The gender imbalance on the Chinese Weibosphere

Gender divide on Sina Weibo in Hong Kong (n=53,821)
3 Sina Weibo users out of 4 in Hong Kong are women

Gender divide on Sina Weibo across the network (n=539,274)
57% of Sina Weibo users (China+World) are women, just like it is on Twitter, actually

“Sina Weibo users living in HK: 40,268 women女, but only 13,553 men男? Around the world: 307,916女, 231,358男. Is the API or my sample wrong?”

– From my personal Twitter

There might be more men than women in China, but that is just not the case on the Sina Weibo online social network. Just like location, gender is a required field when you sign up for a Sina Weibo account, and while doing a simple database query the other day, I found this interesting statistic: 3 Weibo users out of 4 in Hong Kong were women, and the proportion of women in Weibo across the world is of 57%, a difference of 14 percentage points.

We collected data on the users using Sina’s public search API, so these are active users over the course of about a month. While the Hong Kong sample seemed mysteriously skewed, the China+World one sample is a lot more expected, at 57% of women, versus 43% of men, which is consistent with data for Twitter.

The China+World sample comprised of a big Hong Kong sample (the focus of our main research) and of the 400 or more most popular users by followers in each province/city of China and world regions (a lot more for big Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, etc.). Even if we didn’t count the Hong Kong sample of about 55,000 users, the gender imbalance is still notesworthy: 267,648女Women (55.13%), 217,805男Men (44.87%).

David McCandless of Information is Beautiful did a nice graphic of the gender imbalance in Western online social media.

2 responses to “The gender imbalance on the Chinese Weibosphere”

  1. Thanks for sharing this information about the Sina micro-blogging platform. Do you mind if I re-post this on the Digital Marketing Inner Circle (of course with a link back and acknowledgement).


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