Pro democracy protests in Hong Kong have largely been orchestrated by students using social media networks and the instant messaging app Firechat that uses Bluetooth to communicate so that messages can be passed from one device to another even without access to the internet.
The growth of social media in China is well documented, with the Government deciding to block most public access to major social platforms that we would be familiar with in the West. This has resulted in the rise of specific social networks that have become the bedrock of Chinese social media use and will be largely unknown to Western users. Social media in China is predominately used on mobile devices.
The largest social media platform with over 100m registered users is Sina Weibo a Chinese micro blogging site that is a hybrid between Twitter and Facebook functionality. Instant chat is extremely popular with the most popular app being Qzone. The Firechat app has become the communication tool choice for students and has been widely cited as the app used to organize the recent demonstrations in Hong Kong.
Pinterest/ Instagram equivalents are Huaban, This picture sharing platform follows the same idea behind Pinterest, to ‘save and share stuff you love online’. Tuitang lets users share photos with their community. As far as we know Google+ is popular in Singapore but not in China.
If you require help with your international digital marketing strategy, Sharpmonkeys are a digital marketing agency based in Worcester, UK and work with UKTI on internationalization and Social Media.