China Digital Marketing

Top 5 Most Popular China Social Media Apps 2020

Top 5 Most Popular China Social Media Apps 2020

If you are looking to target Chinese consumers, it’s important to know the top China social media apps that make up the market. Not only these apps help you build a strong market presence, but they also serve as a great avenue for lead generation and sales increase.

Apparently, social media in China is an immense sector due to the population’s keenness on such apps. According to a report on Data Reportal, here are the latest China social media statistics in 2020:

  • Number of social media users in China – 1.04 billion
  • Increase in social media users – 15 million (+1.5%) between April 2019 and January 2020
  • Social media penetration in China – 72%
China social media overview report as of January 2020
China social media overview report as of January 2020 | Source: Data Reportal

So, as we give you the most popular social networking sites in China, you’ll also get to know them briefly, as well as have a better grasp of the best marketing strategies to use.

Without further ado, let’s look into the top 5 most popular social media apps in China in 2020.

wechat homepage

#1 WeChat

WeChat is a Chinese multi-purpose chat app that has grown into a ‘super app’ with added social media and mobile payment functions.

First released in 2011, now WeChat is China’s most popular app and one of the world’s largest standalone mobile apps in 2018.

Behind WeChat’s success is its wide array of functions from advertising to e-commerce. Other features include:

  • Official Account
  • Moments
  • WeChat Ads
  • Mini Program or Mini-app
  • WeChat Pay

Read more: WeChat Official Account Features

ATC official sales partner of WeChat

Furthermore, here’s a quick overview of WeChat’s latest statistics:

  • Monthly active users (MAU) – 1.15+ billion (Source)
  • WeChat Mini Programs daily active users (DAU) – 300+ million (Source)
  • Number of registered Official Accounts – 20+ million (Source)
  • Number of Chinese businesses using WeChat Pay – 50+ million (Source)

Read more: Top 5 WeChat mini program ideas from leading cosmetic brands in China

Now, for brands and businesses, here are WeChat’s key sectors to help you better understand your target audience on the app:

  • Entertainment
  • Fashion
  • Education
  • Finance
  • E-commerce

Read more: WeChat Ads – Moments and Official Account Ads

weibo homepage

#2 Weibo

Secondly, Sina Weibo is another popular social networking site in China. From the word ‘weibo’ meaning microblogging, it is a micro-blogging site that’s generally used for trendspotting and entertainment.

Initially launched in 2009 by Sina Corporation, Weibo is now one of the biggest China social media platforms with roughly half a billion active users so far.

With its powerful microblogging function, Weibo has since become strong on content marketing, particularly those that are backed by KOLs.

Besides content, it has also developed a solid social search engine within the platform. This made SEO another important factor in Weibo marketing.

Read more: How to do Weibo Marketing for your business

While there are many strategies to explore for Weibo marketing, keep these four common techniques in mind when you’re planning to win in the platform:

  • Social search engine promotion
  • Content marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Weibo Ads

IH Digital - Sina Weibo Offical Partner Agency in Singapore

As regards to the target audience, here are Weibo’s key sectors to watch out for when you’re mapping out a Weibo marketing strategy:

  • Entertainment
  • Gaming
  • Beauty
  • Fashion
  • Education

Additionally, here are some Weibo user statistics to learn about the social media site in 2020:

  • Total worldwide monthly active users (MAU) – 497 million
  • Share of population aged 14+ that uses Weibo each month – 8.4%
  • Year-on-year increase in MAU – +11%
  • Active users who access via mobile devices – 94%

douyin homepage

#3 Douyin

Douyin, or globally known as TikTok, is also huge on the China social media app sector. Launched in 2016, it is a short video and music app that’s more known among the younger generation.

For your marketing plan, here’s what you can do on Douyin:

  • Advertising
  • Influencer marketing
  • Content marketing

ATC - Douyin Marketing Agency in Asia

Furthermore, you can target these sectors on Douyin for a more effective marketing strategy:

  • Gaming
  • Entertainment
  • Beauty
  • E-Commerce

What’s more interesting about Douyin is its tremendous user base. Let’s see how big Douyin is in China:

  • Daily active users (DAU): 400 million (Source)
  • Ranked 6th among Chinese mobile apps based on average monthly users
  • Top 3 most downloaded app in China
  • Ranked 7th among Chinese mobile apps based on consumer spend

toutiao homepage

#4 Toutiao

Toutiao, ByteDance’s core product, is a Chinese news and information content platform. What makes this platform a reliable news source is it’s backed by machine learning techniques.

Through this algorithm, the app can analyse the content features, users, and their reaction to content for a more tailored content feed list for each user.

This is why Toutiao is one of China’s biggest platform when it comes to content creation, aggregation, and distribution.

