While social media platforms from US-based companies like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn still draw a large global audience, the Chinese social media landscape is a world unto itself.
The rise of Tencent’s WeChat platform is significant not only for threat intelligence researchers, but for anyone who’s curious about what other social media platforms are on the rise internationally. And Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like social media platform designed primarily for people who read and write Chinese, has given outsiders a new way to learn about what issues are important for Chinese people and what ordinary life is like.
TechinAsia recently wrote about a survey from WeiboReach which shows that starting in October 2012, activity on Weibo has been steadily decreasing. This could be caused in part by Weibo policy, which began requiring registrations with real names instead of aliases, a downside for many people who wish to post anonymously.
On the other hand, the effects may be more pronounced due to increased activity on WeChat, a mobile app that makes social connectivity faster and easier through smartphones and mobile devices. Additionally, WeChat users can access all of their Weibo data through this application.
In our next two posts we’ll explore what WeChat is and how it differs from Weibo, as well as the potential impact for security researchers and threat analysts.