Aggregating offline communities seems the way to go in developing Linkedin like professional SNS in China. Beijing based professional SNS Hengzhi said its registered users has reached 1 million. Two months ago, there were only 600,000.
Part of the reasons was it started partnering with some offline organizations with huge memberships.
“One of the partner organization is WRSA (Western Returned Student and Scholar Association), a prestige organization that traces its root back to the turn last century, when the first batch of Chinese students returned from the US and Europe and help built China’s modern roads, railways, ships, and airplanes,” said Tong Li, founder of Hengzhi, “Today WRSA’s 2 million active members include the founders and senior management of almost all Fortune 500 Chinese companies, such as China Mobile, China National Oil, and Baidu.”
So far, Hengzhi has 6 of such partnerships. Eventually, these could translate into a total membership of 20 million, said Tong.
The question is whether such members (originated from offline organization) will be active in their new online home. The trend looks unbelievably promising. Hengzhi has seen its users’ time spent on the site increasing in the past two months, to over 45 minutes per day, from about 10-15 minutes earlier, according to Alexa.