The reign of the Sina Dynasty may be on the wane in the realm of Chinese microblogs. Regional warlords have risen rapidly to take advantage of weaknesses on the fringes of Sina’s empire. To add to Sina’s troubles, upstarts are recruiting confused citizenry in guerrilla warfare and sleeping Titans may be starting to stir.
The shares of Chinese internet companies tanked in September amid acute regulatory uncertainty. In the US, the Justice Department is probing for potential criminal charges against the series of Chinese accounting scandals and frauds in March-May. In China, the government is considering reforms to the VIE corporate structure that could constrain the ability of Chinese firms to raise finance and operate off-shore.
The good folks at CIC, a research company focused on Chinese social media (full disclosure: also my internship host), have produced a stunning infographic of the social services for 10 top internet companies.
Chinese internet giants often try to be everything to everybody (mission creep, anyone?) and this infographic lays out the wide range of products they attempt.
“When God fills your left hand, he will secretly take from your right hand.” This is a self-profile by Diandian founder Jack Xu. Xu was on the team of ChinaRen, a first generation SNS in China. He was later at the team who later again was on the team of Xiaonei which became Renren and enlisted in U.S. He was enrolled into Tsinghua University majored in computer science at the age of 16, before Tsinghua he had no idea what a computer looked like, today he is at the core of the internet industry in China.
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.
Tumblr, a quick-blogging platform, is a runaway success. But it’s block of IP addresses are blocked by the Great Firewall, leaving China’s netizens without such a simple, elegant solution… until now. Last weekend, I received a beta invitation from DianDian (点点), a new startup with an experienced team. I saw immediately that we now have a perfect Tumblr clone in China.
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