Xiaonei and Facebook, though these two websites have different valuation mainly because one company is originated from America and the other China, which translates to different user groups, popularity, marketing strategy, etc., are funded equally well, with Xiaonei a 430 Mil for the latest round, beating Facebook’s 378 Mil. Well frankly I hope Xiaonei will produce something fantastic with the investor’s money, like the wonderful game Tap Tap Revenge for iPhone, and not merely adapting what Facebook is doing for the Chinese market.
Speaking of the social networking website, there is a Facebook clone in German called StudiVZ. The founder sold the company to a German publishing group at 100€ Mil January last year. What’s interesting is that it was recently sued by Facebook for IP infringement. The website is a very nicely translated from the original English version of Facebook into German
I talked with Bernard Leong on this issue when shooting the Geek Goddess Show yesterday, when he tossed the idea about the reason why Facebook avoid suing Xiaonei was because Xiaonei has more money. Well, that might seem to be a good reason but no, that’s only the result of its success. While StudiVZ remains to be just a rip off of Facebook, Xiaonei has adapted from what Facebook was doing and successfully marketed the product to the Chinese market. And any businessman knows that the Chinese market barely overlaps with the western market on these Internet Technology. Not only Xiaonei has marketed the products, the things they have done to encourage user interactions and create better user experience are unique to its market: a blacklist option to block the unwanted, allowing people to interact with each other publicly without being friends, VIP title for purchase, and more. All these make Xiaonei a roaring success in the Chinese market.
With the recent addition of MP3 search in Google.cn (which can only be used in China, comparing that universally available Baidu Mp3 Search), we can the trend of western companies start to abandon their dogma of doing business at home and start to learn and adapt to the users in its own market. We hope to see more to come.