Users of China’s most popular microblogging service, Sina Weibo, have definitely got World Cup fever.
The world’s most widely viewed sporting event has been a hot topic on the social network throughout the tournament, despite China’s national team not having come close to qualifying, and a general lack of engagement with users: at the start of the tournament, only two national teams, England and Germany, had official Weibo accounts, according to social media marketing firm Mailman.
Offline, football fans have been driving a booming market in forged sick notes so they can stay up and watch the games, while the grief of one’s team losing has been linked to a rash of suicides. In the charts below, we examine whether online support came close to this level of intensity.
All data via Sina Weibo, as of 11 July 2014. Charts created with Datawrapper.