China’s social networking landscape is diverse and thriving. No single player is nearly as dominant as Facebook in the U.S. and there’s a long tail of networks for different users (urban and rural) and different purposes (social, dating, and games). Here is China’s SNS universe for the top 7 sites.

And here is a table of the top 15 social networks in China. Please note this table is more a work-in-progress than a finished product. Finding reliable numbers on the Chinese internet is notoriously difficult: there are lies, damned lies, and Chinese statistics. Take them with a pound of salt. Note: Here is the 2010 edition and 2011 edition of my in-depth analysis of “China’s Top 4 Social Networks.”

The Top 15 (in words)

  1. QzoneChina’s largest social network is built on the back of the 637 million active accounts for Tencent’s QQ Messenger. The question for Qzone is not quantity, but rather the quality of its nickname-based social graph.
  2. RenRen – RenRen is China’s leading real-name social network that intends to IPO soon. It’s setting the standard for SNS in China, but still faces challenges from other social networks, notably Tencent’s Pengyou and Kaixin001.
  3. Pengyou – Tencent’s latest entry into the real-name social networking space has many users. But even more so than with Qzone, the real question is, how strong is the social graph?
  4. Sina Weibo – Sina Weibo is a red-hot microblogging service that threatens China’s social networks with a new model. Can microblogging surpass social networking in terms of popularity in China? Its features now far surpass those of Twitter, including threaded comments, pictures, videos, IM, and LBS.
  5. Kaixin001 – Kaixin001 gained popularity amongst white-collar workers via its social games and post-forwarding features. But as the social games mania has died down and the appeal of its post-forwarding has been usurped by Sina Weibo, Kaixin001 is now struggling. Various insiders report that user numbers have declined precipitously.
  6. 51.com – 51.com enjoyed early popularity among comparatively rural users, but now appears to be in a downward spiral. One recent report says peak simultaneous users are down to 700,000. 51.com’s claim of 178 million “registered users” is either irrelevant or fake, a case that requires skepticism by the tonne.
  7. Douban – Douban has perhaps the strongest community of any social network in China. It’s never had explosive growth or a massive user base (in China terms), but it attracts young urban Chinese who together over movies, books, music, and events. A good network for hipsters and creatives.
  8. Taomee – A social network and gaming site (similar to the Disney-owned Club Penguin) that’s massively popular with Chinese children (and their mothers). Taomee is in fact the parent company that runs a number of different children’s sites, including: Moer (mole-themed), Saier (sci-fi themed), and XiaoHua (princess-themed).
  9. Tencent Weibo – Tencent is also aggressively pushing its Weibo (microblog) service in order to compete with Sina. It claims over 100 million registered users, but again with Tencent there’s the concern of quality over quantity–iResearch reports that Sina Weibo controls 87% of time spent by Chinese users on microblogs, while Tencent holds only 9%.
  10. Jiayuan – China’s most popular online dating site, which is rumored to have plans for an IPO.
  11. Tao Jianghu – A social network based around the massively popular e-commerce site, Taobao. Profiles are automatically created for Taobao users, though the vast majority are skeletons; only a fraction of users are active. Adding a social layer is one of Taobao’s key objectives for 2011.
  12. Bai Shehui – The “white-collar society” network by Sohu, one of China’s largest internet portals. Sohu also develops its own social games for this platform.
  13. Zhenai - One of China’s leading dating sites, which is also rumored to be preparing for an IPO.
  14. Baihe – One of China’s leading dating sites.
  15. iPartment – An avatar-based dating site from Taiwan where teens and young adults move into a virtual apartment together. Revenues come from advertising, virtual goods, and e-commerce.
Tagged with:
 
  • jiucai

    我来留个爪 ▄︻┻═┳一

  • Zcyster

    哥们你是中国人吧?

    • Lain Z Q

      看一下About就知道了

  • mrtg

    douban is a nickname sns

    • http://twitter.com/DonSunny46664 Sunny Ye

      The design of Douban is based on real social networks, such as hosting offline events in it, so in a sense compared to networks like Qzone which is pretty much nicknamed users with virtual contents that does really represent anything in the real world, Douban is actually real enough. So how real is a social network is really based on it’s contents output, with real contents you will have a habit of sharing them with friends you actually knew, and between each other your names are real.

      In the end even Facebook can “not” be a real name SNS, but then there wouldn’t be any point in having a Facebook with a nickname.

  • Sunding Hsie

    嗯嗯 留个脚印。

  • Stocksea

    哈哈!留个记号!

  • Zwen92

    这是个神马统计……source?

  • Sylvia

    Please add P1.CN next time. A private social network connecting China’s elite. I invite you to visit our website. I can send you an invitation.

    • http://twitter.com/DonSunny46664 Sunny Ye

      Is P1.cn available for public reg? Or do you have a strict guideline in who can be part of it?

    • 11

      haha

    • http://hanadeducation.com Burhan

      Send me an invitation! I entered using my normal e-mail and i just had 2 random friends in there. They told me to invite more friends and once 5 of them join i will be able to join too. The discounts in their mall is fantastic.

      • Randy Lo

        u r a foreign?

