1st Jan, 2008 is surely a big day for Chinese Interent. Sohu (Nasdaq: SOHU), a household portal site officially announced its Open Widget Platform, partnered with Netvibes.com. The first Sohu Open Widget Developer Forum was also held at 3rd Jan. Many influential people from Chinese media and internet companies were invited and more than 200 widgets have been added into Sohu widget library. Sohu’s open widget platform adopts Netvibes’ Universal Widget API as the standard of its widget development, which means all the widgets will be cross-platform, running not only on Sohu, but also on Netvibes, iGoogle, Vista, Mac Dashboard, Live etc. There has been too much discussion about OpenSocial, Facebook API etc, we finally see something real in the walled Chinese web. Thanks to Sohu and Netvibes, China Internet made the first step to open itself and it will be more open in 2008.
It means a lot to Sohu which is to lead Chinese Internet market, a lot to Netvibes which aims to standardize the global widget market and bring the best back to users, it also means a lot to me and to my Sohu friends Wenyi and Todd who I have been worked with for several months. I can not say Sohu’s open platform and Netvibes’ UWA will be a perfect combination in the end, it is too early to judge that. If you are with this MOBINODE.com for a while, I hope you can feel my passion on the web2.0 and enthusiasm into the China web. It is still long way to go, but the fact is Chinese Internet starts open. I am proud that I am part of this to make this happen.
Also, to some journalists who never came to China but still manage to ‘follow’ Chinese web, please talk less about the censorship, the copycats and the piracy. They are the issues, but Internet in different places has its own culture which everyone should respect and try to understand a bit more why they can not be solved in one day. I know talking about those types of stories will amuse some of your readers, but please look at the bright side: China web is at full speed, Asian market is not too far to be reached.