Product Update: Chinese Coverage and Author Metadata Product

By Jasmine Jaume on December 4th 2012

Update: Since this blog post was written, we’ve reviewed our provider for Chinese data and have found that it is falling behind the high standards we strive for. We are therefore in the process of changing to another, more reliable provider to further improve our Chinese coverage and hope to be able to provide this improved coverage to clients by the end of the year. 

The number of exciting projects we’re working on at the moment has got us all hot and bothered, amidst a slight shift in the way we release new features. It’s taking all of our restraint to not scream to the world what we have in the development pipeline.

Instead, just take our word for it: the next few months for Brandwatch users are going to be radical.

In the meantime, we have a reasonably interesting update, one that continues to accelerate Brandwatch’s position ahead of other tools in our industry. This month sees us roll out our extensive coverage of Chinese websites, including author metadata.

The trouble with China

We’ve been able to track mentions in both traditional and simplified Chinese for some time now, though the social landscape in China is understandably different to Western conventions.

We’ve discovered that crawling over 60m sources every day – including 100% of tweets and more – still isn’t enough to provide the standard of coverage and analysis that we are so known for, for our clients interested in Chinese conversation and sites.

In order to remedy this, we investigated a number of avenues to begin crawling the main sites that are used in China.

Unfortunately, it’s a difficult route to navigate, as we have hit roadblocks and obstacles galore. We not only have to contend with the notoriously mysterious government, but also the rigorous and strict terms and conditions of the sites themselves.

After a long series of discussions, we finally managed to secure the coverage through a third party supplier.

Being able to crawl these sites is a privilege extended to a select few, so we’re lucky to be in an excellent position of having a good relationship with a company that does own that data.

Though we’re proud of having complete control and ownership of our crawlers and data centres, meaning we can work to an incredibly powerful blacklist approach in our coverage and subsequently have a much stronger standing than our competitors in this respect, we do appreciate that sometimes the only way to get ahead is through a data supplier.

We only know of one other tool that offers Chinese coverage to this extent – anyone else please correct us if we’re wrong – so our clients are joining an exclusive club with this update.

Chinese site-seeing

We’re now pulling mentions from the following sites in China: weibo, blogs, news sites, SNSs and video sites. Here is a selection of the major ones that we now have over 90% coverage of:

We should also add that if you, as a client or prospect, would like to check our coverage of a particular site, let us know and if we don’t cover it, we’ll look into adding it.

Author Metadata

If you’ve used Brandwatch before, you’ll already know that each mention comes with all sorts of metadata attached. This update also sees the inclusion of a wealth of metadata for the authors of mentions originating from these Chinese sites.

If you need a reminder, here’s a list of the kind of metadata you can get from each mention in Brandwatch:

  • URL
  • Date of mention publication
  • Domain (gender breakdown, site traffic, backlinks etc)
  • Site type
  • Site credibility (MozRank)
  • Author influence (Kred reach, Kred Influence, our own three-part Influence metric)
  • Sentiment
  • Topics (with their own sentiment)
  • Twitter (following, followers, total tweets etc)
  • Forum data (number of posts, views, etc)
  • Location (city, state, country, etc)
  • Pim

    Question about the mention metadata. Why isn’t language included? I can filter the query with languages, but within the result I can’t do much. Consider this question a feature request :) Tnx

  • Brandwatch

    Hi Pim, sorry for the slow reply, your comment somehow slipped through the net and I’ve just stumbled upon it now!

    It’s not something we see many requests for to be honest, but I’ve passed your feedback to the Product team! There may be a work around to do it, though it is slightly fiddly and not ‘officially’ supported – if you’d like to know more, you can email me – jasmine [at] :)


    Jasmine (Community Manager)

  • Cedric Feng

    Hi author,

    My company is using Brandwatch and we are recently working for a global brand’s Chinese Market

    As you mentioned in above article, it seems brandwatch is able to capture the data of weibo (for China Market) from 2012. However, we are having issues with Brandwatch as it is not able to pick up mentions from social networks like weibo now

    Could you please clarify

    1. As of now, if Brandwatch can pull the marketing mentions from weibo?
    2. Weixin(another social tool) become to be the dominant channel of China SNS, can brandwatch pull the data from webxin as well?

    Look forward to your reply.

    Best, Cedric

  • Jasmine Jaume

    Hi Cedric,

    Thanks for your comment and apologies if you are having issues with Chinese coverage.

    We are currently using a third party data provider for our Chinese coverage, as covering the sites ourselves is very restricted. This does include Weibo, though we don’t have 100% coverage due to the site’s restrictions.

    We are currently in negotiations with a new data provider with more consistent data to further improve our coverage. We hope to be able to provide this improved Chinese data to our users by the end of the year.

    However, in the meantime if you are having issues collecting mentions from this or other sites, please let your account manager or our support team ( know and they can look into this in more detail for you to see if there’s anything we can do.

    Re: Weixin – as this is a mobile messaging service, we won’t be providing coverage of it as we only pull public data and therefore do not pull in private messages.

    Thanks, and apologies again for your issues.