China is a world in itself and so are the Chinese cyber world. While rest of the world generally sticks to Facebook, Orkut and MySpace etc, Chinese have their own Social Networking Websites. According to a study carried out by CR-Nielsen from 1st December till 28th December, 2008, the following Social Networking Sites are the top 10 best social networking sites in China:
User Stats: 14 million unique visit per week
51.com (hereinafter referred to 51), established in August 2005, is the largest social network service provider in China. 51 is jointly invested by Sequoia Capital, SIG Asia Investments (SAI), Giant Interactive, Intel Capital, Redpoint Ventures and other renowned international enterprises and venture funds.
51 is committed to offer its users stable services to store their personal data such as photo and blogs, and to provide facilities to let them easily communicate to each other. As of June 2008, 51 has over 120 million register users, among them 31.5 million login at least once a month. These users generate about 350 million page view per day, upload over 10 million photos and write over 3 million blogs per day.
User Stats: 9.5 million unique visits per week
(literally “on-campus network” in Chinese) is a social networking site with the look and feel of Facebook except that it is in Simplified Chinese. According to BeijingReview.com, as of November 2007, Xiaonei was “China’s largest online community website among universities” with more than 8.8 million active users and an estimated 15 million users who have registered their real names.
Xiaonei.com is also considered to be the most powerful student social network service in Mainland China, especially among university students.
User Stats: 7 million unique visits per week
Sohu.com owns Chinaren as it is one of its brands operating as Social Networking site. Sohu.com Inc. is China’s premier online brand and indispensable to the daily life of millions of Chinese, providing a network of web properties and community based/web 2.0 products which offer the vast Sohu user community a broad array of choices regarding information, entertainment and communication. Sohu has built one of the most comprehensive matrices of Chinese language web properties and proprietary search engines, consisting of seven leading web properties.
User Stats: 3.5 million
Kaixin (Chinese aka “Happy Net”) is a social networking website launched in April, 2008. The startup has grown to more than 8 million active users in China in less than 5 months. They are rumored to have raised their first round of capital. In 2009, Kaixin001 ranks the 13th most popular website in China according to Alexa Internet.
User Stats: 2 million
MySpace is a social networking website with an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music, and videos for teenagers and adults internationally. Its headquarters are in Beverly Hills, California, USA where it shares an office building with its immediate owner, Fox Interactive Media. MySpace Cn is owned by MySpace.
User Stats: 1 million
One more Social Networking Site in the long list of such sites serving Chinese.
User Stats: 1 million
WangYou Media is a leading youth-oriented SNS site in China with over 11 million subscribers. The company focuses on promoting user-generated content (UGC) — a process of creating, sharing, organizing and distributing all forms of digital amateur materials, including personal journals, photo albums, radio talk shows, home movies, flash animation, cartoons and more. WangYou Media is funded by Charles River Ventures and Transcosmos.
User Stats: 1 million
Another fast growing social networking site in China
Website of Ipart
User Stats: 900k
The Israel-based Koolanoo Group owns 360Quan. It also owns Koolanoo.com – the first social network for young Jewish professionals. The Koolanoo Group maintains offices in Tel AVIV and Beijing. 360Quan was started in 2003.
User Stats: 800k
Cyworld is a social networking website launched on Sep 1, 1999. Cyworld is a South Korean web community site operated by SK Communications, a subsidiary of SK Telecom. Literally translated, “Cy” could mean “cyber”, but is also a play on the Korean word for relationship, so it could also mean “relationship.” Cyworld, much like an virtual space in the internet, which users can decorate their “home” and invite friends.
In addition, Tencent’s SNS website Q-zone, which says over 200 million users login its website every month, is not included in the top ten SNS websites in China. The CR-Nielsen team thinks that the scope for Social Networking Sites is growing in China but the US based sites are still not able to fully get into the competition because of the language and cultural differences as well as the system limits and other regulations.
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