Linlin Xie

Linlin Xie

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

360quan; Social network for teenagers proves China’s youth are insane.

Chinese youth are insane. Well ok, maybe not insane, but certainly not sane either. Lets call them “unsane”. Why, pray tell, do I make such nasty accusations? Well the short answer is I’m judgmental and have a selective ignorance (that I choose to ignore). The long answer?

The long answer is that it there may be sanity after all; I just can’t see it. Let’s get into more detail, and then I’ll let you decide for yourself.

360quan homepage; pretty women in their underwear? Nothing wrong so far.

So 360quan means “360 degrees circle”, essentially a concept that allows users of 360quan to post information that gets categorized in “circles” throughout the site; these “circles” are then accessible by others of same interests, and in general it facilitates the grouping of people with similar tastes and preferences.

Nothing new right? Well there are some key differences when dealing with the 90′s generation (ie: people born in the 1990′s; aka teenagers). These people don’t seem to group in terms of shared interests in books, music, or film. Rather they group based on the level of “non-mainsteam” thought exhibited, levels of incomprehension, and chaotic personal expression. 360quan is a messy messy site; but that belies the undercurrent of intelligent order (invisible to the adult eye).

So where does 360quan stand in relation to its competitors? In terms of traffic it lags far behind power house kaixin001, and middle-weight contender xiaonei:


Making friends.
An interesting element to note is 360quan’s focus on creating new friendships through common interests, rather than xiaonei/facebook’s focus of connecting people who already know each other. Alexa’s ranking of this “friend creation focus” puts 360quan at number 3 for all sites in China, an impressive feat.


This is done by the “quan” or “circles” content is catagorized into areas, and visitors can easily find the content they are most interested in; and connect with others in that “circle”.

However the problems with these circles are that they quickly become filled with unrelated content from users; since these are essentially kids, the ability to self regulate and “clean up their mess” isn’t strong. The result then is a mess of unrelated content, user spam (the hot article for the day was 2 pages of dummy text a bored user copy/pasted/posted dozens of times) and general incomprehensibility.

This popular “circle” has 71763 members; it discuss, love and dating; once you get to page 3, it becomes a random mess with no comments or responses.

Connections happen on many levels; such as searching by constellation, geographic area, hobbies, or simply “wears glasses”, user choose what they want to find and what category interests them.

The SNS offering.
360quan’s closest approximation is actually not facebook, kaixin001 or xiaonei; it shares more similarities with; ie: targeting younger crowds. The target focus can be seen simply:

1. Kaixin001: Young office workers
2. Xiaonei: University Students
3. 360quan: Elementary – High school Students

Service-wise it’s par for the course: create profiles, make friends, have a personal space, online games, etc.

One of the rare “easy to read” profiles on 360quan.

As for channels, a distinct focus on youth is emphasized throughout its content; fashion, gossip, sports, entertainment, culture, love, etc. Yes that does seem a bit broad; the element that ties it all together is the focus on these topics from a teenage point of view. Content wise, information is de-emphasized in favor of pure visuals, in the form of pictures and videos.

Youth and rebellion.
Popular themes of 360quan center around teenage rebellion themes. Individuality, fashion, “non-mainstream”; it’s basically the “teenager vs. parents” battle self-documented through a social network.

How would you influence this group, whose attention is fickle, and focus is ever changing? Apparently you show them pictures of other teenagers who are pretty much the same, and share their same values. To that effect 360quan emphasizes visual and sensory stimulation to capture the fleeting “butterfly on acid” attention of their target group. Attaining traffic of 30 million for the year is remarkable, but a very long way from catching the “mainstream non-mainstream”.

Main advertisers on 360quan are products that fit a youth audience.; this includes bottled green tea drinks, weight loss products, J&J contact lenses, and other fashionable, disposable goods.

Personal experience:
From BA360′s intern Veronica:

I’ve never felt so tired in working on a SNS, and it’s probably because I am not a non-mainstream.

