This is Part 1 of a series that explores the companies of the Chinese web.

Within China, the world’s largest internet population, lies an internet ecosystem similar to that in the West. At times, the Chinese web can be very foreign, indeed; access to websites and services Westerners take for granted are restricted for Mainland China internet users.

For example, Facebook and YouTube are staples of Western web usage, yet there is insignificant Chinese web usage as they are restricted in the Middle Kingdom.

Who has stepped up to fill those roles? Who are the staples of Chinese web usage? How big are they and how do they stack up against their Western counterparts?

To better understand these Chinese companies, let’s look at ubiquitous Western web services and compare them to their Chinese equivalents.

In upcoming parts of this series, we will explore more companies to paint a clearer picture of the Chinese internet landscape.

Click the picture below to load the infographic in full.


What companies would you like to see in the next edition?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

David Fallarme

David (@davelocity) is a marketing professional focused on digital communications. He’s done marcom for Electronic Arts, United Way, Toyota and Hershey. Having worked in Toronto, Seoul, Shanghai and...

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3 Comments

  1. David,

    Is it just by coincidence that these three (domestic) household names have western equivalents that are blocked or have had issues in China? Do you think the likes of Renren etc would have flourished to the same extent had competition with its western equivalents been on equal footing?

    1. Difficult to say – perhaps they’d be a little better off, but localization and “homegrown” talent has proven to be very strong in Asian markets. Looking at South Korea and Japan – Facebook isn’t blocked there, yet it consistently loses to local alternatives. Same with Google.

      The local alternatives are also much more nimble in responding to trends. Renren (Xiaonei) started off as a Facebook clone, but has since evolved and iterated into something much more Chinese.

      1. Interesting points about the flexibility of local ventures. Why are your thought on international businesses with cultural origins in western countries that come to china or Japan to start up? Do you know of any examples of these which may have succeeded/failed because they grasped the market?

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