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Social Networks - China - May 2017

“That consumers are showing a trend to ‘switch off’ does not mean that marketing on social networks is no longer important. Instead of keeping consumers online, marketing should offer people alternative ways to connect with the real world.”
– Terra Xu, Senior Research Analyst

This report examines the following:

  • Switching off?
  • From purely social to knowledge and information sharing
  • Live streaming campaigns: interaction and information are key

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
        • Demographic groups
          • Social and media networks users
            • Personal income
            • Executive Summary

                • The market
                  • Rural areas show potential
                    • Figure 1: Internet users and year-on-year growth in China, 2009-16
                  • Social networks become information channels, and live streaming is developing rapidly
                    • Companies and brands
                      • WeChat tops
                        • Figure 2: Monthly active users of WeChat, QQ, Qzone and Sina Weibo, December 2013-16
                      • YY Inc. leads live streaming sector but also faces fierce competition
                        • The strategies: ‘Super Apps’ and paid content
                          • The consumer
                            • Declining heavy users of leading social networks
                              • Figure 3: Heavy users of leading social networks, February 2017, January 2016 and March 2015
                            • Fewer activities via social networks
                              • Figure 4: Activities on social networks in the last 6 months, February 2017 and January 2016
                            • Relevant content is more important than promotion to motivate repost
                              • Figure 5: Reasons for reposting content from public accounts, February 2017
                            • 25-29s are core target audience of live streaming
                              • Figure 6: Live streaming penetration in the last 6 months, by age, February 2017
                            • Potentials within variety shows/live shows and lifestyle-related shows
                              • Figure 7: Types of live streamed shows watched in the last 6 months, February 2017
                            • Consumers watch live streamed shows to relax
                              • Figure 8: Reasons for watching live streaming, February 2017
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                              • Switching off?
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • From purely social to knowledge and information sharing
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Live streaming campaigns: interaction and information are key
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                • Total internet users saw a 6.2% increase in 2016
                                                  • Social networks become news feeds
                                                    • 344 million users of live steaming by 2016
                                                    • Market Trends

                                                      • Growth potential in rural areas
                                                        • Figure 9: Internet users and year-on-year growth in China, 2009-16
                                                      • Social networks become important information channels
                                                        • Figure 10: Channels to read news on mobile phones, 2016
                                                      • Live streamed shows bring brands closer to consumers
                                                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Tencent continues to dominate, WeChat taking the lead
                                                          • ‘Super Apps’ and paid content
                                                            • Fierce competition in live streaming market
                                                              • Innovation highlights
                                                              • Key Players

                                                                • WeChat became No. 1
                                                                  • Figure 11: Monthly active users of WeChat, December 2013-16
                                                                • QQ and Qzone losing appeal
                                                                  • Figure 12: Monthly active users of QQ and Qzone, December 2013-16
                                                                • Sina Weibo maintains growth
                                                                  • Figure 13: Monthly active users of Sina Weibo, December 2013-16
                                                                • YY Inc. leads live streaming while the competition is heating up
                                                                • Competitive strategies

                                                                  • The ‘Super App’
                                                                    • Figure 14: Examples of Mini Programs on WeChat, May 2017
                                                                  • Paying to learn
                                                                    • More ways to leverage the power of KOLs
                                                                    • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                      • The ‘Chatbots’: from online retailer to social networks
                                                                        • Figure 15: KLM Emoji ‘Chatbot’ on Facebook Messenger, May 2017
                                                                      • Gifting, what’s next after Red Pocket?
                                                                        • Figure 16: Starbucks Mini Programs on WeChat, May 2017
                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • Fewer heavy users
                                                                        • Only 16% would repost for discounts
                                                                          • 25-29s are core target audience of live streamed shows
                                                                            • Variety shows/live shows and life-style related content have potential
                                                                            • Usage of Social Networks

