Chinese Social Media Platforms Article| Alexanders Digital

Chinese Social Media

Chinese Social Media Platforms with their NZ equivalents


  • Instant message
  • Fastest-growing mobile social platform
  • 930 million users
  • WeChat is also popular as a business CRM tool
  • People use WeChat to communicate with their friends and relatives. They are real friends in ‘real life’. Therefore, it’s a highly trusted channel.

NZ equivalent

Whats App


Tencent QQ

  • China’s largest instant messaging software
  • Integrates mobile and desktop messaging
  • 850 million users




NZ equivalent

Whats App



  • China’s largest social network by active monthly accounts
  • Popular for personal journal and travel/family photo uploading
  • 640 million users

NZ equivalent



QQ Music

  • Online music streaming
  • More than 100 million users

NZ equivalent



Tencent Homepage

  • Online music streaming
  • More than 100 million users

NZ equivalent



Tencent News

  • Primary information source for mobile users
  • Number one news platform in China

NZ equivalent


NZ Herald

Tencent Video

    • Popular online video streaming platform
    • 100 million views take place each day on this platform


NZ equivalent



WeChat Pay

  • Advanced mobile payment solution
  • A trusted payment method for Chinese mobile users

NZ equivalent

Pay Wave     Apply Pay


  • A content platform where information is open to the public
  • Used for getting alerts as to breaking news stories and following celebrities

NZ equivalent



Travel research sites handy for tourism operators

Mafengwo (马蜂窝)

Mafengwo is an important site for tourism operators that features articles showing pictorial itineraries with explanations based on an individual’s real experiences. Articles are normally titled “3 days in Queenstown”, “5 days in Sydney” etc. They include feedback that help people plan a trip e.g. “If you’re not very adventurous, then two days in Queenstown is enough” and useful information such as where to get a bus card, how to get to the airport. You can also book accommodation and flights on the site.

There’s a ranking of all contributors. You can see a contributor’s posts, and who gets the most reviews. As a result, it’s highly trusted by Chinese. The itineraries with the most reviews get shown first.

Information is provided by destination, not by individual activity (because this would be too short).

Naturally, there are celebrities who have been paid to write itineraries. You can follow someone for a long time and see where they went.

Mafengwo has been on the market for a long time – it is the main player.

Alexanders can help tourism operators to write up itineraries with a personal touch so it doesn’t look like an ad. For example, a local operator may arrange a group of local providers to provide free entry/accommodation/dinner for our Chinese writer to come and experience, taking photos and then writing up the article based on an authentic experience.

Fliggy (飞猪)

Fliggy is a new version of Mafengwo owned by Alibaba. Alibaba want to expand their market share and get more traffic, so they provide a little bonus or reward for people booking through the site, especially for accommodation. Your Alipay info can be shared, so when you book through Fliggy your Alipay info comes through so you don’t have to pay an accommodation deposit.

The same material written for Mafengwo can be placed on Fliggy too.

There’s no cost for uploading but to get it ranking at the top, you can pay a fee – necessarily if there’s a lot of content on the same destination.

Shopping sites for exporters

Taobao (淘宝)

Taobao is Alibaba’s equivalent to Amazon i.e. an ecommerce consumer shop where you can have your own shop and sell your own or other people’s brands. It has a built-in freight delivery service. There is nothing second hand. South (a Chinese marketing group run by Chch Airport) has a store on Alibaba for goods produced in the South Island (contact CIAL for more info). You can search by products or shop name in Taobao. It will come up with a whole list of people selling the product. You can pay more to rank higher. If there’s not many others in your category, you don’t need to pay extra. When sorting, you can choose to rank items by price, highest sales volume, free shipping, and the most trustworthy provider. Buyers gets points for purchases. Trusted buyers have more points than others (more experience than others). Products that have more trusted buyers, have a greater trust score.

There are a lot of fake accounts, and fake buyers who do fake purchases but the reviews they leave and their points and id’s reveal them as fakes. It is a mission to find genuine products on TaoBao. Don’t buy fake reviews! There’s a whole industry and business of making fake accounts. The fake accounts and reviews are called the “Water Army”. The expression “the water is very deep in this business” means that business has done a lot of tricks to hide things. Competition is intense. The water army is also used by some to put bad reviews on competitor brands.

Tmall (天猫)

Tmall is akin to Westfield i.e. a business shop for bigger players with higher “rents”, so you have to be a known, established brand before you will be able to register. Plus you have to pay an annual significant fee (from memory $20k but don’t hold me to that). Owned by Alibaba.

44% of all online shopping in China is conducted on Alibaba, mainly on these two platforms.

Rachel Alexander is an internet marketing minx with over 20 years’ experience in marketing, advertising, and branding. An initial career as marketing manager for a large corporation was followed by the last 20+ years running her own marketing agency - Alexanders Digital Marketing. Her specialties include marketing strategy, tourism and international markets, and design.

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