Skip to main content

If Facebook reenters China, how will it compete?

chinese facebookFacebook has been blocked in China since 2009, when riots in the country’s Xinjiang region led to severe crackdowns on Internet use. Since then, statements from Chinese officials and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have hinted at the possibility of cooperation between the two, if a compromise between the nation’s overbearing censorship and Facebook’s “openness” can be reached.

Now it looks as though… something is going on. What exactly that may be is still up in the air, but numerous reports say Facebook is working with China to come up with a solution. According to Marbridge Consulting as well as a few blogs, a post on Sina Weibo from Hu Yan Ping, the founder of a Chinese market research firm claims that Facebook will be collaborating with Baidu to build an entirely new social networking site. Ping wrote, “Facebook really is about to enter China, the agreement is signed. A domestic website will work with Facebook to create a new site. This new site it not interlinked with Will this live or die in China?”

It’s a legitimate question. Chinese blogging and social media services are becoming increasingly popular, even internationally. If Facebook (or a Facebook-led production) wants to make an impression in the country it needs to move fast. So what exactly would this new site, or even Facebook, have to compete with?

Sina Weibo

sinaweiboSina Weibo is China’s version of Twitter and has Sina, the largest Chinese web portal, behind it. It’s been around since 2009, but skyrocketed to mass popularity within the last year, reaching well past 100 million users. It’s also well-used among the celebrity set. According to Bill Bishop, who analyzed the site last month, “it is a better designed and more stable product, and Sina’s product roadmap appears to have it heading towards a robust SNS, almost like Facebook.” Sina Weibo combines elements of many popular social platforms, including polling, group buying, and applications.

It’s currently moving over to a new doman,, and rumored to be looking at an initial public offering.


qzoneTencent is most well known as China’s largest Internet company, and has recently decided to capitalize on that moniker by introducing new social networking services. The site offers social gaming, networking, and instant messaging, and is hugely profitable. Its social networking platform specifically is called Qzone and runs the full gamut of social applications, including blogs and photo sharing. It is arguably the world’s largest social network and claims to have more than 200 million users.


renrenAnother extremely popular social service is Renren, which has been around since 2005. It’s the most similar to Facebook among its Chinese competitor sites, and includes many of the same applications (like Places, Groups, etc). Its UI is almost the most familiar to Facebook’s, and just like its western counterpart, it has found a following among college students. It claims to have somewhere between 150 and 160 million users, and exists with an open platform allowing outside development and integration.

Editors' Recommendations

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
What is a Facebook Pixel? Meta’s tracking tool, explained
A silhouetted person holds a smartphone displaying the Facebook logo. They are standing in front of a sign showing the Meta logo.

If you have a website for your business and you're wondering how well your ads are reaching prospective customers, you'll probably want to be able to measure that to make sure that the money you've spent on advertising for your business is money well spent. Meta (the parent company of social media platforms Facebook and Instagram) offers a tool that can measure that by capturing how your customers interact with your business' website.

At one point, this tool was known as a Facebook Pixel. But since the technology company's recent rebranding to Meta, the tool also underwent a name change and is now known as the Meta Pixel.

Read more
Meta found over 400 mobile apps ‘designed to steal’ Facebook logins
Social media mobile apps on a smartphone screen, all on a textured gray fabric background.

If you frequently use your Facebook login to sign into new mobile apps you've installed, you may want to pay attention to Meta's latest announcement.

On Friday, Facebook's parent company Meta published a blog post written by its Director of Threat Disruption David Agranovich, and Ryan Victory, a Malware Discovery and Detection engineer at Meta. The post detailed Meta's discovery of over 400 mobile apps "that target people across the internet to steal their Facebook login information." Essentially, Meta found hundreds of mobile apps that were "designed to steal"  the login information of Facebook users by having those users log in to these apps with their Facebook login information.

Read more
Facebook’s new controls offer more customization of your Feed
A smartphone with the Facebook app icon on it all on a white marble background.

Facebook isn't likely to stop recommending posts in your Feed anytime soon, but it is offering a few options for controlling the content you see there.

On Wednesday, Facebook parent company Meta announced that the social networking platform is offering two more ways to customize your feed: by selecting "Show more" or "Show less" on individual posts, and by adjusting new settings in Feed Preferences.

Read more