• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

China social networks: Expat foreigners, cool girls and hipsters

Facebook holds sway as the default social network in many parts of the world across all internet demographics. In China, where Facebook is blocked, a handful of homegrown social networks attract segmented audiences, ranging from upmarket urban youth to university students and migrant workers.

While the world’s big focus these days is on Renren preparing to go public, these other networks deserve a look:

  • Douban — a more specialised social networking site, attracts art students and those passionate about books, cinema, culture, and music. Users connect according to their interests and often hold offline activities, such as trips to local art exhibitions.
  • Kaixin001 — a platform designed for a more mature audience of young professionals, has a membership that is heavily dominated by white collar workers in Beijing; Guangzhou, Guangdong; Shanghai; and second-tier cities. Users do not upload personal content but rather share information they find elsewhere, often relating to health, relationships, and professional advancement.
  • QZone — the first and largest social networking site in China, attracts youth from teens through age 25, often from second- and third-tier cities. A sizable portion of migrant workers, many of whom share personal diaries in a blog-like format, use QZone.
  • RenRen — the platform in China most similar to Facebook, attracts university students who use the platform to connect and interact with classmates. The site is organized around users’ school and graduation class. Many users upload videos and photos of their activities.

Quick summary:

  • Kaixin = Cool girls
  • Facebook = Expat foreigners
  • Douban = Hipsters
  • Renren = College students
  • Qzone = Teens in second and third tier cities

The Ogilvy Beijing social media team created the archetypes to bring these personalities to life.

Author | Thomas Crampton: In China

Thomas Crampton: In China
As Asia-Pacific director of 360 Digital Influence for Ogilvy, Thomas Crampton heads a team stretching across 23 cities in 15 Asian territories that helps companies conceive, develop and execute strategies in Social Media. Prior to joining Ogilvy, Mr. Crampton spent 18 years as a globetrotting newspaper correspondent, mainly for the... More

More in Social networking

Staring through a glass screen: The limits of online interaction

Read More »