Can China’s top social media platform make headwinds abroad

The link above is to an article I came across on Mashable recently which talks about Sina Weibo’s efforts to allow users outside of China to sign up to use its service. For those of you who don’t know, Sina Weibo is a social media platform available in China that is a hybrid of Facebook and Twitter. With Facebook and Twitter being outlawed or blocked by the great Chinese firewall, this is the most popular alternative in China. As of December 2012, Sina Wiebo claims 503 million registered users and approximately 100 million messages posted each day.

Sina Weibo is now allowing users to sign up for its service via their Facebook accounts. The idea being with Facebook outlawed in China, this will allow people with Facebook accounts (presumably not in China) to sign up for Sina Weibo

Do you think that Sina Weibo will succeed in their efforts to increase their non-Chinese user base? Will users outside of China have an interest in using another social media platform? One specifically tailored to Chinese users? How long until the Chinese government clamps down on Sina Weibo allowing Facebook users to sign up for its service and post messages that they (Chinese Gov’t) doesn’t want and can’t control because those messages are being posted by people outside of China.


4 thoughts on “Can China’s top social media platform make headwinds abroad

  1. As popular as Weibo is in China, the storm still hasn’t caught on in the states mainly because the people on social media is already on Facebook, twitter, instagram already. Also, the racial demographics on Weibo are mainly Asians this may not be appealing to other races.

  2. I think that it will not long time before Chinese Government clamps down Weibo due to the permission that Facebook users are allowable to sign up in Sina. The Chinese government is blocking news and social media platforms from USA consistently for the sake of avoiding Chinese people receiving negative news about China. Thus, this application will be prohibited sooner or later.
    Nevertheless, it is a loss for American companies. They could have understood Chinese customers’ perceptions and received customers’ behavioral data in an effective and less costly way, whereas it is only a flash in the pan or transient.

  3. I really like this article. As an active Weibo user, I think the biggest obstacle for non-Chinese users is the language, since most Weibo are written in Chinese, and it reflects mainly the Chinese events and culture, having no idea what these things are about can really decrease the non-Chinese users’ interests when use this social media.
    As for the messages Chinese government doesn’t want you to post, trust me, they gonna delete them before you realize. They have a special IT group that is responsible for filtering the ”illegal Weibos”.
    But I really want more and more non-Chinese users to use Weibo, because I think it is the best way for you to know what is going on in China, especially among the young generation.

  4. I think this will work but not immediately. It’s true that China as a country is quickly gaining strength and it could grow it’s influence in the social media space as well. There are particularly asian things that American companies can’t copy as well, like funny emoticons and emojis. Asia also is a heavy user of technology and social media.

    When Weibo can find something that will differentiate itself from Facebook and Twitter (with probably some kind of Asian flavor), then I believe it will be a big player in the future.

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