Is it another copycat’s story I am writing here? I Skype-interviewed Qiang Guo, the founder of Hoju.cn. It was at 2am UK time, but it was a very nice chat.
Guo admitted that the Hoju’s initial idea was from FON. “We adopted the FON’s idea and was planning to build the largest WiFi sharing community in China”, Guo said, “But things were not going very well as we expected, only around 200 members joined Hoju a few months after we went live. Then we realized the FON’s way might not suit for China”.
Hoju now is the biggest WiFi service provider in Beijing. Unlike the FON who is waiting for the member to join, Hoju now supply the APs to the pubs, cafes, etc where people would like to have the internet access. “Hoju.cn is going to be the largest WiFi-sharing based Social Network”, Guo commented. On the Hoju.cn, you can find the information about this wireless market, the users, the pubs and even some social events.
“We are also trying to explore some value-added service to our users”, Guo told me a very interesting case. MayFlower, a pub owned by YuQuan, a very famous chinese pop band, Hoju provides the WiFi access to, which allow its customers to download some of the band’s un-released music and pay in cash directly to the pub.
“We have explored a chinese way and a new market where we believe it is full of fun. We really hope FON can understand that and actualy it will be great if we can establish some partnership.” Hoju.cn now have around 100 new users join its community everyday.
A bit more exclusive news here, Hoju.cn is now talking to Google China, which I do think we should keep an eye on them for a while.