Chinese sites vs global Web 2.0 giants

January 5, 2007 at 9:11 am Leave a comment

James (MindShare regional, Singapore) writes:

Media is fundamentally local, and the internet is no different. Businessweek’s Bruce Einhorn just wrote an excellent summary of the battle for Web2.0 in China. He profiles several emerging Chinese Web2.0 players, including Yoqoo, Mojiti, WangYou and Mofile and Mop.com. My favorite paragraph is this:

Despite the deep pockets of MySpace owner News Corp., Chinese Net executives say they’re not too worried about its arrival. U.S. Internet companies, after all, haven’t fared particularly well in China. Yahoo! (YHOO), Amazon.com (AMZN), and Google have been outmaneuvered by local rivals, and eBay Inc. (EBAY) on Dec. 19 announced it was shuttering its Chinese site and forming a joint venture with Beijing-based Tom Online Inc. Given that track record, and the potential for missteps in handling the censors, locals may well have an edge, says Joseph Chen, CEO of Oak Pacific, which controls six Web 2.0 sites. What keeps Chen up nights are not thoughts of U.S. marauders but the ever-expanding hordes of homegrown rivals. “We’ve heard of 50 MySpace copycats and 150 YouTubes” in
China, says Chen.

It’s a stark reminder of how foreign companies need to adapt to win in China. For example, there’s a great example of how WangYou checks every video file before it posts up:

While YouTube monitors videos for pornography and violations of intellectual property, in China the self-censorship goes much further. For instance, WangYou gets about 6,000 video files a day, and the company can’t afford to let a single one go live without checking it first. “All of this content has to be screened and scrubbed before it gets uploaded to the Web site,” says Chief Financial Officer Edward Haynes…

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Entry filed under: china, digital, media general, social media, trends.

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