At first sight of, my conservative mindset rolled me back: “Eww! Is this just another dangerous, creepy and chaotic dating website?!” Squinting through all the too colorful contents, I gradually accepted : “Okay, so maybe this is what non-mainstream is all about…”

Simple and direct picture display on channels and active user interaction are my first impression of its content. But I also found a lot of repeated posts in circles which wanted to race for the hottest circle. I found the dizzy personal space decorations and interfaces made it impossible to read profiles.

When I searched for netizens’ comments outside of the site, I actually found nearly nothing except some PR advertorials. What I did find were small web-earning ads saying “Invite one ID sign in earns you 2.2 RMB…” Common SNS marketing.

So, from my experience, 360quan must be suitable for a specific group of people, as mentioned, post-90s. Because I, an utter mainstream born in 1986, just don’t get it.

Other user experience from BA’s staff found immediate spam sent to us when creating groups, as well as general clashing confusion. It’s not a fun place to be for those of us who’ve experienced the relative organization of other major sites.

But that’s us. The focus is China’s teenagers. And in their world of history clashing with modernity and existence above this rift in Chinese culture and history, perhaps we can expect this cognitive dissonance laced throughout their expression.

Whatever 360quan is, it is different from the rest. It’s users are unique and have their own sub-culture language and method of connection. To me half of it is spam, the numbers are inflated or tweaked by 360quan itself, and the profiles are a clash of neon colors making comprehension impossible. But perhaps to the younger generation this chaos has its own meaning? Perhaps chaos is the communication?

See the original post; China’s Amazon/Digg Hybrid Social Media Network

Social media stories tend to reflect a rags to riches theme – ie: one man sitting in the wee hours of the night typing away on his computer creates a network platform that services millions upon millions of users. This is how Douban started; created by a man named Yangbo in a restaurant called Douban (which is a Chinese seasoning); why call your Amazon-ish website after a Chinese seasoning? Well, why call an online bookstore “amazon”? It’s sweet actually – Yang named his creation Douban to mark in his memory the moments of its birth.


Douban’s homepage

Douban (豆瓣), established in 2005 as an online database for movies, books, and music, currently boasts 3.2 million registered users, and is the 55th most popular website in China, according to Alexa rankings. It’s similar to Amazon in that it provides users a great way to search for and see review on books/movies – the point of difference is there is no selling on Douban; it’s focus is connecting people of similar interests via its social network.


Perhaps one great point of difference between China and the West is the availability of transparent information. The great firewall of China as well as the government’s tendency to censor inflammatory content creates a need in the Chinese psyche for “pure” information.

This is what gives Douban (and to a larger extent all of China’s social networks) its visceral power; the ability to get important information neither tampered by the government nor propaganda from companies. Pure truth (though subjective) is a powerful pull; and when you’re the biggest aggregator of pure truth on entertainment products… well you get the picture.

Nuts & Bolts
Douban provides information on books, movies, music, and exhibitions; each of these are subject to user introductions, comments, price comparisons from multiple vendors, ratings and reviews. All content on Douban is generated by users, there is no traditional editorial content; much like, users vote to push most interesting content to the top. Due to Douban’s popularity, top rated user books are often featured in leading Chinese print news media.

Douban’s book review page.

Beyond this, Douban supports its community with a social network, this features matches users to users through finding similar trends in their online activity; ie: users who recommend or rate things in a similar way are matched together, groups with similar interest are introduced; by bringing people together with similar interests, Douban increases value-add interaction among its users.

Douban’s SNS user interface, a familiar layout.

This is a great alternative to high-cost marketing; a supreme focus on valuable, meaningful interactions among users is what catapulted Douban to the top.

Who advertises on Douban?
Online book sellers tend to compete for advertising space on Douban – this makes sense since the website is focused on book reviews and price comparisons. Due to Douban’s ability to create bestsellers, many books will directly promote themselves on site, and marketers are known to artificially inflate their respective book reviews to increase sales.

Notice I didn’t mention movies… this is because the widespread availability of DVD copies for around RMB 10 (USD 1.2); therefore, you’ll not see a movie or DVD ad to be found on Douban.

Who competes with Douban?
It’s pretty much a cliché at this point, but once a site become successful you can expect copies to spring up like mushrooms in a rain forest.

