Twittering Grows in China (but not on Twitter)

Twitter remains blocked in China, but that has not stopped Twitter-like activity.

Similar to other foreign Web 2.0 services that the government keeps out, China’s vibrant web sector has created domestic alternatives.

This graph from CIC Data shows that almost 40% of the online buzz they found around the Toyota recall on the day that Toyota president Akio Toyoda spoke in China about the issue came from Sina’s micro-blog.

Note that this is a measure of volume, not impact. A well considered posting on a particular blog or forum may well have had more impact. But it does show that micro-blogs are growing in importance in China for breaking news events.

As I blogged earlier, the Chinese-language is in some ways better suited to Twitter than English: Twitter in Chinese actually means “Blog”. If you INSIST on looking at Twitter usage in China, here’s a posting I did about the demographics of Twitter users in China.

(Disclosure: I run Ogilvy’s Social Media practice for APAC and in that role have often partnered with CIC on projects.)