campaigns, ensuring maximum impact and ROI. This strategic use of local social media is crucial for any brand looking to establish a strong presence in China's dynamic market.

To capitalize on these opportunities, explore the following Chinese social media platforms and learn how they can bolster your business's success in the Chinese market.

We have provided a comprehensive overview of these platforms, highlighting their unique marketing features and the social media strategies brands can employ to leverage them effectively (All figures have been updated for 2024).

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Introduction of WeChat

Monthly Active Users: 1.3 billion

Type of content: video, image, text, live-streaming

Marketing Features: WeChat Official Account, WeChat Mini Program, WeChat Channel, KOC marketing

Equivalent Platforms: Whatsapp, Facebook

The features of WeChat, e.g., WeChat mini program, WeChat Channel, Moments and etc.

Since its launch, WeChat has firmly held its position as China's "No. 1 National App," consistently leading the Chinese market as the most engaged social app. Its success is largely due to its ability to integrate a vast array of features that cater to virtually every aspect of a user's life, including information searching, entertainment through videos and games, shopping, payments, corporate communication, social sharing, and financial transactions, all within the WeChat ecosystem.


Recognizing this, brands have strategically embraced WeChat to refine their marketing strategies. Establishing a WeChat Official Account is often the initial step for brands looking to enhance their corporate image and communicate effectively in both B2C and B2B environments. Brands also develop WeChat mini-programs to streamline the purchasing process, enabling immediate transactions or lead generation directly from the WeChat Official Account.


In 2020, Tencent introduced the WeChat Channel to capitalize on the rising popularity of short-form videos. High-profile brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, and De Beers have leveraged this feature to boost their visibility and engage a broader audience. Unlike the WeChat Official Account, which only sends updates to followers, the WeChat Channel offers an ungated approach, allowing brands to reach potential customers who haven’t yet followed them. Additionally, brands utilize WeChat Channel's live-streaming function to foster direct interaction and attract new followers, enhancing user engagement and brand presence.

Introduction of Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu)

Monthly Active Users: 300 million

Type of content: video, image, text, live-streaming

Marketing Features: Red official account, E-commerce flagship store, influencer marketing

Equivalent Platforms: Instagram, Pinterest

Interfaces of Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu)

Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu in Chinese), the fastest-growing social media platform in recent years, boasted 312 million monthly active users in 2023, reflecting a 20% year-on-year increase. This surge underscores its success in attracting new users and retaining existing ones.


Firstly, Little Red Book distinguishes itself with a unique content ecosystem that blends social media with a comprehensive platform for sharing, discovery, and purchase. Users access a diverse range of high-quality content spanning beauty, skincare, fashion, travel, and food, accompanied by detailed recommendations and reviews. This rich content mix has solidified Little Red Book’s unique value proposition among its users.


Secondly, the platform thrives on a vibrant community atmosphere, primarily engaging young, fashion-forward women with disposable income. These users are not only eager to share lifestyle and shopping insights but are also receptive to others' recommendations, making Little Red Book a trusted shopping reference.


Additionally, Little Red Book excels in social e-commerce through its user-generated content (UGC) model. Users frequently post product reviews and tips, aiding others in product selection while providing valuable market insights to brands. This approach enhances e-commerce conversion rates and user engagement.


For brands, maximizing exposure and increasing value on Little Red Book involves deep integration into the platform's ecosystem. Brands should understand the user demographics to tailor marketing strategies that resonate with the platform’s ethos. Creating high-quality original content showcases a brand’s unique appeal, engaging users effectively.


Brands can also leverage KOL and celebrity collaborations to enhance marketing impact and reach their target audience faster, increasing brand awareness and reputation. Engaging with the community to gather feedback helps brands optimize their offerings and boost their value.


Lastly, brands should continually innovate, exploring new marketing avenues such as live broadcasting for real-time product demonstrations and promotions, or establishing a dedicated e-commerce presence for a more personalized shopping experience.


