Chinese Social Media Brands 2nd Most Valuable Worldwide After US-Based Platforms

While Facebook is getting ready for an IPO which could value the company at US$ 100 billion, what is its brand value? It’s currently at US$ 29 billion as per BV4, a brand value rating agency. The top 30 social networks across the world together have a brand value of US$ 129 billion with the American companies leading, followed by Chinese companies, and the Russian companies.

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are the top 3 social networks with high brand value. Chinese social networks Qzone, Sina Weibo, and Tencent Weibo have found their place in the top 10 with a valuation of US$ 11.2, 3.9, and 3.5 billion respectively.

BV4 has developed the brand value ranking in collaboration with HWZ University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration, Zurich. The brand value takes into account, the high number of visitors to these sites, the high level of global awareness and the user statistics.

The brand-specific earnings of future periods were discounted to present value using a risk-adjusted interest rate. The sum of these values represents the monetary value of the brand. Due to the potentially short life cycle of social networks, a forecast horizon of three years was chosen.

The U.S., as a country, has a social media brand value of US$ 82 billion followed by China’s US$ 28 billion  and Europe’s US$13 billion.

China is a surprising addition. We know that the weibos are big in China, but to put it on par with companies like Facebook and Twitter, which have global reach, is some achievement. This, especially for a network which is used by just one country. Could that be a limiting factor for the Chinese social media companies? I think so.

It’s the language, mate!

Language has been the biggest reason why India doesn’t feature in the list. China and Russia can attribute their social media success to the language they speak. India doesn’t have that luxury. India has  438 spoken languages and even more dialects. The probability of two randomly picked Indians speaking the same language is close to zero.

If I have to pick one reason why a home-grown social media company hasn’t made it big in India, I would pick language. Language is also the reason why companies from China and Russia have enjoyed massive success.

While not having a single language is a limiting factor in India, it is also a big factor for the success of global companies. Facebook has enjoyed massive success in India. Same is the case with YouTube and Google. For these companies reaching to India and its hinterlands will bring better luck than trying to reach China and Russia.

As for the Chinese and Russian social networks, they need something more to go to the next level. And that ain’t coming easy.

Source: BV4 via Penn Olson