Chinese Internet Users Prefer Portals Over Social Networking Sites

While almost the rest of the web surfing world have spent hours and hours of the day at social networking sites, Chinese Internet users don’t share the same passion. This is the result of a study conducted by comScore Media Metrix service. Instead of social networking websites many of us have become addicted to, Chinese users spent more time on portals — sites that provide a collection of content from various sources — accounting for 24.4 per cent of total time in Greater China, which includes Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Entertainment, which includes watching videos online, is the next most popular thing to do for Chinese audience, far behind at 9 per cent of minutes, Search/Navigation securing 6.2 percent of total minutes. Social Networking accounted for just 5.5 percent of total minutes. Data was gathered for users who are aged 15 and above who access the web from home or work.

In Hong Kong, social media is a popular online activity, but perhaps this overshadowed by the massive China market. Also, Facebook is not available in the mainland so that might also play a factor, big or small. As Techcrunch puts it, Renren, the biggest social networking site in China may be big, but since it’s not Facebook (only 20-30 million users out of 400 million total Chinese Internet users, no benefits of the viral effect of Like buttons, etc), it’s success may not be at par with the social media giant. Not to mention a platoon of competitors surrounding it.

This comScore report reveals to us that China’s internet audience is another beast to tame, and by understanding users’ preference, we get to know where to position ourselves should we be keen on penetrating this growing Internet market.