Little Red Book offers a dynamic space for brands to thrive by leveraging its unique community vibe and algorithmic targeting, providing ample opportunities for growth and increased brand visibility. Click here to access the ultimate marketing guide for Little Red Book.

Introduction of Sina Weibo

Sina Weibo

Monthly Active Users: 605 million

Type of content: video, image, text, live-streaming

Marketing Features: Weibo official account, super topic (Chaohua), trending topics (Resou)

Equivalent Platforms: X (former name Twitter), Facebook

The interfaces of Sina Weibo.

Since its launch in 2009, Sina Weibo (Weibo means microblogging in Chinese) has seen a meteoric rise in user registrations, with the post-90s and post-00s generations making up nearly 80% of its base. Distinguished by its openness and real-time capabilities, Weibo allows for rapid information dissemination across diverse topics. This platform boasts a vast and interactive user base, including a significant number of verified accounts from celebrities, opinion leaders, and government entities, enhancing the credibility and impact of shared content.


As the slogan of the platform says, "Discover what's new anytime, anywhere", users can post what they see, hear, think, and do through text, music, video, etc. to share with friends, strangers and their own lives. Weibo is the fermentation place and detonation platform for almost all trending topics at present. One of the biggest competitive advantages of Weibo is the "Weibo Hot Search", Weibo Hot Search dynamically ranks trending topics based on real user activity, continuously updating to reflect the most discussed content on the platform. The algorithm calculates the overall popularity of each topic by analyzing search frequency, post volume, interactions, and readership, updating every minute to display the top 50 trending topics.


Weibo's user demographic is evenly split by gender, with interests spanning practical and niche categories like gaming, sports, and travel. For brands, Weibo provides a social field to diffuse sound volume and manage word-of-mouth. Its ability to facilitate widespread discussion makes it critical in multi-platform marketing strategies. The visibility of a campaign on Weibo often gauges its reach, while user-generated content and comments can significantly influence public sentiment—either bolstering the brand’s image or, conversely, sparking a potential crisis.


User comments on Weibo act as a barometer for the success of marketing efforts, guiding brands on the public's perception and potential areas for product development. Feedback from influential users, in particular, can provide valuable insights for future marketing strategies.

Introduction of WeChat Channel.

WeChat Channel

Monthly Active Users: 800 million

Type of content: video, live-streaming

Marketing Features: WeChat Channel official account, live-streaming

Equivalent Platforms: TikTok

The interfaces of WeChat Channel.

Launched on January 22, 2020, by Tencent, the WeChat Channel is a content creation and sharing platform integrated within WeChat's Discover page. Users can easily publish images and videos accompanied by text and links to articles from the WeChat official account. The platform supports interactive features such as likes and comments, and content can be readily shared in Moments and chat scenarios, significantly enhancing its social attributes.


As a built-in feature of WeChat, the WeChat Channel benefits from a massive user base, ensuring a stable source of traffic. The content on the WeChat Channel is diverse, including pictures and videos, and the interaction between users is strong, which helps to enhance engagement and user retention. Crucially, the WeChat Channel allows for the inclusion of links that direct traffic directly to WeChat Official Accounts. This is especially valuable for foreign-registered WeChat Official Accounts, which typically lack commenting features, making the WeChat Channel's interactive capabilities particularly advantageous for these brands.


For brands looking to leverage the WeChat Channel for marketing:


1. The first step is to define content strategy and target consumers—identifying the type of content, style, and themes to publish. Understanding the target consumer's needs and interests is crucial for creating content that resonates with them.


2. The second step involves producing high-quality content, which is central to the WeChat Channel's appeal. Engaging, inspiring content attracts more viewers. Maintaining a regular posting schedule is vital to keep the audience engaged.


3. The third step is to capitalize on the WeChat ecosystem by linking the WeChat Channel with other WeChat features like WeChat official accounts, Moments, and Mini Programs. Promoting the WeChat Channel content through these interconnected channels can lead to mutual traffic conversion.


