We’re constantly on the lookout for the latest trends in international social media. In the latest of a series of posts on social media in China, journalist Sarah Marsh asks a leading observer of Chinese social media where to look for the next big thing likely to emerge from this exciting economy.
1. Do companies and personalities drive social media in China?
2. Is there a Chinese equivalent of Silicon Valley, where the majority of services are developed and launched?
Beijing Zhongguancun is known as the Chinese equivalent of Silicon Valley. There are no secondary centers where digital media startups work, everything is quite fragmented.
3. What are the hottest start-ups on the scene at the moment, and are any of them showing signs of taking over from the incumbents?
4. Is there any talk of Chinese social media making a bid for Western markets, or buying up start-ups in Europe or the US?
5. What are the general trends in the development of digital services in China?
Location-based services are big and growing. Social music, TV and music services are also successful in terms of viewership but not in terms of making money. Some business are using social media to change the way they do business but not in the area of mobile payments, more in the area of promotion, marketing, PR and events.
Sarah is Foreign Expert at 21st Century, a newspaper connected to China Daily and has also written for The Guardian and Wired. She blogs at sarah-marsh.co.uk