The recently published Blue Book on China’s New Media suggested that, since 2011, the new media have been transforming in terms of their digital and online forms. They have also become the new driving force that impacts China’s social development in the following four areas: 1) Social capability. The number of instant messaging users has grown 17.7 percent since 2010, reaching 415 million, thus surpassing the number of users for search engines, online music, and Internet news. 2) Expression and Participation. The growth in microblog users suggested that more and more people use the new media to explore, express, and participate in social and political discussions. The data showed that the number of microblog users grew from 63 million at the end of 2010 to 274 million in June of 2012, which means that over 50 percent of the Internet users use microblogs. 3) Rapid growth in commercial applications. The rapid growth in using online stores, banking, and shopping suggested that the new media have matured in the development of social applications. 4) Solid growth in cultural and social capabilities. The new media have become the cultural and entertainment platform for users to have access to online news, video, music, and games.
Source: Xinhua, October 4, 2012