GMIC day 2. We are spending more time on the ground talking to the booths. Amongst the booths include Sina’s Weibo, QQ Weibo, Datou, adSage, UCWeb, gypSII etc.
Sina’s Weibo booth is featured on the prominent area, near the entrance to the conference. I stopped by and talked to Alon Lin, the product manager of Weilingdi, Sina’s LBS network.
After open beta testing since March, Sina launched its LBS service, WeiLingDi officially yesterday (April 27) at GMIC.
During the demo, Alon showed me the 3D “i-Code” sign-in terminal, which ensures the actual presence of customers at certain location. So far, they are providing this device to all merchants that partner with the service. Looks quite bulky to me.
So far, WeiLingDi has signed Costa Coffee for in-store promotions at all Beijing branches, for example, upgrading from medium to large cup and gifting the mayor a box of coffee beans.
Lofty goals for existing Chinese LBS players, not so lofty for Sina?
WeiLingDi is targeting around 1 million users by June 2011, that is impressive given Foursquare took 11 months to reach the 1 million mark. Currently Jiepang, China’s leading LBS launched in May 2010, has around 800,000 users and Suzhou-based LBS K.ai has around 200,000 users.
WeiLingDi is focused on replicating the promotion strategy of Sina blogs and Weibo, which focused on celebrity users. The “chasing star” feature top user Yang Mi, with over 3,000 fans so far, received over 3,000 comments after signing into a location. As mentioned in our post earlier, we are skeptical as to whether stars will be as willing to engage in an LBS as a blog, given privacy issues.
However, as the check-ins are pushed toward 100 million Weibo users’ feed, WeiLingDi’s 1 million mark might not be as lofty as it sounds.