Zinch China and Sina Weibo work together to help overseas universities speak to Chinese students -- in Chinese

Easy, affordable access to millions of prospective students via Chinese social media

Jun 21, 2012, 08:30 ET from Zinch China

BEIJING, June 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Zinch China today announced a partnership with Sina Weibo (NASDAQ: SINA), the leading "Twitter-plus-Facebook-like" form of social media in China.  Under the agreement, Zinch China, a Chegg company, will help undergraduate and graduate programs in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and other major countries open and manage verified Sina Weibo accounts.  Launched in August 2009, Sina's Weibo.com has more than 300 million users who generate over 120 million daily messages.  Weibo.com is part of Sina, the largest web portal in China. 

In the latest findings from its two-year program of original research into how Chinese students choose among overseas study options, Zinch China recently announced results from a survey of more than 1,100 Chinese students and parents, culled from the active community of more than 230,000 Chinese students and parents who use Zinch China's tools to learn about universities abroad.

Zinch China's research revealed that 80% of Chinese high school and college students use Weibo, while 42% use Weibo every day.  By comparison, only 31% of American college-aged students use Twitter, with only 20% of those reporting daily use, according to the "Twitter Use 2012" study from The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

Taking advantage of the Weibo platform's popularity, over 700 universities from Mainland China and Hong Kong have set up official accounts on Weibo.com within the past 6 months to help recruit Chinese students.  Shanghai's Fu Dan University, which is equivalent to an American Ivy League school, is the most popular school on Weibo, followed by approximately 240,000 fans. 

At no charge, Zinch China will help foreign undergraduate and graduate programs complete the necessary Weibo.com application process, required by Sina in order to ensure the authenticity of the school's postings.  Zinch China will also provide free training to schools that want to post messages on their own. 

In addition, Zinch China will offer a paid service, starting at the affordable rate of $49 per month, to take a school's Twitter postings, translate them into Chinese, post them on Weibo.com, and provide translations back into English for follow up by the school.

"We've heard from students that they love using Weibo.com to learn about educational opportunities," said Ms. Tang Xiaoyun, vice chief editor of Sina's Education channel.  "We want to encourage overseas universities to also connect directly with Chinese students, so we are delighted to partner with Zinch China on this project.  Zinch's deep, trusted relationships with overseas universities will make it much easier for those schools to navigate our verification process, and learn how to take advantage of our technologies."

"Zinch pioneered the use of social media in college recruiting, starting in the United States, and we've successfully adapted that approach to China's unique Internet culture.   After just two years, we now help more than 250 overseas universities interact with our 230,000 members using Chinese language profiles and messaging services," said Tom Melcher, Chairman of Zinch China.  "Our partnership with Sina Weibo will allow overseas universities to easily and affordably expand their reach by speaking to students directly, in Chinese, via Sina's hugely popular Weibo platform."

Interested schools can begin the free verification and training process by directly contacting Sid Krommenhoek, who leads the Zinch China Client Success team (sid@zinch.com).

About Zinch China

Zinch China is part of Zinch, the online social network connecting students with opportunities: colleges, scholarships, study abroad programs, and graduate schools. Zinch is owned by Chegg, the academic hub that connects students to peers, educators, content and services to help them save time, save money and get smarter. Since its founding in 2007, Chegg's growth has made it one of Silicon Valley's most successful start-ups.

About Sina

SINA Corporation is an online media company serving China and the global Chinese communities. Their digital media network of SINA.com (portal), SINA.cn (mobile portal) and Weibo.com (social media) enable Internet users to access professional media and user generated content ("UGC") in multi-media formats from the web and mobile devices and share their interests to friends and acquaintances.

SOURCE Zinch China