The Chinese government has long tried to keep a tight rein on media in their country - both traditional (television, radio) and new (the internet, social media) - in order to prevent any challenges to their political authority. Because of government regulations, many well-known sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google Docs, are inaccessible to Chinese citizens. And the crackdown on digital technology continues: in early November, the heads of China's largest internet and technology firms vowed to stop the "spread of harmful information" on the web after attending a three-day government workshop with the State Internet Information Office.
Despite the government's tight control over what happens online, however, Chinese citizens are avid users of social media and technology. Without access to well-known social media sites from the outside world, how do they interact online? Since 2005, many copycat sites have emerged in China. Unlike their Western counterparts, these sites are approved by the government.
This fascinating infographic from G+ breaks down the importance of social media in China. It details some of the reasons Chinese citizens are such heavy users of the technology, and some of the ways they use it to communicate with one another and stay informed (click for full-size).