• Digital Business Lab

Top China Social Media Trends That You Need To Know in 2021

China’s social media trends are vastly different from those in the West, while China’s social media marketing is becoming more complex because of its diversified social media platforms, fierce competition, and fast innovation.

In 2021, Chinese social media’s evolution will tie closely to the latest eCommerce trend: live eCommerce – the new normal online selling on social media, significantly “Livestream Shopping” as live streaming had become the new traffic entrance to drive conversion. The overall scale of live streaming eCommerce in 2021 is expected to reach 2 trillion RMB!


If your business is looking to thrive in China’s social media marketing, this is the right article for you.

We will dive into the three most popular social media platforms in China: WeChat (微信), Douyin (抖音), RED (小红书), and highlight key China social media trends you need to be across to leverage and develop your 2021 marketing strategy.


What is the role of social media in China?


In 2021, a projection that makes digital marketers salivate: there will be more than 1.2 billion social media users in China, making China the world’s biggest social media market. Social media plays an important role in Chinese consumers’ purchase decisions, especially the younger generation. Chinese social media, just like Western equivalents, not only serves as a way to communicate online, but also as one of the main sources of news and entertainment, shopping advisors, dating channels, and e-payments.


🌐 Around 65% of the Chinese population use internet. 📱 Chinese consumers spend approximately 4 hours on phones and an average of 3.5 hours on social media per day. 🛒 69% of consumers have shared their purchase links on social media. 📈 The penetration rate for social media in China is over 97%.



Quick facts about WeChat: Launched in 2011 MAU: 1.2 Billion (as of the half of 2020) Functions: instant messaging, social networking, information sharing, and campaign participation. WeChat Moments DAU: more than 750 million (as of the half of 2020) WeChat Mini Programs DAU: 440 million (as of the half of 2020)




1. WeChat Mini Program Live Streaming: to facilitate Livestream Shopping on Mini Program


Because of the pandemic, WeChat mini programs have given new opportunities to merchants.

As of August 2020, the GMV of products sold through the WeChat Mini Program has increased 115% year-on-year, and the GMV of branded merchants has increased by 210% year-on-year.

The fastest-growing industries for Mini Programs are daily necessities, luxury, and shopping malls in 2020.


To facilitate eCommerce on Mini Program, WeChat has released other supplementing functions on the Mini Program, such as a live streaming capability and WeChat Mini Stores.


WeChat live streaming demonstration


Mini Program Live Streaming is one of the rising China social media trends in 2021, as it has strong social attributes that enhance the live streams’ shareability and exposure.


For brand’s shopping assistants, they can easily share the Mini Program:

  • In poster format on WeChat moment timeline

  • In mini program card format on their WeChat chat groups to directly reach their target audiences

For merchants, during live streaming, they can:

  • Direct the viewers to buy and pay directly in Mini Program

  • Solve any customer service issue quickly via the Mini Program with its in-built customer service function

Live streaming process


2. WeChat Live Streaming Advertisements: to Drive Exposure


WeChat advertisements on WeChat moment, WeChat official account, and WeChat mini program are strong supports to drive traffic to the brand’s live streaming events’ landing page.


Ads channels that support live streaming as the landing page


Brands can release advertisements:

  • Before live streaming: allow target audiences to subscribe to live streaming event and get notified when it starts

  • During live streaming: attract more viewers.

WeChat live streaming ads process overview


3. WeChat Mini Store for SME: to enjoy Mini Program’s short eCommerce conversion path


WeChat Mini Store (WeStore), launched in August 2020, is a mini program to help people sell products without the program development and entry costs, assisting merchants in starting online businesses quickly.


The registration of any WeChat Mini Store opens to enterprises, individual businesses, and individuals.

The owners of the WeChat Mini Store can sell more than 1500 categories of products. It is a ready-to-use solution suitable for SMEs and individuals to use.