      • Dstrevel

        IF EVERYONE IS WAITING TO JOIN, THEN WHO WOULD ACTUALLY BE JOINING??  Sounds different, and maybe fishy.  
        Don, Las Vegas

    • Rouveure

      I’ll be happy to get an invitation from your part as soon as I am trying to boost my company’s visibility…

      Thank you very much

      Regards,  

                                                Mathias Rouveure, Angle communications Shanghai

    • http://clearinsite.nl/english Fleurstigter

      Hi Sylvia, I am a digital strategy consultant from The Netherlands. I would love to get an invitation to P1.cn.

       

    • http://clearinsite.nl/english Fleurstigter

      Hi Sylvia, I am a digital strategy consultant from The Netherlands. I would love to get an invitation to P1.cn.

       

    • Anonymous

       I would be interested in joining P1.cn. please forward an invite to doron@thetoptier.net thanks!

    • http://www.facebook.com/davidom88 David Om

      pls do send an invitation to davidom@msn.com

    • Ernst

       Please can you send me an invitation? My email address is ernstjunior @ ernstgouws.co.za. I would really appreciate it

    • noranxt

      I’m quite interested in your website, can i get an invitation as well? and, would you join 36ke’s 8.25 event?

    • aremu

      i want you to invite me to your social networking site please send me the invitation code on aremualiyat123@gmail.com

    • masoud

      pls send me invite.xie xie. baranpirooz@gmail.com

    • Anais Guercho

      Could you send me an invite please. anais.guercho@gmail.com
      best,

    • Tina

      pls! pls! pls! can i have your invitation? pls! tinasun0322@hotmail.com

      best wishes!!

    • David

      can i have your invitation please? david.brian231@yahoo.com

  • http://twitter.com/mydot Wang Yifei

    谁说豆瓣是实名的?

    • http://www.kailukoff.com Kai Lukoff

      谢谢,改变了

  • liuxue86.com

    美国留学http://meiguo.liuxue86.com 留脚印!

  • Xbq1113

    腾讯朋友是个什么玩意儿。。。

  • luna

    那个朋友网是个神马东西

    • http://twitter.com/DonSunny46664 Sunny Ye

      朋友网是腾讯旗下的SNS,原先叫校友,去年改版成为了朋友。

    • regina

      是腾讯的,貌似之前是QQ校友

    • Xhtdjmtd

      就是腾讯的QQ校友。

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      笑死~~~

  • Replayerwzr

    Can we get much higher?

  • Becoz2

    51.com actually got less active users. far far less than this number above

  • Acumen

    两大婚恋网也上榜了?

  • Jialifunia

    奶奶的,变化好快。

  • Bin

    怎么都是中文?

  • xbai

    Nice round-up. Here is a closer look at the top 5 social networks in china, also informative http://offbeatchina.com/profiling-china%E2%80%99s-top-social-media-1-%E2%80%93-sns-social-networking-sites

  • http://profiles.google.com/qsmuzhuo 木桌 胡

    有点意思

  • Priscilla610

    Excuse me, but I am really curious about the definition of “social networks”. Is that includes both nick-name networks and real-name networks? I am not quite sure about that. As I know, Dana Boyd (in University of California, Berkeley) and Nicole B Ellison hold the opinion the social network sites should based on real interpersonal activities, so that nick-name networks should not be mentioned here.

  • Anonymous

    wow, social networking is really big in china http://www.technobaboy.com/

  • 362670070

    瞄一眼

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sammy-Jankis/100001101957243 Sammy Jankis

     I recently discovered AMICINA ( http://www.amicina.com ) which is probably the best social network for chinese people and China-lover… well.. it’s another world.. IF you don’t know it.. I really recomend it. Finally something good !

  • Salrips

    hi  salman here from pakistan…………..
    all the social networks frm china r great………….but a great problem is that they r in chinese language……..so users from other countries cannot use that….
    so if u know any english chinese social network do let me know at
    salrips@gmail.com

  • Anonymous

    作者是中国人

  • Bangstyleindie

    The TAO of Hair By: Cici Andresen
    In 2005 I met Kelly Gorsuch, owner of Immortal Beloved Salon in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Back then, he was part owner and Creative Director of The Urban Style Lab, an newly emerging salon in Dupont Circle. Urban Style Lab was a departmentalized salon featuring some of the most accomplished stylists in the Metropolitan area.With a highly educated and talented staff by his side, Kelly took me (as well as other new-hires and apprentices) under his wing and perfected our cutting and styling skills to a level only matched by the Editorial Stylist’s of a haute couture magazine….to read more click or follow the blog link below:   http://www.bangstyle.com/2011/08/the-tao-of-hair/

