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Social and Media Networks - China - May 2015

“There are an increasing number of specialised social and media networks, which differentiate themselves from the leading networks by focusing on a specific group or fulfilling specific user needs. Compared to fully-featured social and media networks that serve the mass audience, these niche platforms offer brands good marketing opportunities due to their targeted audiences and specialised features.”
– Ivy Jiang, Research Analyst

This report answers the following key questions:

  • How can specialised social and media networks compete? 
  • How can brands embrace specialised social and media networks to talk to their target audience?
  • Will social commerce be a trend?
  • How important is customer service on social and media networks?
Chinese consumers are shown to have an open attitudes and active behaviour towards social and media networks. They are more accepting of targeted advertisements (based on their purchasing/ browsing history) than UK consumers, and they are more likely to make a purchase on social and media networks than US consumers.
 
It is a good sign for brands to market to Chinese consumers by utilising their receptive attitude and behaviour on networks. Mintel also finds that brands marketing on social media networks are less developed compared to western countries.
 
For instance, marketing on Vine or Instagram via micro-video has become one of the vital marketing strategies for brands in the western world, while the Chinese equivalent site, Meipai, has attracted few brands to market themselves on it. This indicates that brands in China need to start to utilise specialised networks for their marketing strategy.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Social networks
          • Media networks
            • Demographic groups
              • Methodology
                • Abbreviations
                • Executive Summary

                    • Market trends
                      • Figure 1: The usage of internet access devices in China, 2013-14
                    • IM-type social networking becomes a trend
                      • Figure 2: Penetration of IM-type and microblogging platforms in China, 2013-14
                    • The emergence of specialised social and media networks
                      • Media networks use self-produced content to differentiate
                        • The popularity of “bullet comments” on media networks
                          • Micro video becomes a common feature
                            • The consumer
                              • WeChat leads China’s social media networks
                                • Figure 3: Frequency of using leading social and media networks, February 2014 and March 2015
                              • Meipai emerges to be a dark horse
                                • Figure 4: Usage of emerging social and media networks, March 2015
                              • Online shopping becomes an integrated part of social and media networks
                                • Figure 5: Reasons for using social and media networks, March 2015
                              • Consumers are willing to interact with official accounts
                                • Figure 6: Consumer interaction with and attitudes towards official accounts, March 2015
                              • Chinese consumers are more likely to make a purchase via social/media networks
                                • Figure 7: Purchase-related behaviour on social and media networks, March 2015
                              • Creative and entertaining advertising is attractive to consumers
                                • Figure 8: Attitudes towards advertisements on social and media networks, March 2015
                              • Key issues
                                • How can specialised social and media networks compete?
                                  • How can brands embrace specialised social and media networks to talk to their target audience?
                                    • Will social commerce be a trend?
                                      • How important is customer service on social and media networks?
                                        • What we think
                                        • Issues and Insights

                                            • How can specialised social and media networks compete?
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                  • How can brands embrace specialised social and media networks to talk to their target audience?
                                                    • The facts
                                                      • The implications
                                                        • Will social commerce be a trend?
                                                          • The facts
                                                            • The implications
                                                              • How important is customer service on social and media networks?
                                                                • The facts
                                                                  • The implications
                                                                  • Trend Application

                                                                    • Utilising reviews as brand advertisements
                                                                      • Promoting customised services and products to guide consumers
                                                                        • Make special offers more fun and less cheap
                                                                        • Market Trends

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • China has almost 650 million netizens by 2014
                                                                              • Figure 9: The number of netizens and internet penetration in China, 2010-14
                                                                            • 4G network boosts mobile social and media networking
                                                                              • Over four fifths of internet users connect to the internet via mobile phones
                                                                                • Figure 10: Usage of internet access devices in China, 2013-14
                                                                              • IM-type social networking drives the market
                                                                                • Figure 11: Penetration of IM-type and microblogging platforms in China, 2013-14
                                                                                • Figure 12: Monthly active users of leading social networks, as at 31 December of each year, 2013-14
                                                                              • A number of niche social and media networks are emerging
                                                                                • Media networks differentiate by exclusive TV programmes
                                                                                  • Mock the show with “bullet comments”
                                                                                    • Micro-video sharing becomes more common
                                                                                    • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Media networks become the new channel for live concerts
                                                                                          • More opportunities for location-based marketing with Weibo Sports
                                                                                            • Traditional TV stations embrace the internet to develop their own media networks
                                                                                            • Companies and Products

                                                                                              • Social networks
                                                                                                • QQ
                                                                                                  • Latest developments
                                                                                                    • Qzone
                                                                                                      • Latest development
                                                                                                        • WeChat
                                                                                                          • Latest development
                                                                                                            • Sina Weibo
                                                                                                              • Latest development
                                                                                                                • LinkedIn
                                                                                                                  • Latest development
                                                                                                                    • Emerging social networks
                                                                                                                      • Media networks
                                                                                                                        • Youku Tudou Inc.
                                                                                                                          • Latest developments
                                                                                                                            • Douban
                                                                                                                              • Latest developments
                                                                                                                                • Baidu Tieba
                                                                                                                                  • Latest development
                                                                                                                                    • Zhihu
                                                                                                                                      • Latest developments
                                                                                                                                        • Emerging media networks
                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – User Profile of Social and Media Networks

