Weibo, one of China’s most popular social platforms, has been frequently compared to Twitter. However, like many technological innovations in China, the social platform has managed to transform itself into a different beast. Sina Weibo started its journey in 2009 as one of many “weibo” or microblogging platforms in the country. Today it firmly holds its place as “the Weibo” and with 392 million monthly active users, it is now bigger than its international rival.

“[Weibo] is actually many things in one: its IMDB, it’s Goodreads,” Editor in Chief of What’s on Weibo Manya Koetse told TechNode, adding that Weibo’s venture into video was ahead of many Western platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. “It is more suitable for Chinese tastes in a way because it has many functions of social media in one platform.”

The platform also holds a special place in China. Many scholars have devoted ink to Weibo, exploring its role in what sociologist Ya Wenlei calls the rise of China’s contentious public sphere. The platform not only changed the everyday life of Chinese citizens but it also pushed them into participation in public affairs.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Masha Borak

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.