For all sorts of reason, Chinese social networks like to launch something separate to its main site. RenRen used to launch Kaixin.com to piss off its competitor Kaixin001; later launched Nuomi to enter group buying service; then Jingwei to test professional social network; Tencent has QZone as the no.1 social network by number of users, but launched Pengyou for the reason of real-name social network. Now Kaixin001 follows, its new brand Haibei is in private test, I don’t really know how to describe it properly, it’s sort of Group-focus social networks.
I tried Haibei and the idea seems pretty simple as far as I can see now. The user can create Group and invite other to join. It seems that every group is kinda of private and you need request to join it. Once you join the group, Haibei offers you several simple but handy functions to interact with group members, such as online group chat, discussion board, group photo gallery and group file sharing. The groups you joined are shown as Tabs on the top of your page, which looks interesting.
I am not very sure why Kaixin001 decided to launch the group feature as a brand instead of as a feature in Kaixin001. But it’s matter of fact that Chinese netizens like the Group thing. Note that one of the key reason QQ beat other instant messengers is the group chat feature it introduced from the very beginning; Douban’s groups are quite popular as well (Haibei’s launch seems a direct threat to Douban); and Sina Weibo even launched Group Weibo feature months ago. It’s simple, but I think it could easily be popular and viral.