Social Media in China

Do you know how to talk about Social Media in Chinese?

As you are most likely aware, China has its own social media platforms.

Even if a lot of people know what Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter are, due to the government monitoring and control these platforms have been blocked and/or banned in mainland China while new social media channels took their places underneath the Chinese Great Firewall.

Social Media in China
Social Media in China – The stats courtesy of The Mint Twist (

Social Media in China – Most Popular Apps


WeChat (微信 – Wēixìn) is widely regarded to be the Chinese answer to WhatsApp but it has evolved to an all-in-one App.

This allows it’s users to order food, pay utility bills, hail cars as well as to send messages, make audio and video calls and post contents on “Moments”.

It’s almost a mash of Facebook and Whatsapp combined, plus the ability to do much more! Smart.

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WhatsApp vs WeChat: The Debate

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Weibo (微博- Wēibó) is basically the Chinese Twitter (推特 – tuītè).

Users have the ability to use up to 140 characters to get their thoughts across (although Twitter recently extended this limit, Weibo is yet to follow suit as of August 2018).

So, what’s the difference between the two platforms? As a rule of thumb, Weibo users normally post about their personal lives rather than news and politics.


Youku(优酷 – Yōu kù) does for Chinese users what Youtube does for the rest of the world.

It’s all about video, simple as that.

It allows them to upload and watch any kind of video, provided they do not criticise the Communist Party.


If WeChat’s “Moments” is the Chinese Facebook, then QQ is the Chinese Facebook messenger.

This desktop App allows people to chat online without having a phone number.

Social Media in China – Key Phrases

So that is the most popular Social Media channels in China.

It’s now time to learn all the expressions we need to know to talk about Social Media in Chinese.

Social Media in China Vocabularly

Chinese Social Media - Learn the key phrases
Chinese Social Media – Learn the key phrases

The Chinese word for social media is 社交媒体 Shèjiāo méitǐ, literally “social interaction media”.

Before joining a new social media channel, you will need to register (注册 zhùcè), to enter (输入 shūrù) your username (用户名 yònghù míng) and password (密码 mìmǎ) to then sign in (登录 dēnglù).

Once you’re logged in to you social media platform, you can publish (发布 – fābù), edit (编辑 – biānjí), like (赞 – zàn, comment (评论 – pínglùn), reply (回复 – huífù) or share 分享 (fēnxiǎng) a post (帖子 tiězi).

According to the social media you are using, you will come across different types of content.

This can include personal thoughts (状态 – zhuàngtài), news (消息 – xiāoxī) pictures (照片 – zhàopiàn) and videos (视频 – shìpín).

Every time you are interacting with someone, or someone is interacting with you and your content you will get a notification (通知 – tōngzhī).

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On social media you can also search for friends (搜索好友 – sōusuǒ hǎoyǒu), add new friends (加为好友 – jiā wèi hǎoyǒu), follow people (关注人 – guānzhù rén) or influencers (影响力者- yǐngxiǎng lì zhě).

There we have it. The ultimate guide to Social Media platforms and vocabulary in China.

Do you have anymore to add yourself? Any new, up and coming platforms we should be aware of?

Drop us a comment (评论 – pínglùn) below and we’ll drop you a reply (回复 – huífù)!

Social Media in China – FAQ’s

Does China have its own YouTube?

Yes, as YouTube is banned in China their own version is known as YouKu

Does China have its own version of Twitter?

Yes, as Twitter is banned in China their own version is known as WeiBo.

Can I use Facebook in China?

Facebook is banned in China but by using a VPN you can access it.

Does China use WhatsApp?

No, Whatsapp is banned in China. WeChat is the main messaging app used in China

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