  • Bangstyle Independent

    Bangstyle Independent Hair + NowCoverage includes exclusive features, intimate interviews, FREE music downloads, intriguing photo essays and the latest in tech, trend and oddities. BANGSTYLE.COM is lifestyle and it all makes sense. So how does a hair centric website become a no-brainer for creatives of all types looking to generate buzz?  BANGSTYLE.COM has an answer: by tapping into a thriving, international stylist community ripe with industry gossip, friendly banter, and shameless self-promotion. BANGSTYLE.COM offers any artist in any medium access to a deeply-rooted stylist network; the same network that remains an integral part of the arts and entertainment industry.  The BANGSTYLE.COMwebsite, and the online community that it supports, is now a new avenue for promoting any artistic endeavor to a brand new audience. Until now the hair industry has relied on traditional channels to promote new products and techniques.  Until now there have been few online options for stylists to promote their latest hair creations.  BANGSTYLE.COM has not only captured a new audience but it is sharing with everyone.  It’s all about the Hair + Now. Visitors to BANGSTYLE.COM include industry professionals, salon owners, stylists, artists, fashionistas, musicians and taste-makers from all over the globe.  Coverage includes exclusive features, intimate interviews, intriguing photo essays and the latest in tech, trend and oddities.  BANGSTYLE.COM is lifestyle and it all makes sense. With all the online options out there, you’d think “they’d” thought of everything.  They didn’t… fortunately BANGSTYLE did.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrqxYSJysfc&feature=related 

  • http://twitter.com/todaylatestnews Latest News

    Good article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sammy-Jankis/100001101957243 Sammy Jankis

    What does “top” means? Just a social network which has many users?

    I think that AMICINA should be included in this list too, since it’s free and has every feature possible: chat, friendships, private messages, advanced users research, public forum, games etc etc
    http://www.amicina.comIt's all about China and chinese culture, language, food. Really useful and they’re even planning big tools for online language-exchange !

  • PitchMyStuff

    PitchMyStuff.com is a free to join music website offering a number of services for anyone in the industry such as quick and inexpensive Music Copyright, cheap global Digital Music Distribution, a comprehensive Music Collaboration Suite and many more, all based around a huge dedicated Music Social Network which is free to join and provides professional profiles and some awesome free Music, Lyric and Event pages to present your work!

    Designed and created for ALL music individuals, whether you’re a music Fan, a Band, a Group, Solo Artists, DJ, MC, Lyricist, Songwriter, Record Label, Music Venue or simply anyone in the music industry, there’s something for everyone! 

    It’s FREE to join and full of music people so if you’re serious about your music career or just love music, join the crowd and be part of the new music revolution – http://www.PitchMyStuff.com ….fast forward your music career.

  • Daniel

    send an ivataion at denho8@live.com

  • Haznkay

    invite me please…tired of facebook….my email is haznkay@yahoo.com

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7OAIWCR7BLSERUZIDZ4IXM6IA timothy mercurio

    use english,most foreigner dont know chinese, while most chinese actually do know english esp.when they are reading it, how ever there are exceptions like those who only bark at text and yet they claim to pretend to know, 

  • china huddle

    Also check out China Huddle http://www.chinahuddle.com/ 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hiking-Tours-Nepal/100003291813097 Hiking Tours Nepal

    A private social network connecting China’s elite. http://nepalesetrekking.com/  I invite you to visit our website.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hiking-Tours-Nepal/100003291813097 Hiking Tours Nepal

    interesting list i book mark it  my site is http://basecamptrekking.com/

  • Moh

    u did forget to mention http://www.reffra.com 

  • John thomas

     

    Excuse
    me!!
    Would you stop for a moment?!
    O…man…Haven’t you thought-one day- about yourself ?
    Who has made it?
    Have you seen a design which hasn’t a designer ?!
    Have you seen a wonderful,delicate work without a worker ?!
    It’s you and the whole universe!..
    Who has made them all ?!!
    You know who ?.. It’s “ALLAH”,prise be to him.
    Just think for a moment.
    How are you going to be after death ?!
    Can you believe that this exact system of the universe and all of these great
    creation will end in in nothing…just after death!
    Have you thought, for a second, How to save your soul from Allah’s punishment?!
    Haven’t you thought about what is the right religion?!
    Read … and think deeply before you answer..
    It is religion of Islam.
    It is the religion that Mohammad-peace upon him- the last prophet, had been
    sent by.
    It is the religion that the right Bible- which is not distorted-has preached.
    Just have a look at The Bible of (Bernaba).
    Don’t be emstional.
    Be rational and judge..
    Just look..listen…compare..and then judge and say your word.
    We advise you visiting :

    http://www.islam-guide.com
    http://www.islamhouse.com/s/9661

  • Ren
  • jay

    are there too many customers under 30?

  • yogi

    i think that the china’s best social networking/dating site is http://www.cottonto.com
    just enjoy and fun

  • mario

    Great Informial Website Thanks!

    http://uvioo.com/video/?m=portotorres46

  • http://www.wittysparks.com/ Sravan Kumar

    Wow this is a huge and useful list – new to me atleast – thanks

  • http://www.jocuricumasini.ro/2/jocuri-cu-camioane/1 TheBeast

    Hi, Could you send me an invite please jocuri3d@yahoo.com, thanks

  • Justice

    Another powerful site in English Connecting Chinese and Foreigner http://www.bookerzmedia.com

  • Justice

    Bookerz Media Network http://www.bookerzmedia.com

  • NgoConsultancy

  • ssalssal

    2013 men’s singles final Malong vs YanAn Table Tennis Asian Championships [1/4]