Chinese embrace trend social media for friendship, sharing news

10:00, October 31, 2010      

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The first thing 27-year-old Cecilia Jiao does when she arrives at work is to check her friends' status updates on, a Facebook-style website widely-used by China's young white-collars workers.

"I start my day of work by reading the latest web postings from my friends," said Cecilia, a news editor in Beijing. "I'm used to it, just like many others."

Chinese versions of Facebook and Twitter are increasingly popular in China, where many of the nation's 420 million netizens embrace social media as a trendy way to interact with friends and keep up on the day's news.


Social networking services (SNS) websites have rapidly grown in China. - which in English translates as "happy network" - has become the leading Chinese SNS after its founding in early 2008. said its it had 90 million users in September, a figure increasing by 100,000 per day.

"SNS is an easy and efficient way for people to manage personal relations," said Jin Jianbin, a journalism professor at Tsinghua University.

Cecilia's account has 50 contacts. They are her classmates, colleagues, and friends in real life. But seldom do they meet due to distance and lack of time.

She enjoys reading the updates of friends every day and reciprocates by often posting notes on how she is feeling about about life and work.

"Seeking ways to make my big face smaller," Cecilia wrote in a recent message. Her words received a dozen pieces of replies from friends, which made her, a girl who loves beauty and is hoping to find a boyfriend, feel happy and relieved.

SNS sites have attracted not only ordinary individuals but also celebrities and institutions, and even one influential mainstream media organization.

China Xinhua News Network Corporation (CNC), the recently-launched global television news network of China's official news agency, Xinhua, in June became the first organization to set up an official account on CNC hopes to nurture a loyal fan audience base through a robust online presence.

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