Internet giant Tencent (0700.HK) has invested ‘at least’ 100 million in the failing SNS Kaixin001 (开心网), according to Chinese media reports. This is perhaps an ideal partial exit for Kaixin001′s team, with the site’s traffic falling precipitously since its meteoric heights in 2009.
No deal is officially signed yet, though both companies have came to a rough agreement: Tencent will be a strategic investor providing financial and technical support. Kaixin001 will remain independent, a standalone operation with its own management holding a majority of voting power.
The truth internet companies are terribly secretive about some of the key figures of their social sites that included the number of total registered users and the most crucial one, monthly active users. When figures are released they tended to be out of proportion or simply down right false. Then how do we know if these sites are active or not, especially compared to their competitors? Well, one important aspect of socializing online is sharing contents to your friends and I have compiled data from China’s top social button provider Jiathis.com from the last six months to show the trend of activeness of the top 5 social sites: QZone, Tencent Weibo, Sina Weibo, Renren and Kaixin001.
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.
In 2010, New York has welcomed 39 Chinese firms to its NYSE and NASDAQ stock exchanges, surpassing the previous record of 37 in 2007. 2011 could well obliterate all previous records, again. This post reviews the multitude of recent (5) and upcoming (9) Chinese internet IPOs.
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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