[Ed: This post is edited by Josh and co-published on ReadWriteWeb.com. Here is the original post.]

According to latest report from China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), by end of 2007, there are over 200 million Internet users (including 163 million broadband users) in China. 2008 must be a very busy year for Chinese Internet, and the Chinese market seems a heaven for Social Networks. You can find QZone which is owned by Tencent with the support of QQ’s over 220 millions active users; some alternatives are also available, such as 51.com which proclaims 160,000 new users daily; Linkist and Wealink are two popular professional networks based in shanghai; Tianji.com is another professional networks based in beijing and it has partnered with Viadeo, one of the world’s largest online business communities to create a premier business platform for online networking between China and Europe; Xiaonei, Zhanzuo and many others are sharing the campus social networking market. With the massive user base, of course the Chinese market is one of the most attractive place to the western networks. MySpace has set up its office in Beijing; Facebook might acquire a Chinese SNS, Fenbei.com and surely will have local presence in 2008; Friendster expects the same success story in China as they did very well in south-east Asia market. Xing, a professional network from Europe has set up its office back in 2005; Last.fm is trying to be more localized in China to compete 9Sky, Yobo, 8box and so on.

So it seems that Chinese Internet will be no any fun without these web2.0 Social Networks? But it is actually not that right. If QQ is the first Internet experience for Chinese netizen, then you might ask what service is the second? It is not those web2.0 concept social networks, you should be surprised, it is the rather traditional Bulletin Board System (BBS) actually played a very important role in Chinese Internet life. In China the registered BBS users have reached 3000 million (one netizen might register himself in more than one BBS); 80% of Chinese sites are running their own BBS and the total daily page view is over 1600 million and 10 million posts are published every day. We are writing this article to show you this undiscovered Chinese Internet phenomenon. To understand more about why BBS can be such a heat in China and how it will co-exist with the modern social networks, we also interviewed Kevin Day the CEO and founder of Comsenz Inc., owner of Discuz!, the first ever social platform – a BBS system in Chinese Internet. More than 400,000 BBS sites are built on Discuz! system nowaday in China, in other words, Discuz! now takes over 70% Chinese BBS market.

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Gang Lu

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.