China counts 600 million Internet users and over 1 billion mobile users – among them, 300 million own a smartphone.

Due to the Great Firewall blocking most of foreign websites, China has developed over the years an its own digital ecosystem, starting in 1999 with popular IM system QQ. Among the numerous local social media platforms, the most popular are:

Sina Weibo – microblog with 300 million users
WeChat – mobile messaging app with social features with 200 million users in China
Douban – interest-based social network
RenRen – social network launched in 2005

The most popular search engines are:

Baidu – 63% of the search market share – 18% of the search market share
Sogou – 10% of the search market share
Soso – 3.5% of the search market share

Youku, Tudou, Sohu video and PPTV are the most used video-sharing websites in Mainland China.


Social networks

  • Sina WeiboSina Weibo
    The most popular social network in China. Launched in 2009 as a Twitter-alike platform, it has today about 300 million users

  • Tencent WeiboTencent Weibo
    Microblogging platform owned by Tencent Holdings; it counts 500M registered users, through the automatic integration with QQ accounts.

  • Tencent QQTencent QQ
    Instant messaging program launched in 1998, now with over 700M active users, owned by Tencent Holdings

  • QzoneQzone
    Blog, personal diary and photo-sharing platform with over 500M registered users, owned by Tencent Holdings

  • RenRenRenRen
    Founded in 2005, with a series of features very similar to Facebook. Today its popularity among Chinese users is declining

  • Kaixin 001Kaixin 001
    Social network with several Facebook-alike features, introduced in 2008

  • DoubanDouban
    Reviews-based social network with over 50M users, active for both registered and unregistered users

    Interest-based social network featuring video sharing and an its own system of virtual currency.

  • DianDianDianDian
    Tumblr-alike blogging platform, very popular among a young, fashionable target

  • JiepangJiepang
    Location-based social network. Launched in 2010, it has now over 3 million users and 200K daily check-ins.

  • MelishuoMelishuo
    Pinboard-style photo sharing website, very popular amongst Chinese users (partnership with Taobao)

  • MogujieMogujie
    Pinboard-style photo sharing website, launched in 2011 in Beijing (partnership with Taobao)

  • ZhimeiZhimei
    Pinboard-style site to share images, products and branded content

  • PlurkPlurk
    Social networking and micro-blogging service from Taiwan

    Chinese blogging and social networking platform

  • JuayuanJuayuan
    One of the biggest dating websites in China

  • PengyouPengyou
    Chinese blogging and social networking platform

  • DianpingDianping
    Location-based review website popular all across China

  • P1P1
    Social network targeting people with high social status in China, with over 3M users.

  • DaodaoDaodao
    The Chinese version of Trip Advisor, extremely popular in Mainland China.

  • QyerQyer
    Popular bulletin board systems dealing with reviews of outbound travel destinations.

  • BaiduBaidu
    The dominant search engine in China, with about 65% of the Search Market share in the country

  • 360360
    Software house and web portal, accounting for about 15% of the Search Market share in China

  • SogouSogou
    Search engine launched in 2004, with about 10% of the search market share in China (owned by Sohu Inc.)

    Owned by Tencent Holdings, it’s among the most visited websites in China and South Korea

  • YoudaoYoudao
    Search engine launched in 2007 by NetEase Internet Company

Video sharing platforms

  • YoukuYouku
    The main video sharing and entertaining distribution platform in China.

  • TudouTudou
    Video sharing platform (acquired by Youku) with over 15 billions minutes of videos streamed every day.

  • Sohu VideoSohu Video
    Entertainment distribution platform, broadcasting movies and TV shows in China

    Peer-to-peer video library with movies, music and TV shows.

    Video sharing platform focused on high-definition
    and professional content

    Video sharing platform, owned by RenRen

  • Phoenix TelevisionPhoenix Television
    Hong-Kong based media and news channel, available in mainland China.


  • WeixinWeixin/WeChat
    Booming messaging app in China. Launched in ’11 by Tencent Holdings, and rebranded in ’12 for the international market

  • WandoujiaWandoujia
    Biggest Android apps store in Mainland China

  • DIDIDiDi
    Popular location-based app to find and reserve taxis in Mainland China

  • TudingTuding
    Social photo-sharing application with over 4 million users

  • PaPaPaPa
    Socially integrated photo-sharing and voice message-sharing app

  • MomoMomo
    Biggest Chinese GPS-based social & dating app, with almost 100M users


  • AlibabaAlibaba
    Ecommerce platform designed for small business and entrepreneurs, established in 1999

  • Tmall Tmall
    Ecommerce platform for quality and branded goods (owned by Alibaba)

  • TaobaoTaobao
    C2C ecommerce platform with over 350M registered users (owned by Alibaba)

  • Yi Hao DianYi Hao Dian
    Ecommerce and Mobile commerce platform; the largest food ecommerce retailer in China

    The largest make-up deals website in China

  • JingdongJingdong
    One of the fastest growing online superstores, from tech to high-end fashion products

  • Buy51Buy51
    Ecommerce platform focused on tech and electronic products, owned by Tencent

  • VanclVancl
    One of the biggest Asian online clothing online retailer

  • shangpinShangpin
    Online shopping platform for high-end clothing and accessories



Tech In Asia

Blog about social media marketing and new technologies in Asia


Blog about social media marketing in China, by consultancy company Labbrand


Blog about social media marketing and new technologies in Asia

Campaign Asia

A blog about advertising, marketing and digital campaigns and agencies in Asia

Know China Now

A leading resource for brand marketers with an interest in China, by London-based digital agency Hot Pot Digital

Mailman Blog

Blog about social media marketing in China, by Shanghai-based digital agency Mailman.

ClickZ Asia

Blog about digital and mobiel marketing in China, India and Asia-Pacific

Value 2020

Blog about Business Strategy & Marketing of Mobile Internet, focused on China.


Blog with insights about the Baidu search engine

Search Blog Asia

Information about SEO in Pacific Asia and China, powered by Hong Kong based digital agency The Egg


News and updates about the Great Fire Wall, monitoring blocked websites and keywords.

Tea Leaf Nation

E-magazine offering analysis and commentary on news and trends taken from Chinese social media.

Offbeat China

Online buzz, insights and stories from the Chinese Internet.


Taiwan-based blog focusing on social media & mobile, from a business & marketing perspective (in Chinese).

China Youthology

Cultural project with researches about young generations in China.


Wandoujia // China App Index, the most popular mobile apps in China (Constantly updated)

Baidu // Real-time distribution of internet usage time (Constantly updated)

Young Digital Lab // How Does Marketing On Sina Weibo Work? (April 2011)

China Youthology + GroupM // China Youth Mediascapes (March 2012)

GlobalWebIndex // Social Engagement Benchmark (October 2012)

Young Digital Lab // Social Media in Asia: Sina Weibo and the Chinese ecosystem (October 2012)

We Are Social // Social Media and Social Media Marketing China Stats (January 2013)

Tech In Asia // How the Great Firewall of China works (March 2013)


Econsultancy // China: a special report on digital marketing and e-commerce (October 2012)

Mailman Group // Where are young Chinese people watching TV? (November 2012)

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