“When China wakes, she will shake the world” Napoleon Bonaparte
China’s rise to the world’s second largest economy cannot be ignored in any business circle, including social business. It is well known that guanxi (personal relationships) are one of the three cultural keys that will enable effective work with Chinese colleagues – more details in this June 2013 post. But what does this relationship building looking like practically within the context of China’s workplace today?
Inevitably, like most countries across the world today China is increasing influenced by social technology tools. However, like many things about the Chinese market, China’s social technology landscape is unique and largely unknown to those outside China.
Honestly, how many people outside of China have ever heard of any of the popular social technology brands listed in the image below?
Source: Digital Strategy Consulting Post – November 28, 2012
Context: Social Technology in China is Growing and Its Mobile
First, it is helpful to understand just how impactful social technology is in China today. According to this post from the CEO of the internet marketing company ByReputation.com there were 597 million active social networking users in China as of July 2013. What is more, the volume of information these users have created increased by 60% in 2012 alone. In addition social media usage is more common than in the U.S. as 91% of China’s online population has an account on a social media site compared to only 67% in the U.S.
Second, much of this staggering growth has been fueled by smartphone penetration where where according to this video produced by the PR company GroupM there were over 360 million mobile internet users in 2011. In addition, this number is expected to overtake PC netizens by 2015. What is more, the same report indicates that smartphone users typically check their phones every 6 minutes and 38% of smartphone users spend more than 5 hours a day on their phones.
Clearly, if you are going to connect with Chinese colleagues today, you need to actively jump into mobile social technology.
Up Next: Practical Tips
The next post will focus on practical tips for harnessing the value of mobile social tools to drive deeper connections and more effective interactions with your Chinese colleagues. In the meantime, take a few minutes to familiarize your self with several of the major social media platforms in China by checking out Sina’s Weibo or WeChat from Tencent. If you want even more info check out this great list from the ByReputation.com CEO in this infograph.