4. Additionally, enhancing viewer interaction—by responding to comments, hosting interactive events, and inviting viewer participation in content creation—increases viewer loyalty and engagement.


5. Finally, regularly analyzing the WeChat Channel's performance data is crucial for understanding viewer behavior, preferences, and feedback, which in turn helps refine content strategies and optimize operations. Additionally, staying informed about industry trends and competitor activities is essential for making timely strategic adjustments.

The introduction of Douyin (Chinese vversion of TikTok).

Douyin (Chinese version of TikTok)

Monthly Active Users: 743 million

Type of content: video, image, live-streaming​

Marketing Features: Douyin official account, live-streaming, Douyin Mall, Ocean Engine, influencer marketing

Equivalent Platforms: Tiktok, Youtube

The interfaces of Douyin (Chinese version of TikTok).

Douyin, a music-based short video social app launched by ByteDance, quickly captured the market with its unique positioning and innovative approach. Catering to users' needs for fragmented, lightweight entertainment, Douyin has become a dominant player in China's short video platform market. Since 2020, an increasing number of institutions and enterprises have joined Douyin, aiming not only to gain more traffic from different platforms but also to enhance the richness of brand content beyond the single format of official accounts on WeChat or Weibo. For many brands, the social media strategy now includes the "Two ‘Wei’(Weixin, Chinese name for WeChat and Weibo) and One Douyin" approach, which encompassing WeChat official accounts, Weibo, and Douyin.


In recent years, Douyin has not only strengthened its short video segment but also expanded into online e-commerce, live-streaming sales, and offline group buying, striving to build a comprehensive marketing ecosystem.


Douyin's user base is almost evenly split, with 48.5% males and 51.5% females, and it covers the 25-35 age group extensively. Most users come from second to fourth-tier cities, with monthly online consumption ranging from USD 140 to USD 300. Popular content on Douyin includes music and dance, followed by film and entertainment, food, current affairs, and health.


Both large enterprises and small businesses are actively establishing their presence in Douyin. They use the platform to build brand image, attract target users, enhance interaction and conversion rates, and achieve brand promotion and sales conversion.


For brands,


1. The first step is to clarify their positioning on Douyin and identify their target audience, which helps determine content creation direction, interaction methods, and marketing strategies.


2. Once the positioning and target audience are clear, brands need to create engaging content that resonates with users. Content is the core of Douyin marketing. Brands should produce interesting and valuable short videos that align with their image. By combining current events, user interests, and brand stories, content can take various forms such as tutorials, stories, challenges, and interactive Q&As to attract diverse users.


3. Maintaining a consistent update frequency is crucial. Regularly posting content ensures that users see the brand as active. Additionally, leveraging Douyin's algorithm is vital. The algorithm recommends content based on user interests and behaviors, offering a decentralized platform experience. Understanding Douyin's algorithm mechanisms and optimizing content tags and keywords can significantly increase content exposure.


The paid advertising platform Engine Ocean (ads platform officially under Douyin) can boost content exposure for brands that have been on Douyin for a while. Common advertising methods include splash ads (open-screen ads), in-feed ads, interactive ads, content heating, mall brand ads, search brand ads, and search bid ads.


Douyin's rapid rise and integration into the marketing strategies of numerous brands underscore its importance in China's social media landscape. By understanding and leveraging Douyin's features, brands can effectively engage with users and enhance their promotional efforts.

The introduction of Kuaishou.


Monthly Active Users: 673 million

Type of content: video, image, live-streaming

Marketing Features: Kuaishou official account, live-streaming​

Equivalent Platforms: TikTok, Youtube, Douyin

The interfaces of Kuaishou.

