Mark Tanner
30 July 2012 0 Comments

Although Weibo’s filters catch most inappropriate conversations from Government slander to inappropriate philandering, a search for “性爱” xìng ài effectively meaning the sexual act, displays 7.2 million recent posts. That’s less than 15% of the volume of 足球 football, but not to be blinked at given the filtering systems in place.

Li Yinhe (李银河), researcher and one of China’s leading Sexologist, was rated 4th most influential female blogger on Weibo in the 2012 Fudan University study into Weibo’s opinion leaders. She has almost 600,000 followers, and every post she makes receives at least 100 comments, but often more than 5,000 comments and 10,000’s of forwards.

Japanese pornstar, Sora Ao, the most popular Japanese blogger on Weibo
Japanese pornstar, Sora Ao, the most popular Japanese blogger on Weibo

Japanese pornstar and model, Sora Ao (苍井空), seems to have struck a cord with 12,800,000 Weibo fans – more than any other Japanese person. Although porn is illegal in China, her Weibo popularity has helped shift oodles of black market DVDs and Internet sales.

Weibo has become the standard for group discussion in China. Weibo’s anonymity and less traditional rules of social engagement, give Chinese bloggers the confidence to show an interest and participate in discussions about things that they may have avoided in other circumstances.

That doesn’t just apply to curiosities after dark, but any hobby, food and brands and products they feel strongly about. The rules of discussing interests and sharing your thoughts have changed more in China than almost anywhere in the world because of Weibo. Chinese consumers are being more frank and honest than ever before, and are through their Weibo posts and comments, further emphasizing the importance of keeping an eye on it.