Social networks have famously been under strict monitoring in China as a result of the dominant regime of the Chinese government. Sina Corp, the owner of the site in China that is very similar to twitter, known as Weibo, has experienced a huge increase in both revenue and number of users.
It claims that is has over 500million registered users over the world and the company also reported a $44.5million profit in the October to December period of 2013 (BBC News). This comes as a huge surprise as in the pat the Chinese government have threatened to monitor search engines such as google and totally eliminate all forms of pornography over the internet. Companies across China have noticed this increase of popularity of Weibo and have taken it upon themselves to begin to advertise on this website, which in itself has opened another aspect of advertising. This has further boosted the revenue of other companies and has therefore lead to a direct increase in China’s economy which should also be considered when reading my previous article ‘Why has China grown during the economic crisis?’
On the other hand, it has recently been reported that the number of Weibo users has actually decreased in 2013 and that 28million people actually left the site which came as a surprise to the company (BBC News).
This newfound ability to freely speak within China was taken up immediately by the Chinese people and it is likely something similar to this will take place in the future. Numerous laws, including those that actually jail microbloggers, are passed by the Chinese government to try to limit the occurrence of events like this. However, if will is strong enough, the internet users of China will continue to find ways to air their opinions on a widely-read platform.
By Joss Woodhead