Many people recognize China as a leader in technology. In fact, according to one report, China ranks 4th in the world when it comes to technological expertise. Just recently, the most populous country on the planet was the first to successfully land a probe on the dark side of the moon. When it comes to computer technology, China hails as the most prolific maker of supercomputers. And despite the fact that internet freedom in China is suppressed by the government, there are still over 630 million internet users in the country, many of whom are on social media.
For those who are curious about how it gets used, here are four interesting facts about social media use in China.
1. China Is the World’s Largest Social Media Market
Considering that China has nearly 1.4 billion people, it’s an astounding fact that half of the consumers in China use social media. Consumers between the ages of 26 and 30 are most likely to use social media in China with the average internet user spending 46 minutes a day on a social media network. When it comes to the online population of China, 91% of them has a social media account.
2. The Government in China Bans Non-Chinese Social Media Sites
It might be hard for Americans, and those in other countries who enjoy their freedom to comprehend, but some governments ban certain social media sites. This is the case in China where they ban websites that do not contain Chinese content.
Along with banning numerous news and information websites, they also ban the following social media sites:
China also bans Google, Gmail, and many messaging apps and streaming websites.
3. Weibo Is the Most Popular Social Media Site in China
The most popular Chinese social media website is called Weibo, a microblogging website that is a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook. Launched just 10 years ago, the wildly popular social media site has over 770 million users.
Like other kinds of social media, Weibo allows users to do a variety of things including keep up with major topics, upload photos and videos, send private messages, and write 140-character posts. Even though Weibo can be used China, it still gets censored. The website’s moderators are instructed by the government to delete posts that contain certain keywords.
4. WhatsApp is Blocked By China
It might surprise some to know that WhatsApp, the most widely used messaging app in the world, was blocked by China in 2017. However, for the 1.5 billion users who still want to use it in China, they can get through the country’s Great Firewall by downloading a virtual private network (VPN).
This allows user to encrypt their internet address and hide their IP address. Users should know, however, that only certain VPNs work in China. For those who can’t or don’t want to use WhatsApp, another messaging app called WeChat is the most widely used app in China.