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Welcome to the Year of the Dragon

GLOBAL – Hmm… we’ve noticed it’s all gone very quiet on the Chinese version of this blog today. Whatever could have happened?

Of course, it is the beginning of the Lunar New Year, which means it’s not just the Chinese New Year, but also the Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Tibetan and Mongolian New Year’s Day, too.

In the West, our mobile and social networks tend to get a little congested over New Years’, but imagine what it’s like in Beijing (pop. 20mn). Last year, China Mobile, the country’s main operator, reported figures of up to a billion SMS messages being sent and received during the peak hours of New Year’s Day. This year, there are more mobile users than ever before in China, of course, and so the traffic reports are forecast to be awe-inspiring.

But with more Chinese mobile users switching to smartphones each year, it isn’t just SMS that’s getting the heavy traffic, but also social networks.  

According to the latest reports, traffic on the Twitter-equivalent Chinese social networking site,  Sina Weibo, has smashed all previous records this year. More than 481,000 messages were sent in the first minute of the new year, with 32,312 messages-per-second on average during that minute. 

 A Happy New Year to all our readers for whom the new year starts today.