Chinese soccer fans - mostly young and female - posted 2 billion World Cup messages on Weibo

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 6:25pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 6:33pm

As we reported last week, users of China’s most popular microblogging service, Weibo, went head over heels for the World Cup, despite the majority of the games being broadcast incredibly early in the morning in Beijing.

Sina has released some official statistics showing just how popular the World Cup was among Weibo users.

From June 12 to July 14, there were 1.96 billion messages posted about the tournament, of which 914 were original content (as opposed to comments or reposts).

World Cup posts were read 29.75 billion times. During the final, more than 38 million messages were posted. (See the breakdown here.)

Peak activity for #WorldCup-related conversation took place late at night, between 11pm and 1am, and mid-morning, 10am to 1pm, demonstrating that while some people may have been forging sick notes to watch games at 4am, the majority of Weibo users stuck to the more reasonable midnight games, or caught up the next day.

Interestingly, 55.2 per cent of World Cup tweeters were women, with the majority of fans being from the so-called post-’90s generation (54.7 per cent) or post-’80s (30.9 per cent).

The top three locations were Jiangsu province, Zhejiang province, and Guangzhou, home to Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande, in which Alibaba founder Jack Ma recently bought a 1.2 billion yuan (HK$1.48 billion) stake.

Though Germany won the most supporters on Weibo, and the World Cup itself, its players weren’t quite so lucky.

The most popular footballers on the social network were Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, and Brazil’s Neymar.