Photo from Wikipedia
Whether or not you think the whole will-they-wont-they Facebook China flirtation is a total pipe dream, there is no arguing that a jump in Chinese Facebook users is a good sign for the social media giant. And that’s just what we’ve seen. In the last two months alone, users in China more than doubled from about 300,000 to over 700,000. The only explanation come up with so far is that Mark Zuckerberg’s China visit in December inspired a slew of new Facebook devotees.
He certainly put in the effort to shmooze with local companies, making visits to internet giants like Baidu, Sina, Taobao. Press and internet reaction to the trip were positive, but is that enough to explain such a jump?
Another interesting correlation is with Chinese New Year. If you look at the graph below (from Social Bakers), you’ll see that although Zuckerberg was here in the end of December, the growth in users didn’t actually happen until somewhere around the middle of January.
Maybe a couple hundred thousand Chinese found themselves outside of the country, popped on the GFW-free internet, and decided to make a Facebook account?
The growth is still continuing, with tens of thousands registering in the last few days alone. While the actual network penetration is still minuscule (compare 700,000 to the 100 million people now microblogging in China), this kind of growth rate is nothing to scoff at.
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Mark Zuckerberg in China, cont’d
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