Heavyweight web portal (China’s equivalent to Yahoo or MSN) launched a copy of Douban that focuses only on books; however Sina has its own ecommerce system for direct sales of books – in this manner its better compared to Amazon than Douban.


As stated in a previous article, it’s very difficult to beat the first mover, and comparison of Sina’s traffic to Douban’s is pretty embarrassing for Sina. is similar to Douban, but focuses on movies, TV series and cartoons, so can be seen more as a compliment that a competitor. As stated in aprevious article on Mop, content here is more fun and free, and serious and introspective.

Personal experience from BA360′s intern, Yinise: is designed in a simple style. There are not a lot of colors and pictures so that I could concentrate on the information it provides. I often go there to search for comments on a book or a movie I heard about. If the comments say it is worth reading or watching, I would refer the price information to decide whether I should take action. When I want to take part in some social activities or watch some exhibitions on weekends, I would also turn to to check information. For me, is a huge database which provides variety of information. And I will always get something useful.

See the original post

China’s “Plan B” Social Media Strategy; Interaction After Connection.

If you’ve been following LRB recently, then you’ve noticed many posts on social media sites in China. When beginning this quest to catalog China’s SNS landscape, I was under the impression I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. However, like anyone who thinks they know something, further digging always reveals they didn’t know enough.

I find as I continue to write these profiles one major theme recurring. The days of the Facebook model are fast disappearing; ie: creation of a vanilla social media network. I imagine this is similar to the invention of the telephone: suddenly everyone could call each other and that was great, but at some point they just ran out of things to say. Calling then, wasn’t so important as what you’d talk about once you called. And with today’s incredibly explosive SNS growth, connection is a given; now people want something to connect about.

The strategy then is not to focus on social networking, but to focus on content that drives user interaction; once this content is found, and created on some sustainable basis (ideally by users), your basic social media features can then be inserted to support the content spearhead. One great example of this vs.; these two are basically Facebook clones, but took a decisive lead due to its heavy emphasis on online games; ie: interaction beyond simple connection.

This seems “slap you across the face” obvious in retrospect, and I guess the idea was always lurking in the back of my mind; but as you’ll see in these SNS profile posts, along with future posts regarding QQ/MSN, + China’s twitter clones, and LRB’s next post on, that people are already connected, and you’ll never beat the first mover (QQ has a ridiculous 90% market share, and, the best twitter clone, has about 10 times the traffic of its nearest competitor).

I’ll put my money on

When considering the average user, this makes sense. We can compare this to cell phones; lets say each new social media site you sign up on is similar to carrying around another cell phone. So you sign up with Facebook, then you sign up with Linkedin, then you sign up with Twitter, etc; this is almost akin to carrying around 3 cell phones is it not? To communicate with each group, you’ll need to login, update etc; kinda like you need to use a specific cell phone to call a specific portion of your contact list – at some point it’s just too much trouble.

In my personal experience I’m on the 3 sites above, plus a few others, and I run this blog. So what’s my personal social media strategy? Simple, I just focus on this blog, and have it RSS feed to my Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook accounts. After, I respond to direct message on each of those sites, but as for updating, I can keep it simple; ie: I’ve drilled down to one cell phone.

“And your point is…?
The point of my ramblings is that users cannot take another vanilla “just connect” social media site; if you’re going to force them to carry around another cell phone, then you’ll need to add some serious bling; with SNS, if you want them to sign up to a brand new site, then you’ll need to give them something more interesting than what’s currently offered.

I’ll attempt to prove this point sometime this year with one of BA360‘s inhouse projects, a China social media experiment (completely separate from LRB). If it proves successful over the next few months, I’ll begin detailing our process in getting it off the ground, with the challenges and successes we found along the way.

…and now back to China SNS.
So if new China social media sites cannot beat the 1st movers on even terrain, the popular strategy is to go niche; ie: instead of generally focusing on connecting everyone, to instead focusing on driving specific interactions between connected members. This is evidenced by the continued popularity of Tianya.comand; users don’t simply connect here; they also express a wide range of opinions on social, political, and entertainment topics that spark threads of consisting of thousands of comments.