                                                                              • WeChat dominates
                                                                                • The users of Facebook and Instagram
                                                                                  • Figure 17: Usage frequency of leading social networks, February 2017
                                                                                • Fewer heavy users of leading social networks
                                                                                  • Figure 18: Heavy users of leading social networks, February 2017, January 2016 and March 2015
                                                                                • Females and the early 20s switching away from dominating social networks
                                                                                  • Figure 19: Annual change of social network heavy users, by gender, February 2017, January 2016 and March 2015
                                                                                • More heavy users in tier one cities
                                                                                  • Figure 20: Annual change of social network heavy users, by city tier, February 2017, January 2016 and March 2015
                                                                              • Activities on Social Networks

                                                                                • Fewer types of activities on social networks
                                                                                  • Figure 21: Repertoire of activities on social networks in the last 6 months, February 2017 and January 2016
                                                                                  • Figure 22: Activities on social networks in the last 6 months, February 2017 and January 2016
                                                                                • Switching off trend more apparent among females
                                                                                  • Figure 23: Activities on social networks in the last 6 months, by gender, February 2017 and January 2016
                                                                                • Switching-off less obvious among those in their 30s and high earners
                                                                                  • Figure 24: Annual change of activities on social networks, February 2017 and January 2016
                                                                              • Reasons for Reposting

                                                                                • Informative and resonating content appeals more than promotions
                                                                                  • Figure 25: Reasons for reposting content from public accounts, February 2017
                                                                                • Event marketing works better on males and high earners
                                                                                  • Figure 26: Key drivers of reasons for reposting, February 2017
                                                                                • Humour is important for engaging the 20-24s
                                                                                  • Figure 27: Reasons for reposting content from public accounts, by age, February 2017
                                                                                • High earners are more likely to advertise for brands
                                                                                  • Figure 28: Reasons for reposting content from public accounts, by monthly personal income, February 2017
                                                                                • Reasons vary by the type of organisations people work for
                                                                                  • Figure 29: Reasons for reposting content from public accounts, by company type, February 2017
                                                                              • Live Streaming Penetration

                                                                                • Consumers aged 25-29 are target audience
                                                                                  • Figure 30: Live streaming penetration in the last 6 months, by age, February 2017
                                                                                  • Figure 31: Live streaming penetration in the last 6 months, by personal income and education level, February 2017
                                                                                • Live stream audiences tend to be heavy users of QQ, Qzone and Weibo
                                                                                  • Figure 32: Social networks heavy users among live streaming audience, February 2017
                                                                              • Types of Live Streaming Shows

                                                                                • A wide range of interest
                                                                                  • Figure 33: Types of live streamed shows watched in the last 6 months, February 2017
                                                                                • Women are more interested in shopping-related, food/cooking and celebrity shows
                                                                                  • Figure 34: Audience profile of live streamed shows, by gender and age, February 2017
                                                                                • Lifestyle related shows have monetisation potential
                                                                                  • Figure 35: Audience profile of live streamed shows, by personal income and city tier, February 2017
                                                                              • Reasons for Watching Live Streaming

                                                                                • Top reason: just to relax
                                                                                  • Figure 36: Reasons for watching live streaming, February 2017
                                                                                • Different purposes between men and women
                                                                                  • Figure 37: Reasons for watching live streaming, by gender, February 2017
                                                                                • 20-24s watch live streaming to kill time and chase celebrities
                                                                                  • Figure 38: Reasons for watching live streaming, by age, February 2017
                                                                              • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                                • Biggest drop in Baidu Tieba, Qzone and Sina Weibo
                                                                                  • Figure 39: Annual change of heavy users, by consumer classification, February 2017 and January 2016
                                                                                  • Figure 40: Annual change of activities via social networks, by consumer classification, February 2017 and January 2016
                                                                                • Lifestyle related live streaming content appeals to Mintropolitans
                                                                                  • Figure 41: Types of live streamed shows watched in the last 6 months, by consumer classification, February 2017
                                                                                • Getting information rather than killing time
                                                                                  • Figure 42: Reasons for watching live streaming, by consumer classification, February 2017
                                                                              • Appendix – Key Driver Analysis

                                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                                    • Interpretation of results
                                                                                      • Figure 43: Key drivers of reasons for reposting – key driver output, February 2017
                                                                                  • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                                    • Methodology
                                                                                      • Abbreviations

                                                                                      Companies Covered

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

                                                                                      Social Networks - China - May 2017

                                                                                      US $3,990.00 (Excl.Tax)