Profiling China’s Top 5 Social Networks – China Social Media 1

Alia | March 9th, 2011 - 5:03 am

Earlier this week, Thomas Crampton and his social media team at Ogilvy & Mather published an infograohic “China’s Social Media Evolution”, matching social media in China with their Western equivalents. Here is a closer and more in-depth analysis of the top social networking sites in China. The following inforgraphics are based on real-time statistics from Alexa and Xunshi 360.

Renren (Facebook equivalent). It is the earliest and leading social network in China, also a Facebook clone. It started as Xiaonei.com – which means “on campus” in Chinese. In Aug., 2009 it changed its name into Renren, which means “everybody” in Chinese. Its primary users are students.

Kaixin001 (Facebook equivalenent focused on social games). It is another Facebook clone with an emphasis on social games, a close competitor of Renren.com. Its primary users are said to be urban white-collars.

Qzone (Facebook +MSN Space). It combines MSN Space type of blog into Facebook type of SNS, and drives users mainly from QQ, the most popular IM tool in China. Its users are primarily teens and tweens, and skewed towards those in lower tier cities.


Douban (Largest movie, music and book database as well as online community in China). It combines Google Groups with IMDB, and probably has the highest user engagement among all top SNS in China. People are drawn there because of their common interests. Primary users tend to be hippie urban young.                                                                                                                                 

51.com (mass SNS). It is a SNS in its most basic sense, nothing special, and is struggling to maintain a competitive edge. However, its user base is more diverse than the other 4 in a sense that it has more users from lower tier cities.

User Profile Comparison: Qzone and 51.com have a more diverse user base, whereas Renren, Kaixin001 and Daouban have a more niche targeted audience.

  • Age. Renren and 51.com seem to have large proportion of student users (18-24), while Kaixin001 is primarily used by young adults (25-34). Qzone turns out to be the only one covers a significant amount of seniors (55-64).

  • Gender. Female dominant across the board.

  • Education. Users of 51.com have the lowest average education level. Qzzone has a little of everything. Most of users on Renren, Kaixin001 and Douban  either  have, or going to have, a college degree.

  • Income. The comparison chart for income partially confirms these sites’ user composition. Renren – students, no or low income. Kaixin001 – urban white collar, middle range. 52.com – lower tier cities, low income.

  • Location. Again, the usage location comparison between Renren and Kaixin001 confirms their user composition of students vs. urban working young.

  • Child?. Partly proves that Qzone and 51.com have a more diverse user base.

Traffict Comparison: Qzone is the king here.


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