WeChat may be the fastest-growing social service in China right now, but microblogging is still huge. But who are the users behind the keyboards of services like Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo? The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences took a swing at that question in a new report that was unveiled yesterday, and the results may surprise you.
Let’s start with the obvious stuff, though: China’s microbloggers skew young. That’s something everyone has assumed to be the case, and CASS’s report bears this theory out, with users under age 40 making up three-quarters of China’s total microblogging userbase. (We didn’t bother to make a chart for it, but another unsurprising fact is that most weibo users are concentrated in major cities.)
Here’s where things might get surprising, though: CASS found that an overwhelming majority of microbloggers have only a high school education, or even less than that. With 25 percent of users having at least some college, Chinese microbloggers are actually slightly ahead of the curve, as the gross enrollment rate for college in the nation at large is around 20 percent. But the difference is slimmer than many pundits have previously suggested.
Finally, CASS discovered that China’s microbloggers aren’t making much money. That shouldn’t come as a huge surprise given their relatively young age and the fact that salaries in China in general are still quite low compared to Western countries. But is weibo less rich than you thought it was? Take a look:
(CASS via TechWeb, image via China Daily)