Is Kik coming to China? Since we’v seen a post on a Chinese tech blog looking for “founding partner” of Kik China business.

The post said that “Kik {China) will operate independently, while Kik Interactive will provide us with branding and technology. Kik China team was established last month with localized solution catering for Chinese market. Regarding product development, we have already localized Kik Android and iPhone apps while Symbian app is still under development. “

As we mentioned before, with the sensational success of Kik its Chinese counterparts sprang up, to name a few, Weixin (means micro message, by Tencent), MiLiao (by Xiaomi Tech), Feidou (by Kaixin001) and Youni (by Shanda). And there are many minor ones. Kik like services are fiercely competing against each other here. Most of them have incorporated some kind of “micro innovations”, like the doodling messaging in Miliao, or LBS elastic social network in Weixin. So as a late comer, Kik China (if that’s a real deal) is about to set foot on a  rough journey.

Apparently, Kik China team also has realized the cruel fact. In the post, they mentioned that China market is crowded with a dozen of Kik-like services with functions catering for local market, some of them are even backed by giant internet companies. While Kik failed to extend its glorious success after being blocked by RIM with slower pace in growing the user base. The only thing Kik Interactive can supplies us with, is its solid Push tech platform. “That’s why you need guts and balls to join us in such a competitive market.”

Updates:

After publishing the post, Yuriy, Developer & Partner Relations Manager of Kik, reached out to us with some clarifications. Basically, Kik has not agreed to partner with anyone nor authorized anyone to operate Kik in China or use their branding.

According to Yuriy, Kik did exchange emails with the aforementioned China team and listened to what they could offer, but Kik hasn’t made any executive decisions yet.

Also, expansion to China is definitely an interesting and meaty topic for Kik, but it’s not part of their immediate agenda yet.

Ben Jiang

Listener of startups, writer on tech. Maker of things, dreamer by choice.

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3 Comments

  1. Personally I’d love to see Kik come to China. Fragmentation for these kind of things is frustrating to the end user, since we don’t know which one of the 50 kik clones our friends are using. And I don’t really need a “localized” experience for something as ubiquitous as group chat.

  2. They might come to China, but it’s probably too late. They did the same thing so many Western companies do: wait. Specifically, this is the typical process:
    1) Make a great English app.
    2) Do NOTHING in China.
    3) Realize that there are a whole bunch of clones of their product in China.
    4) Think “Oh look, there is room for something like this in China”, let’s jump on board.
    5) Throw money at the Chinese market.
    6) Get ass handed to them by Chinese companies.

    It’s going to be way way tougher for them now than it would have been if they moved earlier.

    I still hope they do well though! I’m a big fan of Kik…would’ve liked to help them enter China a long time ago. Perhaps they can find a way to still Kik ass in China…

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