Established in 2011, Kuaishou initially served as a GIF-making tool, addressing the challenge of creating GIFs on mobile devices. This innovation sparked the widespread sharing of entertaining GIFs on Weibo. Evolving into a short video community in 2012, Kuaishou became a pivotal platform for users to document and share their daily experiences.


Kuaishou’s main features include video recording, watching, sharing, and commenting. Users can effortlessly capture and upload their videos while discovering diverse and engaging content across lifestyle, entertainment, food, travel, and education categories.


With a user base comprising 53.1% male and 46.9% female, Kuaishou attracts a varied demographic, with significant representation from the under 24 (29.9%) and over 51 (23.9%) age groups, along with users aged 31-35 (12.3%). Kuaishou's primary users are from second to fourth-tier cities, with interests in sports, fitness, pets, agriculture, and food.


Unlike the celebrity-driven marketing on Douyin, Kuaishou's content primarily features everyday people recording and sharing their lives. This focus on grassroots marketing allows users to authentically and relatably present their daily experiences, fostering a unique and engaging community atmosphere.

Introduction of Bilibili


Monthly Active Users: 341 million

Type of content: video, live-streaming

Marketing Features: Bilibili official account, live-streaming, influencer marketing

Equivalent Platforms: Youtube

The interfaces of Bilibili (both mobile and desktop version).

Launched in 2009, Bilibili started as a platform centered on ACG (animation, comics, games) content and has since transformed into a diverse video-sharing site encompassing film, music, technology, and lifestyle content. Known for its unique bullet comment feature and high-quality content, Bilibili has attracted a vast young audience, becoming both China's largest ACG hub and a major platform for young people to share and express themselves.


Bilibili's user base is 57% male and 43% female, with 78% of users aged 18-35. Impressively, 82% belong to Generation Z, mainly residing in first and second-tier cities, and they demonstrate a strong willingness to pay for content. These users are highly engaged, with keen interests in anime, games, music, and technology, making them active and capable online consumers.


For international brands, Bilibili offers a direct channel to engage with young consumers. Here are effective strategies to leverage Bilibili for brand promotion:


1. Official Account Management: Creating and maintaining a strong brand persona is fundamental. High-quality, longer videos with diverse content help enrich the brand's persona on the platform. This approach fosters a deeper sense of connection and engagement with users, making earning their trust and loyalty easier.


2. Influencer Marketing: Collaborating with Bilibili content creators to produce videos that align with the brand's image can enhance brand visibility through subtle product placements.


3. Participating in Marketing Events: Brands can engage in various online and offline events hosted by Bilibili to interact with young users and improve brand perception.


4. Paid Advertising: Bilibili offers multiple advertising formats, such as pre-roll and in-feed ads, allowing brands to choose the most suitable options.


Many international brands have achieved significant promotional success on Bilibili. Serving as a bridge between global brands and young consumers, Bilibili provides a unique and effective platform for brand promotion. By understanding Bilibili’s user demographics and community culture, and aligning these insights with brand characteristics and goals, international brands can conduct targeted promotional activities and maximize their brand value.

The introduction of Zhihu.


Monthly Active Users: 102 million

Type of content:  text, image, video

Marketing Features: Zhihu official account

Equivalent Platforms: Quora

The interfaces of Zhihu.

Zhihu, launched in January 2011, is a Chinese Q&A community and content creation platform. It aims to help people share knowledge, experiences, and insights, fostering a better understanding and connection. With its unique product features, structured and accessible high-quality content, and a serious, professional, and friendly community, Zhihu attracts the most creative minds in technology, business, entertainment, fashion, and culture.


Zhihu's primary feature is its Q&A format, where users can ask questions and receive answers from others, promoting interaction and knowledge sharing. This has made Zhihu a high-quality knowledge repository. Additionally, Zhihu offers columns and articles covering various fields such as technology, culture, history, and art, providing users with knowledge and resources. The platform also includes video and live-streaming features, catering to diverse user preferences and offering content creators more expressive formats.


