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China Mobile and Sina Weibo Crush Records Over Chinese New Year

The Year of the Dragon

Western mythology depicts dragons as large powerful beasts unequaled in their ferocity and force.  Chinese mythology doesn’t always cast the same light on the mythical creatures, holding a more elegant view, but when looking at the volume numbers that continuously come out of China, it is hard not to relate China with the brute power and mass of the Western image.

Yet again Chinese companies are reporting record breaking volumes.

China Mobile

China Mobile is expected to officially break 10 billion messages sent over their network this past Sunday (January 22, 2012).  This estimate comes from Kuang Jie, Senior Partner at ProKing Management Consulting.  Kuang reached this conclusion by comparing the number of messages sent over China Mobile’s network in 2010 and 2011 with the total number of users on China Mobile’s network.  In 2010, 630 million greetings were sent on Chinese New Year’s Eve while over 900 million were sent in 2011.

Given the 11.5% increase in China Mobile users during 2011, bringing the total to 975 million, the breaking the 10 billion market isn’t unrealistic at all.

The only thing that might cause this number not to be reached would be if a significant number of those users chose to send greetings over a data connection via Weixin or Weibo Messenger…which brings us to our other record setter.

Sina Weibo

Sina Weibo is the popular (and often considered better, even by me) Chinese version of Twitter.  Up until January 22, Twitter still held on to the record for most number of tweets per second.

Twitter no longer holds that title.

In the hours leading up to midnight, Weibo reached a mind boggling 32,312 tweets per second.  This smashed Twitter’s record of 25,088 tweets per second obtained when Castle in the Sky launched in Japan this past December.  Personally, it’s rather humorous that an anime launch in Japan is what gave the American Twitter its high score mark.  Perhaps this is one record Twitter wouldn’t mind being eclipsed on until they find a better catalyst.

Also on Sina’s march of domination, the company saw 481,207 tweets in the first minute of Chinese New Year’s Day.  Nearly half a million in 60 seconds.

Overall volume of messages sent ended up being three times more than last year.  Not surprising given the growth in the number of users Sina and its cross-town rival, Tencent, have seen.  550 million users call either Sina Weibo or Tencent Weibo their tweeting home with Tencent holding the edge with 300 million users.

For reference though, Tencent draws many of its users from its QQ messenger roots, so the fact that Sina is within 50 million users of Tencent is nothing to snicker at.  Contrary to what off hand logic might tell you, Sina sees more active users per day than Tencent, at 0ver 100 million.

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) found that the usage of Weibo services increased by 296 percent in 2011.  48.7 percent of Chinese Internet users are now officially signed up to use microblogs according to the report.  That’s kinda crazy.

TL;DR

China Mobile users like to text people on Chinese New Year.  Sina Weibo’s tachometer went into the red as Chinese citizens went crazy pushing the “发布” button.  Dragon’s are cool.

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About this author:

Calvin is the managing editor of mobiSights and serves as the International Public Relations Director for GWC. A former attorney who returned to his Techie roots to pursue a more fulfilling life, he has left his home in the West to begin a new life in the East. Calvin earned his bachelor's from Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology), his Juris Doctor and Master's of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi. He currently lives in Beijing, China. He enjoys good food, traveling to exotic places, snow skiing, and pretending to be a philosopher.

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