The takeaway is while technology sparked revolution, it will never sustain a lead on fundamentals: value and benefit to the user. In this fast commoditizing SNS landscape, value is defined not as connection, but interaction after connection. When multiplied by millions of users, this small point sheds bright light on the most recent stage of China’s SNS evolution.

See the original post China’s “MySpace”; The SNS for Self-Proclaimed Crazy Chinese People. is a combination of an informative web portal, a China “Myspace” (, along with a powerful forum ( Originally founded way back in 1997, Mop has evolved into a rich interactive entertainment platform with a specific focus on keeping crazy Chinese people entertained.

littleredbook_dot_cn_mophome A typical Chinese web portal… with a focus on crazy.

Now when I say crazy, I don’t mean clinically mentally disturbed, I mean people with interests and opinions that border on the fringe of Chinese society; in Chinese: Bian4 Tai4. Compared to Western society? I think these people would be considered on the “inside” fringe; they have yet to surpass their Western counterparts (one trip to certain sections of Craig’s List will convince you of this point).

Mop’s average visits are about 150 million/month, with 22 million registered users. The active group is aged 18-32; these members are passionate with strong personalities and opinions. The key benefit to visitors then is in part the entertaining content, but mostly the crazy commentary. For the Chinese, Mop is where you go to have a few laughs and read some shocking content.


It’s interesting to note that while technology is important, content is king. Mop’s USP over major competitor Tianya (covered in this article) is the distinct content focus of entertainment first, culture and social matters second; while for Tianya, the reverse is true. Between these two powerful sites they command over 1/2 their total target traffic in China (50/89 million/month). Since both are simply huge user generated forums, this gives a bit more credence to the “content beats technology” theory, a point China’s social marketers should keep in mind.

A sample of what you’ll see on
Now while you will see interesting cultural issues on Tianya covering marriage problems, government scandals, and the pulse of China’s masses, what you’ll find on generally light and cheerful, with an emphasis on entertainment and visuals. Take for example this recent post, where users take turns photoshopping a man jumping on the beach.












It now becomes clear why Mop has a reputation for craziness; but hey, it’s a hard soul that wouldn’t find at least one of the pics above funny.

User Forum; The Heart of a great China SNS.
The heartof isn’t it’s “Myspace” clone; the forum is the main draw. This was at first a bit confusing as you’d think it would be the SNS aspects, rather than a decidedly web1.0 forum (all you other technology snobs will agree). However, upon contemplation, it seems that the additional level of social interaction from forums is a huge requirement to a successful SNS in China; this is in part proven by – a SNS to be sure, but one that rocketed in popularity due to its online games which encourage involved “right now” social interaction, rather then periodic updates which are a main feature of Western SNS.

Mop’s forum.

The theory? Chinese don’t really want to talk about each other, more they seem interested in getting away from the daily grind. Crazy stories and online games help to achieve this goal; evidenced by their hosting sites massive popularity.

Myspace Clone; keeping everything connected.
Mop’s Myspace clone is a functional SNS; including a personal Space, community pages, blogs, BBS, chatting, etc. While offering the same suite of web 2.0 services, Mop’s offering ranks as the top product in China.


Who advertises on
As a mid-sized China portal, Mop doesn’t have a lot of traditional banner ads interspersed in its content. Rather, Brands have taken advantage of Mop’s social communities to launch viral campaigns.

For example, McDonald’s launched a campaign, with the slogan: “Are you niu (means both ‘ox’ and ‘cool’ in Chinese ) enough?” To complement the campaign, McDonalds sponsored a video competition held on Mop. Consumers uploaded their original videos showcasing their definition of “niu”. This helped brand McDonalds through intensely involved consumer participation.

Another example; during Chinese New Year, Pepsi cooperated with Mop to develop a “Pepsi New Year Greeting Card” online promotion. By getting users to email their Mop “Friends circle”, Pepsi virally spread its message via an interactive “Pepsi Card” accompanied by their “Joy of Sharing” branding. The campaign was successful in spreading the word, and getting communities to participate in Pepsi’s promotion.

Mop’s competition.
Mop’s got some serious competition in China, but has managed to avoid direct confrontation by focusing on light and funny topics. It’s major competitor is Tianya; but these two forums seem to complement each other, rather then directly compete.


