How to make the money out of the Open Platform? This is probably one of the toughest questions in the global industry and there is no perfect answer to it so far. In the fast-growing Chinese web, millions of users are now willing to spend money on virtual goods, thanks to QQ and other online game operators which have developed this market for a few years. Now the SNS operators are trying to monetize their Open Platform, the solution is: Virtual Coins.

While Google is doing great job on educating Chinese web developers, 51.com, the No.2 SNS which has recently launched its own Open Platform is holding its developer event today in its office in Shanghai. The most interesting part is that, 51 will first time introduce its Virtual Coin API to its developers, which means the third-party developers (especially for those web-game developers) can take advantage of this and make some money.

Comsenz, another big player in Chinese SNS market and owner of UCHome has also implemented Virtual Coin-like API into its own open platform standard, Manyou. Kevin Day, CEO of Comsenz showed me the demo in Korea, a Manyou-compatible web-game in which you need buy virtual coins in order to power up your avatar.The money earned will be shared with Comsenz and the webmaster of UCHome.

SNS+Online Game+Open Platform, will that be a perfect combination for monetization? I think in Asia, there is a high possibility.

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.

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9 Comments

  1. Virtual coins are in fact not really a currency, but a virtual digital good. This is because they are one way. You can change real money (RMB) into virtual coins, but you cannot change them back into real money.

    If you could change them back into real currency, then they would become true derivatives. But the Chinese government would not allow that.

    Especially after what fancy derivatives such as credit derivative swaps (CDSs) have done on Wall Street.

  2. @paul_denlinger: I must disagree with you somewhat. With the aid of popular auction houses in China and elsewhere such as taobao, QQ virtual coins can be turned back into RMB, eg, by selling QQ cards. It remains to be seen if 51.com or other virtual coin API's will provide a similar capability. Any time virtual coins can be swapped from one account to another, they can be used as a commercial ameliorant between people in different countries who face current and real blocks to commerce, such as lack of credit card services company market penetration, although not on an investment scale.

  3. You can change real money (RMB) into virtual coins, but you cannot change them back into real money. If you could change them back into real currency, then they would become true derivatives. But the Chinese government would not allow that.

  4. I've been looking for an answer to this… I never heard about I Ching until I found a coin one day. Someone told me it meant good luck or something to find one. But, I wanted to know what the coin meant. The one I found is in the top left corner. I don't know what it means. Please help via email. I doubt I'd find this site again.

  5. I've been looking for an answer to this… I never heard about I Ching until I found a coin one day. Someone told me it meant good luck or something to find one. But, I wanted to know what the coin meant. The one I found is in the top left corner. I don't know what it means. Please help via email. I doubt I'd find this site again.

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