The Great Social Network of China – Social Networking Sites

In a previous blog post, EASTWEST listed out varying new media websites in China, from social networking to photo sharing. In this post, EASTWEST will look deeper into social networking sites (SNS) in China. Many international SNS sites have their localized equivalent in China.



QQ alumni (QQ校友): The site is owned by Tencent Inc.(HKEX:0700), a Shengzhen-based technology company and also China’s largest and most used Internet service portal. Prior to QQ alumni, Tencent created a variety of social networking applications including QQ School, QQ Campus, QQ Groups, Qzone(blog service) and fostered a huge user base. In Juanuary 2009, Tecent integrated social service applications into a new online community website among schools and universities and has recorded 62 million users who have registered their real names in first seven months. QQ alumni users are skewed to 16-22 years and are 2/3 female.

Aside from the SNS website, Tencent has also developed many subfeatures including games, pets, ringtone downloads, etc. Tencent QQ is the most popular free instant messaging computer program in Mainland China, and the world’s third most popular IM service.


Renren (人人网): (literally “Everyone” in Chinese) formally known as Xiaonei is a social networking site with the look and feel of Facebook except that it is in Simplified Chinese. According to, as of November 2007, it was “China’s largest online community website among universities” with more than 8.8 million active users and an estimated 15 million users who have registered their real names. is also considered to be the most powerful student social network service in Mainland China, especially among university students.


Kaixin001 (开心网):is a Beijing-based operator of one of China’s most popular online social networking services. Launched in March 2008, the startup has recorded 20 million registered accounts and 700 million page views by April 2009, according to Chinese-language media. It is best known for its addictive online games, including some that are similar to Facebook’s “Parking War” and “Friends for Sale.” To monetize its traffic, in December began placing in-game advertisements in its Web game apps.In May 21, 2009, filed an unfair competition lawsuit against Beijing-based online entertainment company Oak Pacific Interactive, which started a competing service in October under the very similar name of


SINA Space (新浪空间): The site is owned by one of China’s biggest online portal Launched in March 2008, SINA Space serves as a social networking platform that integrates a broad array of its existing community services including Blog, Podcast, Album, BBS, Groups and SINA Bar. Through this platform, users can form various types of social networking relationships and share user-generated contents within their networks. SINA Space also supports web widgets provided by SINA as well as other websites. According to a report carried out by CNNIC, Sina Space ranks third among China’s social networking sites with an estimated users of 45 millions.


Wealink (若邻网): is a business-oriented social networking site and also a Chinese version of Linkedin. Launched in 2004 in Shanghai, the site is mainly used for professional networking with an estimated 3 million registered users spanning almost all kinds of occupations. The site can be used to create personal profiles, blogs, groups, interactive disscussion and even post job listings to find the best for the company. The searchable Wealink Groups feature allows users to establish new business relationships by joining alumni, industry, or professional and other relevant groups. Some groups are specialized groups dealing with a narrow domain or industry whereas others are very broad and generic in nature.


·Ren Mai Tong (Beta) (人脉通体验版): (“relations” in Chinese)Chinese B2B e-commerce group Alibaba launched this newly-developed product “Ren Mai Tong” today in June 17, 2009, integrating e-commerce and the social networking service functions to provide an online community for business people. The site focuses on the business networking activities to promote better business relations. Services include business card production, friends’ business cards holder, latest news, and customer news aggregation. In addition, if two parties reach an agreement on the website, they can realize online trading with Alibaba’s online payment platform Alipay.

tianji (天际网) The Chinese characters “Tianji” literally mean heaven and connections, and can be generally translated to mean “worldly connections”. Owned by, the site is China’s leading social networking service dedicated to business networking for professionals. The site does not have cute girls and cool dudes flashing in your face; it does not cater to the youth dating market. It is designedexclusively for the needs of career professionals, to help them more efficiently build, manage and leverage their network of relationships – one of the most valuable assets in career-building.

For more information on how you can tap into the potential of SNS in China, email us at or contact our consultant.

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