According to information gathered by iUserTracker, in April 2007, Mop and Tianya cover half of China’s online forum users. Online forum traffic totaled 87,539,000 Chinese netizens, and among them, Mop, with 28,685,000 netizens, ranked 2nd while Tianya, with 24,021,000 netizens, ranked 3rd. Both the two forums were built in the early days of China’s internet, and have held strong positions for years.

Personal Experience with
From BA360′s intern, Veronica:

Mop has a great niche: It’s classified as a portal site, but is mostly famous for its forum and Space. All services stick to having fun. So among competitive portal sites in China, such as,, etc, Mop has more to offer—forum and SNS service; you can’t simply compare it with other forums, because Mop also has “space” and official organized information; neither can we compare it with SNS sites for the same reason. Mop succeeds in finding a right position for itself so as to avoid face-to-face confrontation with its competitors. It is very “functional” both because one can use it for 3 different online usages, and it labels itself as a fun providing site.

I have seen quite a few netizens saying they skip from Mop to The two work similarly with a slight opposite content weight order. As we can see from their forum layouts, Mop is more random and Tianya is more plain and serious. Mop forum is too confusingly organized but it suits its entertainment spirit. Under a serious interface like Tianya’s, users wouldn’t be easily inspired by funny and crazy thoughts.

I don’t see any friends around using Mop, I believe its feature is not mostly favored by tier1 college students and white collars. Relatively, Tianya’s clean look and cultural-social focus will serve better among these people. Although many Tianya users say they come to Tianya for fun, I don’t doubt Moppers go to Mop for more complete and simple Fun—almost a stream of consciousness, with no mind to filter their thoughts.

Random comments from Chinese users.

A discussion from What do you think is the difference between tianya and mop? Do you like Mop?

I don’t feel like it. The first time I went there saw a post about Premier Jiabao Wen. I was shocked by so many intense speeches; I think Tianya has a better atmosphere.

I first knew Mop then Tianya, but I didn’t go to Mop after. Mop makes me feel sick, Tianya is of richer content.

One word: Mop is like a woman, Tianya is like a man, although Tianya is more and more like a eunuch now.

I liked Mop a lot when I was studying in college. Those superb replies could always make me laugh… After, I started to feel it was full of morons. Then when I came to Tianya, I first thought the information it provided was too overwhelming. Now I haven’t used Mop for at least two years.

Mop was very good in its early days, no worse than Tianya. Now…because of people, there is too much trash, but the same trend is also happening in tianya.

Before 6, 7 years ago, Mop was quite cool. Now ~~~My ID hasn’t been used for years.

There are too many low-lifes in Mop, you can’t reason with them.

Mop is too colorful and random with very small texts, feels stuffy.

I was about 18, 19. I was wandering and reading posts in Mop, then shocked by a sexual intercourse of a female and a male sex organs picture. OMG, it was the first time I saw such a clear “inserted” picture. I feel it’s too obscene there; even their thoughts and words have no logic, but sex implications…

Strong in entertaining.

Older people like tianya, younger ones like Mop.

Mop is still a kid!

Mop is more entertaining; tianya is higher end, just like QQ and MSN.

Mop is somewhere you can disobey rules and relax. But a relaxing place is gradually polluted by some people’s politic speeches. Tianya is where you will lose your confidence to your country, I’d rather not go.

See the original post

China Social Media; Making people slightly less bored.

I’ve covered before in a previous entry:; Spamming to the top; How Kaixin became China’s most popular Facebook-esque Social Media Site. This time around, let’s look a little closer at Kaixin001 in the context of it’s main competition, Xiaonei and Kaixin (Kaixin, and Kaixin001 are competitors; yes its confusing, which was the goal of Kaixin; more on this later).

“Kaixin” means happy in Chinese, or literally “open heart”; why kaixin”001″? I guess it’s the same reason why you’ll find it hard to purchase, but likely easily get

When comparing Xiaonei and Kaixin001, we’re really dealing with 2 versions of Facebook for China. However, looking deeper, we find a good marketing lesson in user interest targeting; ’cause really, there’s only so much utility to be derived from filling out your profile and then looking at pictures of your friend’s cat doing cute tricks. What’s an upstart social media network to do? Well beyond a hardcore spam campaign (covered in the first article), a focus in making people a little less bored with their lives is a genius stratagem.

