Latest numbers show that Weibo, China’s leading social media company, continues to prove its commercial possibilities in KOL (key opinion leader, or influencer) marketing. Once touted as the Twitter of China, Weibo helped its “Big-V”—influencer users—pocket RMB 20.7 billion in 2017, said the company’s CEO Wang Gaofei at the 2017 Weibo V-Influence Summit yesterday.

The social media giant has been making a steady comeback since 2016 after two years of downturn. While WeChat overtook it to become the country’s default social networking app, Weibo is toying with new business models as it pivots to video marketing and a largely ignored user base in less developed China who are willing to spend money on their idols, big or small.

Out of the RMB 20.7 billion revenue that went to Weibo influencers, RMB 18.7 billion came from e-commerce transactions, followed by RMB 1.33 billion from paid content and RMB 710 million from brand endorsement.

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Rita Liao

Telling the uncommon China stories through tech. I can be reached at ritacyliao [at] gmail [dot] com.