Sina Weibo – China’s Social Network Provides Business Linking Outlets
Affectionately referred to as China’s version of Twitter, Sina Weibo leads the way in social media outlets which have seen a huge explosion over recent years. Social interaction among the Chinese has multiplied much farther than anyone had anticipated, creating an online atmosphere that has spread far and wide throughout the country.
Weibo itself has netted 300 million of the 540 million people who are now connected via Chinese internet portals. What’s more, it continues to see continued growth as even more individuals, organizations and businesses via domestic and China sourcing avenues find creative ways to use the provided services.
How Weibo Went from Joke to Credible News Outlet
Beginning much like a mirrored image of its counterparts in the West with casual conversation, lame jokes and celebrity gossip, Weibo excelled as a serious debate venue when one of the highest ranking members of the central Party, Bo Xilai, was ousted as chief of the Chongqing Party in March of 2012. A barrage of chatter erupted on Weibo and other social network sites as to the reasons behind the boot.
As a result, the Chinese leaders rushed in to quell the speculations by censoring the various sites. However, the power had already been unleashed and several days after the censorship, major newspapers owned by the state printed boisterous headlines stemming from social network discussions. Since this event, Weibo’s role as a real time news source has growth exponentially with savvy Chinese internet users exposing the follies and corruption of what used to be a very secretive society.
Organizations and Businesses Jump On the Bandwagon
China has a large and widely dispersed population that continually experiences a variety of economic, social and natural woes. These needs are often overlooked or outright ignored by the government.
However, organizations and businesses are realizing the power of the growing social media sites within China and are beginning to harness that power for the greater good of the Chinese citizens. During this year, programs run by NGOs have grabbed the reins to better serve the masses and are experiencing good results.
For example, a Chinese journalist started a Free Lunch program and is utilizing Weibo as a means to attract donations to feed hungry school children. The program has already been used to feed more than 25,000 students in rural areas. Another successful campaign has reunited victims of child trafficking with searching parents by using Weibo as a platform to post photos of street children begging for money, a common con method used by the abductors.
Those doing business in China are also beginning to see the marketing potential of Weibo and other social media sites. Just as such sites are utilized in the United States and other Western countries to link businesses with clients and customers for more productive business relations the same is being explored by China manufacturing and other firms. Businesses can not only establish relations conveniently via China’s web, but they can also seek out potential markets that want to buy from China, lure qualified applicants from greater distances, and conduct helpful market surveys, all by accessing social media sites like Weibo.