How bored would you have to be to play a game where you steal your friend’s vegetables? …there’s your silver dollar insight into the mind of the average Chinese white collar worker.

Kicking your competitor’s digital butt won’t go unpunished however. Kaixin001 started in 2007, and in two short years has decidedly trumped Xiaonei, which was started in 2005. Xiaonei, backed by its Japanese parent company Soft Bank, launched a counter attack:

For those of you in the back row: Xiaonei is a direct copy of Facebook. Kaixin001 is a copy of Xiaonei. Kaixin is a copy of Kaixin001. Now in one sentence: Xiaonei, the copier of Facebook, created Kaixin which is a copy of Kaixin001, who had previously copied Xiaonei.


This begs the question, if Kaixin001 was so successful, why didn’t it go ahead and purchase the apparently extremely expensive domain? Kaixin001′s CEO will likely ask himself this question every single morning for the rest of his natural life.

Kainxin001: killing time.
The main interaction on Kaixin001 is similar to Facebook, but with a focus on games; while all the “Facebook-ish” tools are there, they get used very little in comparison to the games section.

This layout is getting pretty familiar.

The vast majority of users on Kaixin001 are white collar workers. Why is this? Well here’s my theory: When playing these games the overwhelming commentary is that the players are bored; the implication is that they were likely more bored before playing the game, and now though they are still bored, they are a little less bored then before. Now imagine Facebook or Xiaonei, which is really a way of staying in touch with others. So lets assume everyone is bored; two options: go to xiaonei, and see your friend’s boring lives, or go to kaixin001 and play a game with your friends to somewhat lift this crushing boredom.

In the end social media really isn’t rocket science; it’s just understanding these finer psychological details; which gets back to the age old concept of “value”. It reminds me of an important business concept: in horseraces, the winning horse many times wins by only a fraction of a second. The winner becomes a stud, the loser becomes glue, all for that fraction of a second. So Kaixin001 doesn’t need to be a lot better than Xiaonei, it only needs to excel in one area to achieve success. This is how Xiaonei beat Facebook China; all design elements the same with interface localization being the primary variable (another “fraction of a second phenomenon).

Advertising on Kaixin001
Product placements seem to be the primary advertising done on Kaixin001, with banner ads coming in at a very distant second. We see the typical FMCG products featured in “gifts” sections.

Send a lollipop, a diamond, an angel, a teddy bear, or Biotherm’s new make-up base product with 50% less oil residue, perfect for maintaining fair skin and that teenage youthful glow (no animals were harmed in the making of this product).

Happy001 vs. Happy.
Xiaonei’s strategy of confusing people into believing was worked well, but not well enough. When you view the graph above, you’ll see that while Kaixin is grabbing a good portion of the SNS market, it certainly doesn’t seem to be slowing Kaixin001 down.

littleredbook_dot_cn_kaixinhome’s homepage: This cute fake dog cannot compare to stealing your friend’s fake vegetables. Sorry doggie.

Personal experience with Kaixinoo1:
From BA360′s intern, Veronica:

Just in yesterday, when my classmates and I were taking photos, they suggested, “Let’s share photos on tonight.” Since I have been working on SNS websites for a couple of days, I asked: “Why are you all using” One of them answered, “For vegetable planting!” (A popular virtual games on The other said, “I don’t know why…” (And this is actually a common phenomenon for many SNS users) Then I added, “, not, right?!” “Ya, of course! “

I was somehow pushed to register and For the former site, I surrendered to friends’ endless invitations; for the latter, pure curiosity. Here’s a few messages I received on Kaixin001:

“Your friend “S” bought you at ¥5000 and made you his slave.”

“Your master “S” took you for a free trip to Singapore, and you are so happy.”

“Your friend “Z” bought you from “S” at ¥ 8102 and made you a nanny working for 3 hours earning money for her.”