Based on Toutiao’s current standing in the market as a content platform, here’s how to make the best use of the app for marketing:

  • Content marketing
  • Ads

Finally, let’s have a look at Toutiao’s latest statistics:

  • Monthly active users – 200 million
  • Daily active users – 120 million
  • Total registered users – 700 million
  • Most-downloaded mobile app in China in 2019

xiaohongshu homepage

#5 Xiaohongshu

Xiaohongshu (小红书), also known as RED or Little Red Book, is a Chinese e-commerce and social media platform. Created by Miranda Qu and Charlwin Mao in 2013, it began as an online tour guide for Chinese shoppers.

Originally, the app intended to give Chinese users a platform for product reviews and sharing of shopping experiences within the community.

But, as the app advanced, it developed into a robust e-commerce and social media app by activating cross-border selling.

As of 2019, here are some of Xiahongshu’s interesting facts to learn from:

  • Total number of users: 300 million
  • Monthly active users: 85 million
  • Female users: 88%

Reboot your Chinese market presence with a China digital marketing agency

IH Digital is a China digital marketing agency in Asia that provides 360° services, including influencer marketing, WeChat and Sina Weibo social media management, Baidu SEO and SEM, e-commerce, content marketing and more! Want to get started with China digital marketing? Contact us today at for a consultation soon.

IH Digital - China Digital Marketing Agency in Singapore

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Get Started with Toutiao and Tiktok Ads thru IH Digital

ByteDance Names New SEA Partner for Toutiao & TikTok Ads

January 2020 – IH Digital is now able to support Toutiao and TikTok ads with our expanded digital advertising services. We are now an official sales partner of Bytedance in Southeast Asia, allowing us to support brands across the region for their online advertising campaigns.

Our new advertising capabilities will help regional clients to easily and quickly get started with advertising on ByteDance’s key platforms such as TikTok (, Douyin, Toutiao, XiGua, HuoShan, and NewsRepublic.

ByteDance ties up with ATC to support SEA brands exploring TikTok ads.

Who is ByteDance?

ByteDance is a Beijing-based internet technology company founded by Zhang Yiming in 2012. It offers many online products catering to a wide set of audiences from across the globe. Its core product is TouTiao – a news and information content platform and one of China’s largest mobile platforms for content creation, aggregation and distribution reinforced by machine learning techniques.

It also owns the short video app Douyin, which later became the Chinese version of TikTok when the Chinese social media giant acquired the lip-syncing app in Q4 2017.

Impact on the Digital Advertising Industry

ByteDance is reported to have 1.5 billion monthly active users (MAU) with 700 million daily active users (DAU) as of October 2019, which is an increase of 50% compared to its January 2018 user base. According to self-media account Kaiqi, its revenue reached around RMB 48 billion in Q1 2019, with RMB 20 billion from Douyin. The online company is seemingly closer to realise its 2019 revenue goal of RMB 100 billion considering its rapid user base growth.

Get started with Douyin and TikTok ads!

Moreover, ByteDance-owned short video app TikTok has 1.65 billion downloads on iOS and Android in January 2020 – a significant growth from 663 million in 2018. Out of the total downloads, 190 million app installs (11.5%) are from Southeast Asia. The app’s download surge outdid Instagram’s 444 million downloads in 2018 and is catching up with Facebook’s 711 million in the same year, as CNET reports. This resulted in both Douyin and TikTok being the world’s second most downloaded apps in 2019.

More Advertising Opportunities for SEA Brands

With ByteDance’s rapid user base growth in mind, more digital marketers turn into advertising on its key products namely Douyin, TikTok and Toutiao to reach a wider set of audiences in Southeast Asia and Greater China. With this amplified partnership, IH Digital can now provide support to marketers exploring this opportunity.

ByteDance Products - Toutiao, HuoShan and XiGua

Here is a list of ByteDance advertising platforms we now support as the official sales partner:

SEA Digital Marketing

  1. TikTok – Available in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.
  2. NewsRepublic – A news app powered by artificial intelligence that provides readers with the latest world and local news, viral headlines, trending videos, and articles directly to the user’s phone. Available in Taiwan only.

China Digital Marketing

  1. Douyin (抖音) – More than half of its users are aged 30 years and below.
  2. TouTiao (今日头条) – Over 70% of its users are aged between 25 to 45 years.
  3. XiGua (西瓜视频) – A video recommendation platform that runs videos a couple of minutes longer than videos in Douyin. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to suggest quality and related content based on the user’s interest. Over 70% of its users are aged 30 years and below.
  4. Huoshan (火山小视频) – A video-shooting application where users can quickly get content, show themselves, and gain fans by recording videos for up to 15 seconds. More than 70% of its users are aged between 25 to 40 years.

Let us help you explore TikTok ads and more for your brand!

Get started with TikTok ads! IH Digital is a digital marketing agency headquartered in Singapore, with presence across multiple countries in Southeast Asia and Greater China. With our media partnerships, we have helped many regional companies ultimately boost their online advertising campaigns on many platforms. Know more about our digital advertising services by dropping us a message here.

IH Digital, IH Singapore, and Digital 38 are members of the IH Digital Group.