Twitter is blocked in China. Sina Weibo is working on an English-language version and has other languages in the works. But the first real test of whether Sina Weibo has any potential outside of Chinese-language users should be Japan.
Sina has announced that Japanese firm FindJapan will serve as its partner to introduce Weibo to Japan. FindJapan will act as an agent to help local Japanese companies and public figures verify their accounts, as well as provide maintain a and further maintenance services including translation and posting of contents.
“We are going to be the Facebook of China.”
I heard this in a single day from three different Sina Weibo employees. They are hell-bent on becoming the Facebook of China, which means total dominance.
Does this make any sense? Can a microblog become a dominant fully fledged SNS?
Renren is preparing for an IPO today at a $4+ billion dollar valuation–it recently raised its initial share price range upon high investor interest. We can also prepare for a billion articles billing Renren as “The Facebook of China.” Here’s why that’s NOT true.
About a few days ago, I had a chance to be on on a China Radio International panel to discuss the question “are we in another tech bubble?” Recent valuations of Internet companies and the rapid growth of Facebook and Twitter have left many asking if we are just repeating the buildup of another dotcom boom like the 90′s.
After some discussion, the panel and myself agreed that yes, we are in another boom period but this may constitute an expansion of the industry rather than a bubble. The other question that may have to wait to be answered is whether these Internet companies like Facebook and Baidu are worth the billions of dollars their share price represent.
On April 15, 2011 Renren Inc. filed its F-1 for IPO on the NYSE under the ticker RENN. Beijing-based Renren Inc. includes the real-name social network Renren, the games producer Renren Games, and the group-buying site Nuomi.
The initial offering aims to raise $508 to $580 million and values the company at approximately $4.3 billion. Here’s what you need to know about Renren Inc. in 25 slides!
MySpace global is a failure amidst a revolving door of management (see analysis) and is currently on the auction block with Tencent among the suitors. But before the dismal MySpace global failure there was the dismal MySpace China failure. As the big rumor is that Facebook has partnered with Baidu to enter China, let’s take a retrospective look.
MySpace.cn launched to fanfare in April 2007, with claims that it would be “independent,” “localized,” and hence “different” from the litany of foreign internet failures in China. Of course this was all false.
The internets are ablaze tonight with a blockbuster rumor: Facebook will enter China. “Marbridge Consulting reports: According to a microblog post by Hu Yanping, founder of Beijing-based market research firm Data Center of the China Internet (DCCI), Facebook has signed an official contract with a local Chinese Internet company to build a new social networking website in China. Hu added that the new website would not be integrated with Facebook.com.”
PengYou.com is the newest entry in Tencent’s long line of SNS evolutions. In addition to local SNS providers, Facebook should watch out if it ever gains re-entry to China. Tencent’s PengYou will be there as a real competitor.
Facebook has two options should it seek to access the China market: 1) A censored or separate Facebook; 2) Provide free technology to circumvent The Great Firewall. Neither is likely for the foreseeable future. Instead, the likely course is a continuation of the status quo: no Facebook China.
Mark Zuckerberg has now met with Baidu, China Mobile, Sina, and Alibaba as he explores China’s unique internet landscape. He has a strong natural curiosity towards China and is coming in with a beginner’s mindset: “I’m trying to understand the language, the culture, the mindset – it’s just such an important part of the world. How can you connect the whole world if you leave out a billion-six people?”
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