“Your master “S” treats you to 30 new courses of Pizza hut, and you are so happy.”

My current “value” is ¥10190, and I am “so happy”, so…What’s the point?! I got nothing from “friends for sale” –a popular application copied from facebook–except an indirect “Pizza hut” ad.

All of my friends have Xiaonei IDs and half of them use kaixin001. But according to my experience in work, I have seen more colleagues with kaixin001 pages open during work. This might explain why kaixin001 can surpass Xiaonei in traffic; its white collar strategy does work. However the games seem too simple to capture my interest for long.

Besides, I don’t think Rand would feel happy seeing me stealing a cabbage from other’s garden during work (another popular “vegetable stealing” application).

[from Rand: I have a strict "no stealing vegetables" policy.]

Some random comments from Tianya:

I just started play games on kaixin001 on last Wednesday, and have forgotten to check in tianya everyday till now. Dangerous.

Yep. Added “Parking War” on Friday, and worked on it during weekend. I have earned 9 cars.

Haha~ my colleagues all play together~ it’s been months~

Many people invited me, but I felt it boring and didn’t register.

Played for a few days and started to feel bored.

Virtual community games, why would it be interesting…

I changed my car to a cheaper one and upgraded a seashore scene. Then everybody told me to sell my cars because they wanted to park there… Actually it’s really boring, or you can play that friend for sale or poking, but in a word: still boring.

Yes, boring but will still be there. It shows there are so many bored people~~

It is boring, but as you play you find that actually moron is also a pretty good living status, wish us all happy. (kaixin means happy in Chinese) I personally think it’s similar to xiaonei, but more fun.

Not at all. I totally lost in the situation and was then bought as a slave, and also kept in a little cold dark room.

kaixin001 is very boring, time wasting, and how can such easy games be called happy?

That shitty kaixin001, very, very boring. Just polling, friends sales, poking, these 3 tricks. So dull and boring. You can fall into it and forget tianya? Why not say you fall into Tetris to forget World Of Warcraft!! You are killing me!!!

I also registered yesterday~~I am logged in right now, but I don’t think it’s very interesting~~I admit I am old-fashioned~~~~~

No matter how you play, it’s just buying people, parking cars and voting…but increase more communication with old friends lost in touch.

Bored during work and started to continuously vote for others…

I play it just because I’m bored, no one that isn’t bored will play it. The site is targeted at this feature of consumers, or how can it gather millions of people in such a short period of time?

I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and parked my car to a different location…faint..

Logged in twice, but really can’t see any fun from it. Why so many people saying it’s fun? It’s not innovative and is boring. And I don’t know why my classmate wanted me to register, and she was so happy making me her slave. Can’t figure out any fun from this. Totally naïve + boring.

See the original post

China Social Media; Xiaonei: China’s Facebook Replica.

As copycatting goes, China is King. Now while we normally associate copies with inferior quality or some odd defect from the original, Xiaonei, on the other hand, is a great example of digital copycatting done right. It’s funny how I’ve turned copying someone else’s work into a positive. This is just one of many signs that I’ve been in China too long. is the biggest and most influential SNS website in China. It’s an unabashed straight up copy of Facebook; and provides users with groups, instant messaging, albums, marketplaces and other online service experiences to meet their needs for association, information, entertainment and trade.

As of today, Xiaonei has over 40,000,000 registered users, 400,000,000 PV, 22,000,000 daily visits. These stats are from Xiaonei, and are a little on the extreme side, but hey – when you reach success by completely copying another well established website and received no IP repercussions, then what’s a little fudging of the numbers right? That’s small time stuff.

A familiar friend: Facebook.

littleredbook_dot_cn_xiaoneilogin Digital Déjà Vu.

Xiaonei was created in 2005, and similar to Facebook, was favored primarily among college students. At the end of 2008, Xiaonei decided to broaden its target market to include a wider user base… like Facebook (hmm I’m sensing a trend). It currently has groups of 1000 oversea colleges, 3000 domestic colleges, 8000 high schools, and 85,000 companies.


According to, Xiaonei ranks 52 among all websites in China. It’s daily traffic is around 7200 out of every one million netizens.

