Last week, Jiepang.com, the leading location-based service in China celebrated its first anniversary in Beijing. The company announced users has already reached 910,000, up from 270,000 in end 2010 – user growth apparently accelerated since beginning of 2011.

In the past year, Jiepang has engaged with various international big names, such as Starbucks, Nike, Burberry, HTC, Zippos, HP, Sony Ericsson and etc., the list of which contains more than 300 popular brands. Meanwhile, Jiepang also starts engaging with celebrities and checking-in commercial events and music festivals, such as Strawberry Festival in April.

Jiepang co-founder Yang Yuancheng and CEO David Liu

Jiepang actively works with a number of merchants to convert its users’ check-in activities into incentives. When users of Jiepang check-in to specific locations or events, they will be awarded specific “badges”, some of which can also give users a special offer specific to their locations. In the conference, a user Xiaoxian shared her story about Jiepang. Within a year, she checked in virtually and got 634 badges which makes her amongst top 30 badge collectors in China. She also met her boyfriend because they were using Jiepang to check-in at the same location, which showed they have common interests.

From tracking footprints to tangible consumer benefits

“More and more people start using Jiepang to track and record their footprints in life, also share feelings with friendship networks in real-time; in addition, through the cooperation between Jiepang and merchants, users access to more tangible consumer benefits, which is what we would like to see and make sustained efforts for.”

Cross platform syncing with Tencent and Renren

China’s location based service market is increasing crowded, including newer, independent players K.ai, Powwow. Jiepang established cross platform sync with Tencent and Renren social networks, which distinguishes itself from the recent launch of Sina’s Weilingdi. In April, Weilingdi told us that they target 1million users by June 2011. It seems that the race to the 1million mark is close between these two players.