Douban is a social network with a renaissance culture. It’s not a product that just any user can fully appreciate upon first log-in. Douban’s rich contents include detailed book, movie and music reviews, forums that reflect specific cultures, a virtual township, and now a music platform for up-and-coming artists.
And Douban, ever defying convention, doesn’t have just one mobile app. It has an independent app for each of these specific cultures. Hot-off-the-shelf is Douban Musicians (豆瓣音乐人), an elegantly designed mobile application for both Android and iOS that’s about to change how users approach music on mobile.
The winds of change are blowing in China’s online music industry. The Ministry of Culture is seriously enforcing patent law. On September 15th, all websites and search engines must delete any pirated content including multimedia embeds and widget attachments.
Many of the older music service providers that attracted users by providing free music downloads will have to change or die. A few adopt discrete models, attempting to operate below the state radar at high regulatory risk. The ones that opt to change their business model are now facing the daunting challenge of convincing their old users to switch to a new model: either paid or ad-supported.
Douban, the most original SNS in China, has launched their most innovative project yet, Alpha Town (阿尔法城). It’s a virtual township with streets, commercial spaces, and residential areas up for rent. We have no idea whether Alpha Town will work, but one thing’s for sure: Douban is daringly creative, always marching to its own tune.
Douban (豆瓣), China’s homegrown social network, is rumored to have closed a third round of financing for $50 million.
Since posting our inside look at this disruptive SNS, we’ve found four independent sources with secondhand reports of a “3rd, monster round.” That’d be a strong rumor campaign to manufacture, although not unheard of in the Chinese internet industry.
There’s a lazy stereotype that all Chinese social networks follow the Copy2China (C2C) model. Douban, however, was and still is surprisingly original since launch in 2005. It’s a deep social network that has attracted some of the top Chinese intellectuals, geeks, and urban hipsters to organize and exchange thoughts on social issues in [...]
With the remarkable dullness of a lot of official Chinese media, social media has become the top source of social memes, both fun and serious alike.
Ad agency W+K Shanghai’s planning department has a created a round-up of the top pop culture memes in Chinese culture over the past month, many driven by social media.
Today Sina Weibo launched two new domain names (URL) weibo.com and weibo.cn (Open API Platform & WAP address), which should help Sina dominate the microblog market and venture further into social networking.
How? Weibo means microblog in Chinese (微博), so Sina is now literally in control of www.microblog.com for China. Sina’s major competitors, Tencent Weibo and Sohu Weibo, also refer to their services as “weibo,” so the new URL is a coup for Sina.
Charles Chao (CEO of Sina) and his 1000-employee strong Sina Weibo team is becoming a much more serious threat to Chinese SNS sites such as RenRen and Kaixin001 than Twitter ever was for Facebook.
China’s social networking landscape is diverse and thriving. No single player is nearly as dominant as Facebook in the U.S. and there’s a long tail of networks for different users (urban and rural) and different purposes (social, dating, and games). Here are the top 15 social networks in China.
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