China is among the countries whose netizens have been most actively engaged in micro-blogging, according to the latest data released in China by research firm Experian Hitwise.
In China, microblogs have become the main platform for its citizens to discuss social issues. Many portals, including those of Sina Weibo, Tencent, Sohu, Netease, have given micro-blogging a priority in their strategic restructuring and development.
Of all the microblog operators in China, Sina Weibo's users were the most active. According to a report issued last month by Hitwise, Sina Weibo accounted for 1 in every 106 Internet visits in China.
Twitter, the biggest microblog operator outside China, has had its halo dimmed by China's Sina Weibo. It accounted for one out of every 227 Internet visits in the UK, while in the US, the ratio is one out of every 434 visits.
Compared with other countries and regions like Singapore, Brazil, Hong Kong, France, Canada, Australia and India, China's Sina Weibo stood at the top place in terms of the proportion of Internet visits it claimed.
Indeed, Twitter has so far remained the main micro-blog operator in countries and regions including the UK and the US. The rate of people logging in Twitter grew from last April's figures, although in a less significant way than that of China's Sina Weibo.
The following diagram shows the comparison in numbers.
The data show ratio of visits of Sina Weibo and Twitter in different countries and regions (April 2011 vs December 2011), not including mobile network data. Data source: Experian Hitwise, China & International, Dec. 2011
The data provides strong evidence of the incomparable boom of microblogging in China. Attractive as it is, China's microblogging arena does not include Twitter as an eligible player in the game. It has no operator, nor is it accessible in Chinese mainland.