A Chinese face of the Facebook.com is reported to be acquired by Oak Pacific Interactive. Xiaonei.com (Xiaonei means ‘Inside the Campus’ in Chinese), launched in Dec. 2005 has reached over 0.3million students from Chinese campus and is fast growing with 2000 new users everyday.I will not be surprised if you are curious about the connection between the Xiaonei.com and Facebook.com. They indeed have a very similar ‘Face’, but Luckily (well, somebody might say Sadly), Xiaonei.com is just a Chinese clone of the Facebook.com, a very successful model of social campus network. It is an encouraging story for all the Chinese startups, but it is also a reflection of current Chinese Web2.0 market: the copycats’ show-stage.

There are some examples I can list here, Feedsky.com – the most famous Chinese Feedburner.com; Digg.cn – A uncompleted version of Digg.com; Zhuaxia.com – online RSS reader providing the similar service like Rojo; 6Rooms.com – one of many Chinese clones of YouTube. All these companies have brought a revolution of Chinese internet market, but it is the Innovation, I think, the key factor missed here for a long time to boost the China’s Web2.0. Since some of the startups are following the same Silicon Valley’s successful model and lack of the creativities, the competition among them is very tough.

More about the history of the Chinese social campus network. 5460.net (in Chinese, 5460 is pronounced similar with ‘Wo Si Nian Ni’ which means ‘I miss you’) appeared in May. 1998 is the most first campus network connecting the graduates. It was not really a social network (more like a complex Bulletin Board) until a few days ago when it launched its new interface and I can feel they are working hard to join the social-network competition. ChinaRen.com, launched in 1999, bought by Sohu.com one of the leading mass portal in China is then rapidly growing to become the biggest students’ community. 5Q.com which is also owned by Oak Pacific Interactive, was launched in April. 2006. It only took 6 month for this startup to ‘conquer’ over 2000 Chinese universities and reach about 1.2 million users. Obviously, the Oak Pacific Interactive is showing its ambition to dominate the Chinese social campus network. The 5Q.com will be merged into Xiaonei.com soon to compete the ChinaRen.com

Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.

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