In my previous post profiling LifesterBlog, I sent my worries about the difficulties to integrate the Chinese local web services. Had a word with Edmund yesterday, also for consistence, I think It is necessary to give my explanation here as the first post of my Travel In China Web series.

The China Internet will never be short of users, so it is the perfect heaven for user-generated contents which is the drive of web2.0. But when the topic comes to the Web Services with public APIs, the discussion with my friends are very interesting.

  • Facing the massive Chinese market, the team is busy enough with developing new features and improving current services to keep its users happy, and the API is down to the bottom on the TO-DO list;
  • It is actually not cheap at all to run an Internet service, especially for those video-sharing sites. The startups have to be very careful of their bandwidth consuming. Since their bandwidth can reach to the limit easily with the site getting popular, they are afraid that the 3rd party could take too much bandwidth which will slow down their home site. So even they do have the API ready for partnership, they would not expose it;
  • From technical point of view, most of the startups started from scratch and they were not able to have a long-term development plan. So even the founders know the importance of service sharing, it is so hard to fulfill it because It will take lots of effort (sometime they have to re-write the core codes) on the API to avoid some new issues like security;
  • PV (Page View) is still one thing on the top for the CEOs and their investors. They have to try hard to restrict every user activity on their own site.
  • A few of them call themselves web2.0 but in fact they dont really understand what web2.0 is. E.g. There are some BSPs or SNs, they dont event understand the importance of having RSS which is the very basic API.
  • This may apply to those big local players. It is their data and services. Service integration on 3rd party is a very efficient way to promote the service, but the portals dont really care about this because they have millions of users already. Also, to maintain their so-called Authority, nobody could touch it unless they can find revenue from it.

My last words is, if you are looking for local partners for service integration, you may find it hard and frustrated, but do not complain on anything. China web is not ready for service sharing, but its future is definitely Bright!.

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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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  1. The level of Chinese Internet is not like America, what the real situation resulted in the different focus, e.g. RSS is not so popular as America

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