NBH Guide: How important is Weibo for your China online presence?

Apr 26, 2023 |

China’s social media scene can for many be described as a jungle and confusing to navigate. But if you’ve been involved in China for a while, you’ve probably heard of Weibo.  

It’s a social media platform that easily can be describe as an “microblog”. Weibo next to WeChat used to be the top important platform for branding in China, and many may wonder, is weibo still relevant or is it a dead end?

In this guide, NBH gets back “to the basics”, and talks about Weibo, which actually came before WeChat and still plays a big role in digital China.

What is Weibo? – Weibo Vs. Twitter  

Sina Weibo (is a social media platform that was launched in 2009 by Sina Corporation, a Chinese technology company. It is often referred to as the “Chinese Twitter” because it allows users to post short messages to their followers. 

However, unlike Twitter, Weibo also allows users to post longer messages, upload photos and videos. Like Twitter, you can follow other users, companies and celebrities. 

Weibo has become one of the most popular social media platforms in China, with 582 million monthly users. It has also become an important tool for businesses and public figures to connect with their audience.

Despite its similarities to Twitter, Weibo has adapted to the Chinese market by incorporating features such as online shopping, games, and other entertainment options. 

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Source: Statista 2022

Why use Weibo as your Digital Marketing tool?

Weibo can be a valuable tool for businesses looking to connect with Chinese consumers. By creating high-quality content, and using Weibo’s advertising features, you can effectively reach and engage with your target audience on this platform.

NBH gives you our top three reasons:

High engagement rate: Weibo users are highly active on the platform, with many checking the app multiple times per day. This means that businesses can expect high levels of engagement with their posts.

Influencer marketing: Weibo has a large number of KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders), who are influential users with large followings. Collaborating with KOLs on Weibo can help businesses promote their products or services to a wider audience and increase brand awareness.

Real-time feedback: Weibo allows businesses to engage with their customers in real-time, responding to comments and feedback. This can help businesses improve customer satisfaction and build customer loyalty.

Increased SEO: By maintain brand exposure, link building, and social signal on Weibo it will contribute to your overall SEO efforts in China.

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Swedish Embassy Beijing and Kesko on Weibo.

Is Weibo dead as a marketing tool?

Weibo is still a viable marketing tool in China, despite some people believing it to be as “outdated” as Facebook. In fact, Weibo still attracts a large young user base and maintains its popularity due to its high engagement rate.

But, as the social media landscape in China continues to expand, businesses now have more platform options than ever before when establishing an online presence in the country. So the questions is more, which platforms suits best for you?

Why does Weibo have such a high engagement rate among its followers?

Weibo has become a platform that spreads news, highlights politics, celebrity gossip, spreads hashtags with important social messages, discusses the climate issue or shares knowledge about a particular industry or product.

B2C brand has various example of lifting “problems” or social issues on Weibo. For example, has the celebration of Women’s Day on Weibo often provides a good example of when some brands are willing to take a more unconventional approach. This trend has been observed in China in recent years and can serve as a useful barometer for brands looking to gain insight into social issues in the country.


Hershey, an American chocolate brand, achieved great success with the release of a limited edition HERSHE (HER-SHE) themed collection, as part of their SHEROES (SHE-HEROES) campaign. The campaign celebrated International Women’s Day by highlighting three women who have made positive contributions to society: wildlife photographer Xu Keyi, volunteer teacher Wan Lijun, and young artist Wu Xixia.

As a result, the hashtag #HERSHE became widespread and gained with 400+ million reads.

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Hershey’s campaign for IWD China 2023.

Other example is the chinese brand NEIWAI内外 who has several examples of creating campiagns with a more unconventional approacht. The last campaign was to highlight violence againt women, with both video commercail and pictures, which had a widespead and became a hot topic on weibo.

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Neiwai on Weibo

Is Weibo relevant for B2B-business?

It’s easy to assume that Weibo is primarily a platform similar to Twitter, focused on social engagement, opinion formation, and sharing of views. However, as we described above, there are significant differences between the platforms. And for the B2B sector, there is some greate potential if you use it correctly.

Here are some of the main benefits:

Wide User Base: Weibo has a large user base of professionals and businesses, providing access to potential B2B customers.

  • Brand Exposure: Weibo allows businesses to promote their brand through various content formats, increasing visibility among Chinese B2B audiences.
  • Engagement and Interaction: Weibo enables businesses to engage with their target audience through comments, likes, shares, and direct messages, building relationships and gaining insights.
  • Thought Leadership: Weibo helps establish thought leadership by sharing industry insights and valuable content, positioning the business as an authority in the industry.
  • Chinese Language and Culture: Weibo is designed for the Chinese market, allowing effective communication and adaptation to local market strategies.

Finally, Don’t age discriminate…

Weibo is a great monitoring platform if you want to stay updated with the latest in China, both in society and related to trends. The platform’s strong local presence and clear local profile are perfect for increasing your credibility. There are currently no signals that it is dead or outdated.

The platform is evolving but remains relevant!

If you’re serious about your venture in China, we recommend to at least familiarizing yourself with Weibo and considering how it can serve a purpose for your company.

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