Zhihu's user base is primarily young, highly educated, and high-income individuals who seek quality living and self-improvement. These users have diverse interests and a curiosity for new things, making Zhihu a professional content platform that attracts many experts and professionals to share their insights and experiences.


As Zhihu continues to grow and enhance its influence, more brands recognize its value as a marketing platform. With its high-quality users and professional knowledge content, Zhihu offers brands opportunities for deep interaction and brand image building. Forward-thinking and innovative brands have already started leveraging Zhihu for marketing.


Here are effective strategies:


1. Knowledge Sharing and Q&A: Brands can actively answer questions related to their field, showcasing expertise and authority. Sharing valuable knowledge increases user trust and brand favorability, enhancing brand awareness and reputation.


2. Content Marketing: Brands can create Zhihu columns or publish high-quality articles that delve into their products or services. Original, professional, and readable content can attract user interest. Content-based advertising and collaborative promotions can also boost brand exposure.


3. Membership Marketing: Brands can offer related membership benefits through Zhihu's membership services, such as exclusive content, badges, and privileges. This increases user loyalty and recognition.


4. Community Engagement: By participating in community discussions and interactions, brands can connect and communicate with users, increasing exposure and engagement, and thereby enhancing brand awareness and influence.


5. Advertising: Zhihu provides various advertising options. Brands can choose the appropriate format and placement to reach more users and increase brand awareness and sales.


6. Event Marketing: Brands can plan or participate in trending events or topic discussions on Zhihu to capture user attention and interest. Event marketing can enhance brand awareness, influence, and user recognition.


Zhihu is a powerful platform for reaching an engaged, high-quality audience. By utilizing these strategies, brands can effectively market themselves, build trust, and establish a strong presence on Zhihu, driving both brand awareness and user engagement.

The introduction of Toutiao.


Monthly Active Users: 260 million

Type of content: text, video, image

Marketing Features: Toutiao official account, Wei Toutiao, E-commerce flagship store, paid advertising

Equivalent Platforms: Flipboard, Google News

The interfaces of Toutiao.

Toutiao, developed by ByteDance, is a news and information app driven by data mining to recommend content to users and connect them with information. Covering a broad range of topics from politics and economics to entertainment and technology, Toutiao provides comprehensive news coverage, including both trending events and niche topics. It also hosts a vast array of self-media content, offering the latest and most engaging news. Toutiao encourages user interaction with comment sections and like buttons under each article, allowing users to share their views and engage with others. This interactivity transforms users from passive recipients to active creators and disseminators of information.


Toutiao’s user base is predominantly male (77.6%), with over 40% aged 36 and above. Younger users (under 30) comprise about 30% of the audience, indicating that middle-aged men are the core demographic. Geographically, Toutiao users are spread across various regions, from first-tier cities (13%) to new first-tier cities (22.9%), and second and third-tier cities (19.6% and 20.4% respectively), showing balanced regional distribution.


Brands can leverage Toutiao’s unique user profile for targeted marketing. With middle-aged men as the core audience, content can be tailored to their interests and needs. Here are effective strategies:


1. Custom Content: Create articles or videos on finance, technology, health, education, automotive, and travel to resonate with this demographic.


2. Special Reports and Analysis: Develop in-depth industry insights and valuable information that appeal to the professional interests of middle-aged men.


3. Targeted Advertising: Highlight product quality, practicality, and value in ads to align with the pragmatic consumption mindset of this group.


As a ByteDance product, Toutiao shares some platform features with Douyin. Users searching for information on Toutiao may also encounter content from Douyin. Therefore, it’s beneficial to optimize related Douyin features, such as Douyin Baike and Douyin Mall, to enhance overall exposure and engagement.


By understanding and utilizing Toutiao's user demographics and platform capabilities, brands can effectively reach and engage their target audience, maximizing their marketing impact.

The introduction of Dazhong Dianping.

