Web 2.0 and PR role in China

From social networking to video sharing, the Chinese are also fashioning their own versions of Facebook, Twitter and other popular Web sites and tweaking them to suit the tastes of the country’s exploding population of Internet users. An American internet operator said “there is basically at least one Chinese equivalent for every single US web2.0 service that is more than 2 months old.” For this post I have come up with my personal list of favorites. SNS: ·         Renren (literally “Everyone” in Chinese)  formally known as Xiaonei 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, it 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. Renren.com is also considered to be the most powerful student social network service in Mainland China, especially among university students. ·         Kaixin: 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. ·         Baishehui: China’s biggest  Internet Company Sohu is running its SNS named Bai Shehui (literally “White Collar Community”).·         Wealink: Chinese version of Linkin with an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music, and videos for teenagers and adults internationally. Twitter:·         Sina Microblog: A Twitter-like microblogging service operated by a major Chinese Web company Sina.com. As for Twitter itself, it is technically blocked in China.·         Vikoo: Another microblogging platform devolped in a smilar way to twitter.Blog:·         Sina Blog: It is the blog service of Sina.com, which features the blogs of celebrities, including the most popular blog in the world, the one of Xu Jinglei (a young Chinese actress).·         Sohu Blog: It is the blog service of Sohu.com, the main competitor for Sina.com. ·         Blog China: This blog sites features the blogs of  though leaders.Video:·         Tudou: It  is the oldest video site in China, where users can upload, view and share video clips.·         Ku6: This site  is pretty youtubie, with lots of homemade videos and people lipsyncing in front of their webcam. There are a number of movies and tv shows, as well as music and sports.·         Youku: Youku was created by Victor Koo, the former president of Sohu. The site has recently rose to the top of rank. It is the only Chinese video site with a user base that can rival tudo. RSS:·         Xianguo: (literally “Fresh Fruit” in Chinese) the site offers users a tool to integrate any RSS feed into one website.·         FeedSky: Launched in July 2005, FeedSky has announced 1.5 million feeds have been registered and it has partnerships with over 30 BSPs (Blog Service Provider) and 40 media companies from mainland China, Hongkong and Taiwan. Feedsky has become the dominant service provider in the Chinese market.·         Zhuaxia: The site has a directory of RSS feeds.Flickr:·         ikaca: A Flickre-like site to share photos online.·         Hexun Photo: The online photo-sharing service of a China’ financial information portal Hexun.com.·         Tianya Picture: The photo-sharing platform created by China’s most famous internet forum Tianya. Wiki:·         HDwik: Hudong (formerly Hoodong, “Interactive Online”) is a Chinese encyclopedia website that was founded in 2005 with features of social networking sites including forums and fan groups. Unlike Wikipedia, Hudong’s content is fully copyrighted, rather than released under a free license.·         Baidu Baike: Baidu Baike (Baidu Encyclopedia) is a Chinese language collaborative Web-based encyclopedia provided by the Chinese search engine Baidu. ·         SoSo: It is an online encyclopedia site owned by Tencent Holdings Limited, which is well known for its other creation of instant messenger called QQ.Social Bookmarks:·         QQ Bookmarks: The site enables Internet users to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources.·         Sina ViVi: The social bookmarks service of Sina.com.·         365Key: Another Chinese leading social bookmark service site.Reviewing and Rating·         Daqi: Daqi.com is a leading social media aggregation and marketing company in China. It is China’s first media platform to study and practise the aggregation of social media resources, and the first to launch and lead the social media integrated marketing.·         Dianping: A review site on which reviews are mainly posted about food&drinks, leisure services, entertainment and events. With the vertiginous rise of Consumer-Generated Media (CGM), the Chinese market has also seen a shift in marketing investment from traditional tactics to online marketing. According to a report by New Marketing, companies including Sony, Inoherbs, and Tasly Heath, are spending more now on online marketing than they had been and has begun attempts to use Web 2.0 tools to target marketing strategies at different levels.   However, many have yet leveraged the marketing performance in China. Overall, many companies are active in increasing the breadth of content distribution, e.g.when working with PR firms, these companies would like to see how PR companies can help secure an extensive media coverage and a great number of citations. It is interesting to see that Chinese PR companies have found an easy way to meet customers’ need by hiring a mass of freelance Internet users whose job is to infiltrate chat rooms, message boards and comment areas on the Internet posing massive number of threads as ordinary users to advocate information critical to a company’s reputation, brands, and products. However, since posting “spam” threads is extremely unpopular with internet users, it is more likely to lead to opposite effects of those intended by the marketing cues. What people now know is that while it’s important to have a large network to spread a message as wide as possible it’s even more important to have a smaller more concentrated network to make things happen. It’s the age old axiom of quality versus quantity. In Web2.0 era, people with social media influence are able to spread brand messages and have their audiences actually absorb it. These people are influencers including thought leaders, fashion pioneer, and even product user with rich user experience.  More discussion at Social Media Influencers are not Traditional Influencers.

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