Social Networks in Asia: Korea, Japan, China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore

Social Media Networks: Unstoppable Growth

Social Media has been rapidly growing in the US in the last few years. Social networks such as Facebook and MySpace are now household names in the likes of Google and Yahoo. 1 out of every 5 people who go online have visited Facebook! It has impacted the way people communicate and relate with one another. People are more connected through easy access, however, as technology becomes more ubiquitous, general social skills and relationship building has taken a hit. It has caused unthinkable issues among the youth, and has even made its mark on our government. As social media continues to make a tremendous impact on US culture how has it impacted overseas in the countries of Asia?

Social Media Networks in Asia: Rising in its Own Way

Social media is stronger than ever not just here in the US but all around the world. The social network users in Asia has grown to an incredible 456 million users. That is almost one third of all online users in the world.

OgilvyOne Asia Pacific, a US based marketing agency came out with a study “Can Brands Have a Social Life” which covered the general differences in the adoption and use of social media by the largest Asian countries. Some are listed below.

South Korea: Gaming Capital & the Ride of Cyworld

Fact: Nationwide broadband coverage and high quality mobile phones has allowed users to post online content at will. South Korea has 92% broadband penetration making it one of the most wired in the world.

Popular Activities: Online Gaming, buying music online, sharing information and interacting wiki-style.

Popular Networks: Majority of users use Naver and Daum, both Korean based search engines. Cyworld, the second largest music and video store after iTunes, has 48% of the market share. Cyworld generates sales revenue of over $100 million just from song downloads.

Online Gaming: Lineage II, Korea’s most popular online game touts 14 million users, double that of the infamous World of Warcraft. The best online gamers become professional game players and are treated like celebrities.

Japan: Highest Blog Readership in the World

Popular Activity: Japan boasts the highest blog readership in the world. Many Japanese create personal blogs and avatars often anonymously. They also like to maintain close relationships through social networking sites.

Popular Networks: Japan also have home grown search engine with large market share. Mixi owns 80 percent of the market. Homegrown blogging sites such as Hatena Diary are also very popular.

China: Give me my Music and Video

Popular Activities: 84% of consumers are engaged with digital music while 71% watch or download videos. 58% of consumers engage in online gaming.

Popular Networks: Chinese sites such as and are very popular and boasts faster speeds than similar us sites. The websites produce 100 million+ views per day. Bulletin Board Systems are also popular with over 10 million posts daily.

India: Fastest Growing in Asia

Fact: India is the one of the fastest growing online market at 60 million users. More consumers use the internet to find jobs than for searching for news!

Popular Activities: Social networking, matrimonial matches, job search, entertainment sites and blogs. What is NOT popular is blogging.

Hong Kong: Still Quiet, Just for Entertainment

Fact: Despite 72% of the country are online and 84% broadband penetration, social media still plays a small part in the lives of the people of Hong Kong. Opinion blogs and consumer writing is still very minimal.

Popular Activity: Visiting celebrity forums and blogs.

Popular Networks: Xanga and Facebook

Singapore: Let’s Link up My Friendster

Fact: Singapore has 99% broadband penetration making it the most wired nation in the world. Over 74% of the entire online population have visited a social networking site in Dec 2008 alone. With high English proficiency, Singapore are more engaged with Western social media sites. Connecting through social networks is commonplace in Singapore.

Popular Activity: Visiting other people’s profiles and connecting with others through social networks.

Popular Networks: Nearly 1 million visitors on Friendster and 500 million visitors on Facebook.

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  1. Hello,

    Why is Hong kong still quitet for entertainment? They should start building they’re own networks now, it would be a good improvement.

    Many thanks,
    Nick Cocchiarella.
    Speaklife UK.

  2. I read this from on paper too. I believe in Singapore, Facebook will be taking over Friendster in just near future. In fact I seen most people around me is on Facebook nowadays.

    1. Haha. Feel free to add any info you know about other countries! I am sure others are interested as well. I should do an update on this piece since it’s been a while.

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