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Posts Tagged ‘Chinese’

Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, Valued At $6 Billion

Most mainstream social media networks – Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube – are banned in China, leaving Chinese social media users to log onto Sina Weibo (China’s Twitter), Renren (China’s Facebook), Tencent Weibo (China’s Tumblr) and Tudou (China’s YouTube) instead. And they’re doing so with incredible quantity.

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Top 25 Celebrities On Chinese Twitter (Sina Weibo)

We recently shared some insight into the Chinese social media landscape, which consists of 513 million Internet users and 84% of those users contributing to social networks.

That’s the highest rate in the entire world.

With Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube banned in China, Chinese social media users are logging onto Sina Weibo (China’s Twitter), Renren (China’s Facebook), Tencent Weibo (China’s Tumblr) and Tudou (China’s YouTube) instead. And doing so with incredible quantity.

Sina Weibo has about 300 million users, with Renren at 200 million, Tencent Weibo at 425 million, and Tudou at an amazing 431 million users.

Synthesio, a global social-media monitoring company, created the following infographic as part of its “China Social Media Listening Month” to find out which celebrities are the most popular on Chinese social media.

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Chinese Social Media Landscape [INFOGRAPHIC]

So, Twitter is definitely a sensitive subject in China.

As we reported in November 2010, a Chinese bride was arrested – on her wedding day – because of something she retweeted. The Chinese authorities sentenced her to one year of hard labor to “re-educate” her.

Twitter is, in fact, completely banned in the country, as are Facebook, Google+ and YouTube (and many more).

But that doesn’t mean the people of China aren’t still very active on social media.

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140 Characters On Chinese Twitter Is More Like 500 Characters On

There’s been some talk that China’s answer to Twitter, Weibo, will be coming to the US in a matter of months. Weibo and Twitter both offer 140 characters as their maximum, but, interestingly, 140 characters in Chinese is not the same as 140 characters in the Roman alphabet that English and many other speakers use. In fact, you can fit in almost five times as much meaning on Weibo as you can on Twitter.
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Twitter? It's All Chinese To Me. But What If It Actually Was?

I pick up a few followers each day and my policy is that assuming the person is real (that is, not a spammer or other kind of self-promoter) and seems reasonable enough, I will always follow them back. Without fail. If they later turn out to be an insane person (or, worse, rude), I can easily unfollow and/or block them.

Lately I’ve had one or two people follow me (who have I then followed back) who tweet exclusively in their own language. That is, a language that is not English. A language, therefore, that is not my own.

I take a fair bit of responsibility here. When it came to languages in school, I slacked off a bit. I have a basic command of French and recognise a few (mostly choice) words in other European languages, but when it comes to complex prose, and certainly anything from most of the countries around the rest of the world, I’m lost.

The Question

Which presents something of a moral dilemma. My question is thus, and it’s two fold:

  • What is the correct etiquette for following users on Twitter who exclusively tweet in a language you don’t understand?
  • If your goal on Twitter is to become a power-user/influencer and recruit loads of followers around the world, should you expect to have to tweet in English?

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