                                                                                                                                          • Methodology and how to read the charts
                                                                                                                                            • Leading social and media networks
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 13: User profile of leading social and media networks, by gender and age, March 2015
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 14: User profile of leading social and media networks, by monthly personal income and city tier, March 2015
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 15: User profile of leading social and media networks, by education level and type of organisation, March 2015
                                                                                                                                            • QQ
                                                                                                                                              • Qzone
                                                                                                                                                • WeChat
                                                                                                                                                  • Sina Weibo
                                                                                                                                                    • LinkedIn
                                                                                                                                                      • Momo
                                                                                                                                                        • Renren
                                                                                                                                                          • Jiayuan
                                                                                                                                                            • Youku
                                                                                                                                                              • Douban
                                                                                                                                                                • Baidu Tieba
                                                                                                                                                                  • Zhihu
                                                                                                                                                                    • Emerging social and media networks
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 16: User profile of emerging social and media networks, by gender and age, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 17: User profile of emerging social and media networks, by monthly personal income and city tier, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 18: User profile of emerging social and media networks, by education level and type of organisation, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                    • Laiwang
                                                                                                                                                                      • Yixin
                                                                                                                                                                        • Meipai
                                                                                                                                                                          • Weishi
                                                                                                                                                                            • YY
                                                                                                                                                                              • Papa
                                                                                                                                                                                • Changba
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Guokr
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Bilibili
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Shise
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Duitang
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Same
                                                                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Usage of Social and Media Networks

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Usage trends in leading social and media networks
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Frequency of using leading social and media networks, February 2014 and March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Mobile apps drive popularity
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 20: Frequency of using leading social networks (continued), March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Signs to suggest consumers are focusing on fewer sites
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Numbers of social and media networks being used, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Multiple platform users fulfil various needs through social and media networks
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Reasons for using social and media networks, by the number of leading social and media networks being used, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Chinese consumers are quite open to new social and media networks
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Penetration of emerging social and media networks, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Overview of Behaviours on and Attitudes towards Social and Media Networks

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Online shopping has become an essential function for social and media networks
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Reasons for using social and media networks, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Half of consumers are willing to recommend their favourite official account to others
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Consumer usage habits on brands’ official accounts, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                • …but personal information is still the top concern
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Consumers’ concern over official accounts, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Social/media networks have become an essential online information resource
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Purchase-related behaviour on social and media networks, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Creative and relevant advertisements don’t turn off consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Attitudes towards advertisements on social and media networks, by content related issues, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Brands need to be more cautious on promoting interactive advertisements
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Attitudes towards advertisements on social and media networks, by format related issues, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Gender and Age

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Men are more interested in meeting new friends on social and media networks
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Selected reasons for using social and media networks, by gender and age, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Men use more types of networks
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Numbers of social and media networks being used, by gender and age, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Females prefer to get special offers via official accounts
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Embrace 25-29 year-olds in social commerce
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Purchase-related behaviour have been done on social and media networks, by age, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Men have a higher churn rate after making a purchase on social and media networks
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Consumer behaviour on “making a purchase by clicking an ad social and media networks”, by gender, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Targeted and interactive advertisements are more appealing to men
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Selected attitudes towards advertisements on social and media networks, by gender and age, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Income, Education Level and Working Organisation

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • High earners use more social and media networks
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Numbers of social and media networks being used, by monthly personal income, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Selected usage of leading social and media networks, by monthly personal income, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Selected usage of emerging social and media networks, by monthly personal income, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • High earners participate more in online discussion
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Selected reasons for using social and media networks, by monthly personal income, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Selected reasons for using social and media networks, by education level and working organisation, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • High earners see brands’ official accounts on social media in a more positive way…
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Selected consumer usage habits on official accounts, by monthly personal income, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …and they are also making more purchases and posting reviews
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Purchase-related behaviour done on social and media networks, by monthly personal income, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumers with high income prefer customised advertising
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Selected attitudes towards advertisements on social and media networks, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – City Tiers

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Qzone, Baidu Tieba and Renren are popular among lower tier consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Selected usage of leading social and media networks, by city tier, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumers from lower tier cities are more entertainment driven
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Selected usage of emerging social and media networks, by city tier, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Offering special offers on networks appeal more to consumers in tier one cities
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Selected purchase-related behaviour have been done on social and media networks, by city tier, March 2015

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Social and Media Networks - China - May 2015

                                                                                                                                                                                                        £3,195.84 (Excl.Tax)