Uff! You just got off the plane…

The Great Firewall of China

…and arrived in China. You want to share this great feat with all your friends and family back home through Twitter/Facebook…? Think again, you are in China now. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Flickr, just to name a few, are not available in China. At first, not being able to access these websites may seem like a problem for many. But this is not necessarily a bad thing.

You should see this as an opportunity to fully immerse yourself in Chinese culture and start using some of the many Chinese social media alternatives. Once you learn Chinese you can ditch the popular Western websites and switch to Chinese social networking sites.

Continue reading to discover alternatives to two popular Western social networking sites; Facebook and Twitter.

Chinese Social Media Alternatives to Facebook

Ah Facebook, the mother of all social networking sites. Luckily, for those who are in China, there are many good alternatives boasting a familiar kind of layout and user interface. If you are used to Facebook, you won’t have any problems switching to these Chinese social media clones. We can recommend the following: 51.com (the biggest), RenRen (人人, aimed toward students) and kaixin001.com (开心网, home to Happy Farm, China’s Farm Ville).

Chinese social media site 51Chinese social media site RenrenChinese social media site Kaixin

 

Chinese Social Media Alternatives to Twitter

Tweeting, or micro-blogging, is as popular in China as in the rest of the world. Sina’s Microblog Weibo (微博) is the most popular one. Closely followed by Zuosa (做啥) and Digu (嘀咕). All of them share the same functionally and similar layout. You’ll be tweeting in no time!

Chinese social networking sites SinaChinese social networking sites ZuosaChinese social networking sites Digu

Actively using these websites and connecting to your Chinese friends is a great way to learn and practice your Chinese! You’ll even end up making new friends while you learn Chinese! Isn’t this a great way to work on your Chinese language skills? Go ahead and create a profile on RenRen (人人), watch movies on Youku (优酷) and tweet like you never twittered before on Digu (嘀咕)!

Have we missed any important websites? Have you actually tried to create an account on one of these? Let us know! Also, you can learn more about what life in Beijing and Shanghai is like. Read more about Social Media in China here

Just landed in China? Read more on how to survive the first day in China, and before you get in to a heated argument about the right length of a finger nail, or about traffic rules, read our story on Chinese Customs.

Sounds good?

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