Sina just released its own check-in service, named WeiLingDi (means micro-land). You can now access it on vld.sina.cn on your mobile browser, or download its clients available on iPhone (itune download), Android (apk download). It says that the Symbian version is coming soon. So, Sina officially enters the hot location-based check-in market. We gave it a quick try:
Integration with Sina weibo
With no surprise, even still in private test stage, WeiLingDi has integrated with Sina’s Weibo microblogging service. If you are Sina Weibo user, you can now log on WeiLingDi with your Weibo account. Your check-in action, by default will be shared on Weibo to your followers.
WeiLingDi offers some ‘standard’ check-in functions, such as check-in on location and share it with your friends, view your friends’ activities, check what’s happening around you and who are around you etc. But interesting enough, Sina might be thinking of educating the users what check-in is about by encouraging the celebrities to share their whereabout so users can follow. I know Sina is super good at this type of celebrity-effect strategy, but location is such a sensitive private information, I am not sure how many celebrities will do that this time.
Partnership with GyPSii?
GyPSii was also a location-based service provider, but recently it seems that it has changed its business direction by doing Instagram-like service, called TuDing (itune download) instead of Foursquare. On WeiLingDi’s iTune download page, it says that the application is actually developed by GyPSii which has the exclusive partnership with Sina. That sounds quite interesting. So GyPSii will be operating WeiLingDi’s iPhone client just for now or forever? What’s the benefit for GyPSii (more users? it says that you can use Tuding account to login WeiLingDi, but not sure if WeiLingDi’s users will auto become Tuding’s users) and how serious for Sina to run the LBS service at this stage?
To understand more about Chinese LBS service, please read our previous reports.