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Asia Likes Facebook, but friends in China are harder to find

India has stronger adoption than Indonesia ... for now

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Facebook has added a whopping 20 million users to its South East Asia fan base over the past six months, bringing it ever closer to the magic figure of one billion globally, but Zuck and co. will be jealously eyeing China where home grown rivals continued to rapidly expand their social fiefdoms.

Social media agency We Are Social took the latest snapshot of trends in 24 separate markets of Asia, where Facebook now has over 192 million users.

Among these the biggest numbers come from India, which has added a further seven million in 2012 and with a total of 46 million accounts comprises more than five per cent of the worldwide total, and Indonesia, which now has 42 million users.

As of March, Facebook’s own stats claim it has 901m monthly active users with 80 per cent coming from outside the US and Canada.

Given that the growth of its user base is generally believed to be slowing, founder Mark Zuckerberg could really do with a helping hand from the Chinese government to reassure potential investors that its glory days are not behind it, ahead of its big IPO later this month.

Although banned at present in the People’s Republic, Facebook’s recent IPO filing revealed that it “continues to evaluate entering China” and Zuck himself paid a visit as part of a mini Asia tour in March, possibly to meet prospective local partners.

As if to emphasise the size of the market in China, We Are Social revealed that local social network Qzone now has 531 million registered users, more than double the total Facebook figure for Asia.

The firm added that Chinese Twitter rival Sina Weibo has risen to become one of the most active platforms in Asia, with 27 million (9 per cent) of the platform’s 300 million users checking in every day, and more than 100 million posts going live every 24 hours.

Despite the ban, there are around 500,000 rogue Facebook users in the People’s Republic, presumably using VPNs to circumvent the Great Firewall, the report continued.

The Japanese are also big fans of Facebook, although not as much as Twitter, which is the number one social network in the country with 30 million users.

Other regions where facebook has yet to dominate include Vietnam, where the market leader with seven million users is Zing, and South Korea where CyWorld tops the list with 25m users. ®

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