Social Media in China


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Mike Yao is an Associate Professor at the City University in Hong Kong, China. This is a shortened version of his one and a half hour talk at the Emerging Media Conference in San Francisco 2012.

As Social Scientist Mike has evaluated how the people of China use social media, what platforms they use, and the social interactivity among the vast population of this technologically forward country. China is an exotic market that everyboy wants to get into. In order to get in it requires a much deeper understanding than a lot of international businesses are currently doing. "There's a huge gap in terms of how we understand this big animal and we are going to approach it."
To read more about this talk and to access the full one and a half hour video go to

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Social Media in China

  1. 1. Social Media in ChinaOpportunities & Barriers Mike Yao, PhD Department of Media and Communication City University of Hong Kong
  2. 2. Source: CNNIC, 2010
  3. 3. The Rise of Social Media in China
  4. 4. It is all about the “weibo”! Chinese weibo/microblog users increased from 63.11 million in 2010 to 195 million by July 2011 (CNNIC, 2011). 40.2% Chinese Internet users and 34.0% Chinese mobile Internet users used weibo/microblogs.
  5. 5. The Great China Expectations  The biggest market for e- commerce and online marketing in the world with 450+ net users  The Increasing spending power with a hunger for consumption  A very active and distinct net generation, being highly educated only-child of the growing upper middle class
  6. 6. The Great Firewall of China“I call this  Government‟s control and censorship of media, both„castrated old and new, is the tightest since the Great Culturalwriting‟ — I am Revolution.a proactiveeunuch, I have  The Chinese government is becoming increasinglyalready sophisticated in adopting different forms andcastratedmyself even methods for censorship.before the  All ISPs and Telecommunication companies aresurgeon raiseshis scalpel.” state-owned; and all digital information can be centrally accessed and controlled. --  There is no specific legal guidelines for what would Murong be considered “sensitive” information. (e.g., User- Xuecun, generated-content on the Internet can be seen as Chinese writer “states secret” if it suits the need of the government.).
  7. 7. Q: What can we do to capture theopportunities and break thebarriers?
  8. 8. Breaking the political barriers Understand the difference between the politically-motivated economic barriers and the economically-motivated political barriers. Understand the difference between those barriers set by local/regional government and those by the central government. Perspective-taking
  9. 9. Q: So what do these wonderful stats mean? A1: We arewitnessing a great social media revolution! Let‟s be Cautiously Optimistic!