Founded in 2005, Beijing based Tianji is one of the first to do Linkedin type professional SNS in China.  Currently, it has 6 million members in the country and is adding 200,000 more a month.

Tianji’s founder and CEO Derek Ling was a former VP in Sina when it had just 20 person in the U.S.  He engineered the merger with Wang Zhidong’s corporation in 1998-9, which resulted in Sina.com.cn, the leading online portal in China.  After he left Sina, he founded Qzone, a youth entertainment sites focus on music and personal homepage, with Excite co-founder Mark Wong-VanHaren.  However, the operation closed down after the internet bubble burst in 2000.  He went to Apple for a while, heading its business development division for Greater China, before he founded Tianji in 2005.

“At that time, it was the first wave of SNS in China.  Most of the other players followed the Friendster model to do dating sites,” Derek recalled.

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Sherman So

Author of Red Wired: China's Internet Revolution, the first book to completely survey the nature of China's internet. (http://redwiredrevolution.com/) She previously was the lead China technology reporter...