Bai, the three-months old SNS operated by one of the largest portals Sohu is now available on iPhone (link to App Store). I tried it, not good as Facebook’s iPhone application yet, but it is neat and has all the basic features I need on mobile: life stream, user profile, friends list, message, photo sharing, comments etc. I do like it!
We have spent so much time on the mobile world this week talking about iPhone, still there are some big questions need the answers: Is the contract signed between Apple and China Unicom exclusive or non-exclusive? What does that mean if it’s a non-exclusive one? What’s the price plan? How will China Unicom run the App Store? Well, hope we can find out soon in near future. What drew my attention lately is: how will the Chinese social networks respond to 3G wonderworld. The competition for Chinese SNSs in ‘wired’ network is still tough, but the new battle already started, and now it is on the ‘Wireless’ network, and I do smell it:
Bai is not the first Chinese SNS on iPhone. Xiaonei (now Renren) released its first iPhone application (link to App Store) two months ago. I also talked to its team, and they said its new version had been developed and would be released when the time is ready (I guess they are waiting for the sell of iPhone?). And may I remind you that Xiaonei’s service is rumored to be bundled with Motorola’s Android phone.
Another interesting story I heard is that Sohu is talking to the iPhone’s Jailbreak/Unlock market and wants to pre-install its Bai application into the firmware, i.e. if you get your iPhone jailbreak/unlocked in street shop, you will be lucky to have Bai installed too. It might be just a joke, but quite a good idea, isn’t?
So where is Kaixin001, QZone (by QQ), Taojianghui (by Taobao) and many other SNSs? I am sure that they are all thirsty for the mobile market. If Chinese version of App Store is up, which one do you think will Apple or China Unicom feature it?
The new battle for Chinese SNSs is on, even if it is not, but it will be in very near future, and definitely it will be on Mobile!