On China’s Twitter Clones

Peter’s Tex-Mex
Vegifying
1455 hrs.

ReadWriteWeb offers an excellent overview of China’s micro-blogging landscape, wrapping up with this interesting little buried lede:

“However even if Twitter became available again in China, would it take off with mainstream Chinese Internet users? Kaiser Kuo thinks that it wouldn’t, because of the popularity of currently operational services like Weibo and Taotao. He remarked that although there would be an uptake in the number of users on Twitter, if it was ever to be made available again, Weibo and others will have gained too much momentum by then.”

All of which seems to suggest that NetNanny is an excelent competitive advantage for Chinese web services.

But I think Kaiser would agree with me when I say that Baidu did as well as it did even with Google in the race, that most of the foreign services that came to China and failed did so without blockage being an issue, and that experience has proven that with a very few exceptions, the locals have done a better job creating relevant and nimble offerings than the foreigners have.

More to the point, Twitter and Facebook have a healthy number of Mainland users, blocks notwithstanding. What those services need to figure out is this: why, despite the lesser relevance, the local alternatives, and the technical hurdles involved in using these sites do some Chinese users still use them?

Answer that, and you have found a market. Maybe it is just a niche, but maybe that niche holds the key to a modest but real China opportunity.

Posted via web from Silicon Hutong on Posterous