CIC China Social Media Landscape 2013

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It’s been an explosive 5 years since CIC articulated the 1st ChinaSocial Media Landscape in 2008 and today. We’re honored to release the most up to date version of this iconic industry infographic, the CIC China Social Media Landscape 2013.

This diagram has portrayed China’s social media platforms in 4 categories, based on stage of maturity  and functional dependency.

1. Functional Networks

Functional networks provide basic support for other platforms, or have been integrated into other platforms. So, they include Q&A, Wiki, Blog, Doc-Sharing and LBS.

2. Core Networks

Core networks can be considered the campaign battlefield; including Micro-Blog, SNS, IM, Mobile Social, Video & Music, BBS, Rating & Review, and e-Commerce. It’s worth mentioning that “Mobile Social” is a new core network in landscape, as Wechat, with its 300 million users, has become a social phenomenon in China. More and more brands are becoming aware of the real value of marketing and engagement through mobile social platforms.

3. Value-Added Networks

Value-added networks are based on core networks and other platforms but aim to provide additional service. These include things like Social Commerce, Social Aggregators, Social Gaming and Social Search.

4. Emerging/Niche Networks:

Emerging/Niche Networks are those platforms that perform a relatively independent function, or specifically target niche groups. This includes Online Travel, Light Blogs, Dating Networks, Business Social, Enterprise Social, Photo Sharing and Social TV. These are the emerging platforms to which brands need pay special attention.

As the social media landscape in China evolves ever fast and with unparalleled dynamism, CIC strive to remain at the cutting edge. Any suggestions or questions about this infographic, or the wider landscape it represents, are warmly welcomed.

A brief history of the China Social Media Landscape

CIC made the very first Chinese Social Media Landscape infographic in 2008, inspired by the conversation prism made by a famous social media marketing expert, Brian Solis. We have adapted that initial model in relation to the unique environment presented by social media and the digital space in China.

2008-2009, the 1st version: IM, BBS, video sharing and e-Commerce were the major components of the landscape.

2010, the 2nd version: micro-blog, LBS and group-purchase became popular.

2011, the 3rd version: light blog and business social enter the landscape.

2012, the 4th version: we began to sort China’s social media platforms into 4 categories and integrate Mobile Social, Personal Networks, Enterprise Social, Online Travel and Dating Networks.

2013, the 5th version: Social Search, Social TV and Photo Sharing have been added, and mobile social platforms become a core network.


To see the development of China social media, you can view here

Download ‘CIC China Social Media Landscape 2013’ : Click here.
More details, please keep your eyes on our website, blog, and SINA weibo.

For more information, please contact:

Chander Guo
Marketing Director


About CIC

CIC is China’s leading social business intelligence provider, enabling enterprise to fully leverage the power of social media and Internet Word of Mouth (IWOM) intelligence across the organization. Since 2004, CIC has pioneered IWOMized technology, research and consulting. Firstly, by coining the term IWOM and then being the first to raise the concept of “social business” in China. As the industry thought leader, we have always been at the forefront of China’s internet and social business revolution.CIC is China’s largest integrated 3rd party provider of technical IWOM solutions, social media studies and social business intelligence. In order to help companies effectively leverage this social business intelligence, CIC provides customized research, consulting services, syndicated reports, and industry trend watches, rich in actionable insight. In addition to helping brands accomplish their social business aims, CIC is also monetizing the social business industry in China, creating an integrated social business support system (IWOMmaster), powered by our proprietary technical solutions and platforms.Recent acquisition by WPP’s Kantar Media, the media research and insight division of Kantar, has strengthened CIC’s position and is a step towards expansion of its social offering across Asia Pacific. CIC will continue to provide social business intelligence from an objective, third-party perspective, to the world’s leading brands and agencies. Other language services are now available through the Kantar network. For more information please visit

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