Dazhong Dianping

Monthly Active Users: 600 million

Type of content: video, image, text, live-streaming

Marketing Features: Dazhong Dianping official account, paid advertising

Equivalent Platforms: Yelp, TripAdvisor

The interfaces of Dazhong Dianping.

Dazhong Dianping, established in April 2003 in Shanghai, is a leading local life information and transaction platform in China. It not only provides users with comprehensive merchant information, consumer reviews, and discount services but has also expanded into O2O (Online to Offline) transaction services. These services include group buying, restaurant reservations, food delivery, and electronic membership cards, catering to the diverse needs of users in their daily lives.


Dazhong Dianping's standout feature is its third-party review model, allowing users to evaluate merchants based on their personal experiences. This provides valuable references for other users. The platform also actively introduces various features and services like the "Must-Eat List," "Check-Ins," and "Sharing" to enhance user engagement and loyalty, thereby improving user retention.


One of Dazhong Dianping's most distinctive and attractive aspects is its social functionality. As an integrated local life service platform, Dazhong Dianping offers a rich and engaging consumer experience through its social features.


1. User Interaction: The platform allows users to interact socially by following other users, adding friends, and viewing their reviews and activities. This interaction not only increases user engagement but also provides more consumption references and suggestions. Users can share their experiences, food discoveries, and travel guides, forming social circles based on shared interests.


2. Community Features: Dazhong Dianping boasts robust community features where users can participate in various topic discussions and interactive activities. This community atmosphere enhances user stickiness and enriches the platform's content diversity.


For brands with offline presences such as stores, restaurants, or service providers, Dazhong Dianping offers a unique and powerful platform for digital marketing in China. Its comprehensive services and robust social features provide an invaluable tool for reaching local consumers. By leveraging user-generated content and fostering a strong community, Dazhong Dianping helps these brands enhance their visibility, engage with customers, and drive offline traffic, making it an essential part of their digital marketing strategy.

The introduction of Meituan.


Monthly Active Users: 470 million

Type of content: video, image, text, live-streaming

Marketing Features: Meituan official account, paid advertising

Equivalent Platforms: Uber Eats, Deliveroo

The introduction of Meituan.

Established in 2010, Meituan is an internet company dedicated to enhancing daily life through its "retail + technology" strategy. Its mission, "helping people eat better, live better," is reflected in its diverse core businesses:

1. Food Delivery: As one of Meituan's core services, Meituan Waimai connects millions of users with thousands of restaurants, offering convenient food delivery. Users can browse local restaurants, choose dishes, place orders, and enjoy fast delivery.

2. In-Store Services: Meituan's in-store services cover dining, entertainment, and hotel bookings. Users can find nearby restaurants, cinemas, KTVs, and hotels, and benefit from discounts and easy booking through the platform.

3. Flash Sales and Retail: Meituan Flash Sale focuses on instant retail, providing quick delivery of groceries, fresh produce, flowers, health products, electronics, beauty items, and more. Meituan Youxuan and Meituan Maicai further expand the retail options, offering a wide variety of fresh goods and daily necessities.

4. Travel Services: Meituan's travel business includes flights, hotels, attraction tickets, and group tours. Users can book travel products through Meituan and enjoy competitive prices and convenient services.

5. Mobility Services: Meituan offers various mobility solutions, including bike-sharing and ride-hailing, providing users with more travel options and complementing its other services.

6. Financial Services: Meituan Finance offers diverse fintech services, including payments, wealth management, loans, and insurance, enhancing the consumer experience and supporting merchants on the platform.

Brands offering dining, delivery, retail, travel, entertainment, and related services can effectively utilize Meituan for marketing. By creating an official account on Meituan, brands can reach a broad audience, leverage the platform's user base, and engage with potential customers. To succeed, brands must understand Meituan's user demographics and market needs, and develop tailored marketing strategies. Effective communication and collaboration with Meituan are crucial to ensure optimal performance and achieve marketing goals.

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