Logging into the homepage of Renren, you will see a line claiming “the Chinese leading real-name SNS site”. Sounds nice, but is that really what the company is heading to now?

Latest earnings reports of the Beijing-based company showed that gaming revenues kept rising since its IPO, meanwhile the ads business showed a downturn. In Q1 2012, gaming revenues were US$17.5 million, a 90.7% increase from a year earlier, representing more than half (54.5%) of its total revenue. Renren CEO Joseph Chen commented at the conference call that, “Our gaming revenue, driven by the popularity of our recently launched games and mobile gaming efforts, outperformed our expectation, offsetting the weakness in advertising.”

Recently, a Chinese social media expert Wei Wuhui wrote a blog post titled “The gaming company: Renren.” In his opinion, Renren has already become a gaming company and that it’s been a Jack of all trades involving too many businesses in its versatile strategy. The company reportedly will be spinning off its gaming arm for an independent IPO this September. ‘What will be left for the social networking platform after that?” asked Wei.

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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) technode.com