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Chinese Social Media: A Quick Intro

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[vc_row][vc_column][us_page_title align=”center”][us_separator show_line=”1″ line_width=”30″][vc_column_text]With Vancouver’s changing demographics, it’s increasingly vital to incorporate Chinese PR strategies in your communications and marketing plans. As a multilingual public relations agency, Dunn PR pays close attention to what’s new and effective on Chinese social media platforms.

Currently the most popular Chinese language platforms globally are WeChat and Sina Weibo.

So what is WeChat and Weibo and how are they used?

WeChat is a mobile app that provides social networking and communication services including texting, voice messaging, voice and video calling. As of August, WeChat had 438 million active users, with 70 million of those outside of China.

Weibo is a Chinese microblogging concept, similar to Twitter. There are several Weibo platforms, including Tencent Weibo and Sohu Weibo, each owned by a different company, yet each version of Weibo is used in similar ways to communicate online. Because of the popularity of the Sina Weibo platform, it is often just referred to as Weibo.

There is a word limit for each Weibo post and you can monitor the number of followers of each user, as well as who he or she is following. Similar to Twitter, on Weibo you can use hashtags to categorize your posts while making it easier to navigate topics and themes.

What’s the difference between WeChat and Weibo?

WeChat can be described as a hybrid platform between Facebook and Whatsapp while Weibo is similar to the Twitter platform we know and love.

How does WeChat compare to Whatsapp?

Compared with the “minimalist” Whatsapp, WeChat has more features including “moments” which are similar in structure to the Facebook timeline that allows users to share posts.  WeChat also features a game centre allowing the user to download and play mobile games

What’s the difference between WeChat and Facebook?

Facebook first launched as a website for the desktop while the mobile app was developed years later. WeChat was specifically designed for smart phone users. Although you can message your WeChat friends via desktop, the majority of WeChat tools and features are only accessible via a smart phone.

Why are WeChat and Weibo preferred to Facebook and Twitter amongst the Chinese community?

Many popular social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter are blocked in China. Even after Chinese immigrants  move to Canada and can access these North American platforms, they still need the WeChat and Weibo platforms to be in touch with friends and relatives living in China.

Why should I use these platforms?

WeChat and Weibo are gateways to the Chinese market, not only popular with local Chinese Canadians, but also with the massive audience in Mainland China.

WeChat has been globalizing its brand and the app currently supports languages including English, Indonesian, Spanish, Hindi and Russian. WeChat has also set up an office in San Francisco to promote itself to the North American market. Although the majority of WeChat users are still from China, WeChat is popular elsewhere in Asia, including in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. Today WeChat has users in over 30 countries, and was the most downloaded mobile social app in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey in July, 2013. Today, WeChat has over 70 million active users outside of China. The global influence of WeChat and Weibo means that these social media platforms should be considered as a part of any smart business’s communications plan where a digitally active, multicultural audience is a focus.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]