The industry of tech is supposed to be innovative and creative, but copycats just keep on springing up in China and most users seldom care whether their favorite pick is a total clone or purely original. Copycats lack originality and imagination, and to some extent they’re also blamable for the bubbles in the startup ecosystem.

In previous reports, we once interviewed the Founder and CEO of Qihoo 360, Zhou Hongyi. Zhou thought that many Chinese startups copy because they are scared of failing, and copying gives a proven business model and a greater chance of succeeding. Seems true with Taohuayuan, the latest one of a flurry of Path clones in China. What’s interesting is their frankness about copycatting.

Yes, we are 100% copying Path, At Pixel-Level

Path the private SNS platform just released a new version with updated interface design late last year, and soon got copied by many. Taohuayuan is just one of the latest one who jumped onto the scene.

It’s team leader, Ma Xianliang decided to invest $1 million into a private SNS tool like Path after feeling the hot. “After the explosion of Weibo’s wave, common users feel insecure over privacy. We see the needs for a private SNS platform where users can share safely with close friends, and we want to build a Weibo that is private”, Ma said.


Taohuayuan currently supports iOS and Android platform.

Ma believes that the significant factor of success in the sector is operating, if users are well served, they will stay and grow. He also has his own philosophy of user experience and copycatting, like “UE is just like your coat, it’s better to be fit. Users won’t leave you just because you are copying anything, and they surly won’t love you for just being original. I think those negative comments mostly come from critics, not users.”

“We are proud to be an exact clone of Path and we believe the success of our products would be the best lesson for others.”

Charlie Sheng

动点科技驻湾区记者. Charlie is an entrepreneur based in San Francisco and Hong Kong who calls herself the undefeated caffeine champion. You can reach her at charlie.sheng (at)

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1 Comment

  1. ok, yes, this must obviously be a flamebait article.  But yes, I admit I am disgusted. There should be no pride in thievery of intellectual property.

    chinese startup companies wanting to do something original, please go to we can help you create something which is world-leading, not just a copy of someone else’s genius. There is plenty of genius in China, no need to steal someone else’s ideas when you can innovate and improve the state of the art.

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