Why Xiaonei beat Facebook in China.
This one is just embarrassing. While Facebook has a Chinese version, many users complained that the translations lacked accuracy. If you’ve ever tried to learn Chinese, then you know it’s a very complex language. I mean c’mon, all the words are pictures for godsakes; and that’s just the beginning. With its 5000 years of history, the Chinese know how to turn a phrase in their own language. So when coming across Facebook’s obvious obliviousness to the Chinese language, many users got turned off.

Facebook’s localization lacked the finer points of the Chinese language.

How important is the correct localization? We’ll clearly important enough to launch Xiaonei into the internet stratosphere, while Facebook China took a backseat. Design-wise, Xiaonei’s inner and outer pages are pretty much copies of Facebook, localizations seem to be the biggest variable factor.


Primary User Interactions.
Unlike other BBS or forums like, Xiaonei is a pure social networking site; it’s simply an online version of your life. You can meet friends, chat, gossip, share, etc.

Primary Target Group.
校内(xiaonei,means at campus in Chinese), thus Xiaonei’s main targets are college students, age 18 – 25; especially students in 1-tier or 2-tier cities.

Xiaonei dominates the Chinese college online market. For example, Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) group on Xiaonei has 23,089 members now, while the number of native students studying in SISU is currently about 7,000… alumnus outnumber students. This provides a positive social impact on many student’s lives, both during and after college.

Who Advertises on Xiaonei?
Pretty much any company trying to reach college students. This includes the usual suspects of FMCG; from Coke, to Maybelline, to P&G.


Xiaonei Tests the SNS Profit Waters.
I’ve always thought that the new trend in social media is akin a modern day goldrush; seems easy to do, the people who do it first will reap huge rewards, and its hard as hell if you’re the 2nd+ mover. Most social media networks in China do not make a profit; but Xiaonei on the other hand has tested out several ways to bring home the bacon beyond the simple banner ad.

Buying virtual gifts for friends? Perhaps you have too much money.

Expanding its user base was an obvious move; however, what is it about Chinese that can accelerate the user base registration process? Taking a cue from QQ, China’s top instant messenger service, Xiaonei began selling virtual goods, virtual pets, virtual gifts; it has even created its own virtual currency to purchase additional services; partnering with online banks like Alipay.

Who Competes with Xiaonei? competes directly with Xiaonei; the current trend is an online exodus from Xiaonei to Kaixin001 after graduating from college.


Kaixin001 is another social media network with a big focus on online games. I guess Chinese have more time to play games after school than during school? Time to take a closer look at your Chinese employees!

Another reason Kaixin001 is taking over could be related to Xiaonei’s recent sale to a Japanese company, Soft Bank. When mixing China’s general negative sentiment toward Japan for atrocities committed during WWII, many Xiaonei users feel their information isn’t safe anymore. Is it a valid fear? Irrelevant; perception will dominate logic; and as the graph shows above, Xiaonei may get left behind.

Personal Experience with Xiaonei
From BA360′s intern, Veronica:

It took me a long to decide to use Xiaonei. To me, it was just another windows live space, blog… etc. But since all my friends and classmates were using it, I finally went ahead and signed up after a year.

Xiaonei is actually something different. Let’s leave the fact that it’s a copy of Facebook aside. Xiaonei is a combination of blog and social interaction. It inherited the alumni website phenomenon going on around 7 years ago by narrowing down Facebook’s usual targets to students. The interface is quite well designed. Clean and clear color with user-friendly format. I like it. Considering the original Facebook’s evolving look is getting worse, Xiaonei is doing a good job as a copycat SNS.

As a young netizen, I never use BBS, but I do use Facebook and Xiaonei every day! At first, I couldn’t believe I found so many primary school classmates who I thought I lost forever! I like to see what’s going on among my friends. As it’s obvious that we are apart in different countries, areas, have different matters to deal with; we communicate online, write down notes, moods, upload pictures, publish information.

Now my college teacher is using Xiaonei as a college information publishing platform. She put university job info, admin info in her Xiaonei page. She usually SMS us “I have put job info in my Xiaonei.” So I have no reason not to use it, do I?