Communication developments in China go really fast. China has its own social networks and websites – and they’re booming. No Twitter, but Weibo. No YouTube, but Youku. No Facebook, but RenRen. No Gmail, but QQ. No Google, but Baidu. No Amazon, but Alibaba. Have YOU shopped on this giant internet platform yet?
Apps have become the center of all social activity there, with one particular messenger app being the most important of all: WeChat (the equivalent to our WhatsApp). No Chinese mobile phone without WeChat, used for paying, ordering, banking, chatting, playing and dating. All data is connected, building a so-called ‘social credit score’, which is based on income, friend network and social behavior of each user.
While the lack of privacy is scary (Chinese government can easily collect information about its 1.4bn residents), social and digital trends also help to adapt legislation, as was the case in a recent animal abuse affair: After public outcry and photos on social media, animal welfare legislation was immediately changed for the good.