Kent Lindstrom, CEO of Friendster.com is in Beijing. A friend who met him told me Kent was there for the market research. I am not sure about what the impression of Chinese web is in Kent’s mind, and also dont know what will be his next action, the news is Friendster, another successful western Social Network shows its interests in Chinese market.
Myspace.com is globally recognized as the No.1 social network and the Myspace.cn was launched a few months ago; Facebook.com seems not having an outstanding traffic among others right now but it presents the future of social network site; Google’s Orkut.com has gained a huge traffic from India; Hi5.com is doing great in U.S and I still receive some invitation from some Chinese friends recently; Friendster’s coming to China is actually a nature move. If you check its traffic source on Alexa, nearly 90% comes from Southeast Asia (Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia).
I could not see any reason a successful social network decides not come to Chinese market. People might ask how to face the tough competition and the language and culture barrier etc, a simple answer from me is that it actually depends on what kind of successful story you expects. If you just want a piece of market share and a relatively large amount of users in a short term, having smile in the end is not a difficult job; if you want to be a leading position and brave enough to compete with the local portals, never think your success story can be easily copied and pasted in China and you’d better re-consider your business strategies.