A Brief Guide to China’s Media Landscape – May 2014
The table below shows mainland China’s most important websites, newspapers, and broadcast news organizations, together with numbers for website traffic, circulation and audience.
The numbers are guesstimates based on media reports, listed companies’ public filings, media advertising rate cards, Alexa.com and Danwei interviews with media insiders. We also use numbers from the biannual reports issued by CNNIC, the state-owned Internet statistical organization (their December report is available here in Chinese only). Like all numbers in China, they should be taken with a pinch of salt, for reference only. This list is updated every three months.
Notes and updates since the last version of this report (published in February 2014):
• Weibo use continues to slow after the company’s IPO; their filings state a daily active user count of 61.4 million, but we believe that it is lower than that;
• WeChat use continues to grow, although not at anything near its blazing speed in 2013. The deletion of a number of popular accounts that published news feeds to subscribers in March put paid to the notion that WeChat might replace Weibo as a platform for freewheeling discussion of sensitive matters.
• In December 2013, CNNIC reported that China had 619 million Internet users, including 500 million people who connected via a mobile phone; the number has no doubt grown since then.
• A report by Gartner in January this year stated that China had more than one billion mobile phone users.
• The strict monitoring and censorship of news and social media in the last half year continue with no letup in sight.
|Tencent WeChat||Mobile text & voice messaging, friend networks||396 million active users monthly|
|Sina Weibo||Microblog||100 million active users monthly/40 million active users daily|
|Sina.com.cn||News portal website||37.2 million IP visitors daily|
|Tencent Weibo||Microblog||about 540 million registered users/220 million active users monthly|
|Tencent Qzone||Nickname SNS, blogs, home pages||632 million active users monthly|
|QQ.com||News portal website||51 million IP visitor daily|
|Baidu Post Bar||Forum and Q&A||over 10 million registered users and over 200 million monthly active users|
|Baidu Search Engine||Search engine||over 80 million IP visitors daily|
|Taobao and T Mall||Online mall and C2C ecommerce||over 71 million IP visitors daily (combined); over 1 trillion RMB sales in 2012|
|Youku & Tudou||Companies have merged; video sharing and viewing, including TV shows||Youku: over 10 million IP visitors daily Tudou:over 1 million IP visitors daily|
|Douban||Interest based, nickname SNS||79 million registered users and over 200 million active users monthly|
|Renren||Real name SNS||45 millionactive login users monthly|
|Sohu||News portal website||27 million IP visitor daily|
|Netease||News portal website||17 million IP visitor daily|
|iFeng||News portal website||9.7 million IP visitor daily|
|Caixin||Financial business & politics news||one of the leading websites in finance, 204 thousand IP visitor daily|
|Yicai||Financial & economic news||one of the leading websites in finance, 38 thousand IP visitor daily|
|Newspaper||3.4 million copies|
|Newspaper||2.8 million copies|
|Newspaper||2 million copies|
|Newspaper||1.7 million copies|
|New Weekly新周刊||Magazine focusing on current events and lifestyle||310,000 copies|
|Southern People Weekly
|Magazine focusing on interviews||200,000 copies|
Radio and TV
|China National Radio
|Radio||Over 700 million listeners|
|State television broadcaster in mainland China with mutiple channels||200 million to around a billion viewers|
|Top provincial satellite TV station focused on entertainment programs||65 to 800 million viewers|
Further reading on China’s Internet and media
Danwei Model Workers
Our list of the best English-language specialist websites about China
The Great Firewall of China (1997)
by Geremie R. Barmé and Sang Ye
A Giant Cage - A survey of China’s Internet
by Gady Epstein
“The Connection Has Been Reset”
by James Fallows