Nowadays, digital platforms have changed the way in which many of us produce, access, discuss and share news stories. Although Chinese authority impedes the spread of some western social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, Chinese social platforms which have the same functions as these blocked platforms are popular and influential.
Weibo and Wechat have the most users in China; they are just like the king and queen regarding their social influence and power. They also affect journalism because of the reliable news sources shared by their users.
Weibo is a Chinese micro-blogging website (also available as a mobile app), it is regarded as the combination of Twitter and Facebook. It has a 140-character limit of each post, which is like Twitter. It also provides users many options about sharing photos, music and videos, creating campaigns, which is like Facebook.
WeChat is a free mobile communication app. People can send text and voice message, conduct a voice or video call (one-to-one & one-to-many), share photos, videos as well as location. However, there is no clear equivalent in western market.
It is widely believed that China’s media is supervised by the government, however, some digital platforms such as Weibo and Wechat contribute to the escape of media from propaganda. They provide opportunities for citizens to reveal social evils such as official corruption and income inequalities. Therefore, many journalists can acquire news information through these platforms.
Many news agencies have registered their official accounts on Weibo and WeChat to post daily news for the large audiences. News, affected by digital platforms, has undergone great changes in reporting and releasing modes. These platforms make news to meet the user’s personal and individual needs.