Last week we wrote about cloud storage service 115.com shutting down public sharing service. Very soon the news stirred up discussion on the status quo of the company. Users are concerned that this popular platform was on the edge of closing down, and some even claimed that 115.com was already dead.
The company’s announcement on discounting its public sharing service reveals that the decision was made “upon notification by the departments concerned”, and “due to copyright infringement concern”. Lai then went into details about the change. “It’s inevitable, the public sharing service involves risks in privacy, copyright and policy. Some of the users are utilizing this function to spread some illegal and inappropriate contents.” The company has always aimed at going public, while the goal might be compromised by the sudden blow.
Cloud storage market has been seeing many new players coming into play these days including some big guys, but why 115 risked being the first to discontinuing this most favored feature? “We took the lead in closing the public sharing service, because the bigger the company develops, the greater the risks it will face in this area. For a healthy and steady future of 115, we made this decision calmly, and I think it is actually a must for this market. We are doing this to set a good example for the peers.”
Just like Lai said, the three main problems of policy, privacy and copyright have always been very big obstacles for storage services home and abroad. Earlier this year, the online file storage and viewing service Megaupload was shut down by the United States Department of Justice for copyright infringement.
Obviously 115 has prepared for a rainy day, when it discontinued this controversial service of public sharing, it promptly launched a new service called “115 Circle” (in beta testing). It is a private social platform based on 115 cloud storage service, providing users with a safer and more effective way of sharing. The 115 Circle will be a paying service aiming at SMEs, organizations, public institutions and some social platforms like alumni sites.” For companies, this service can definitely replace OA, QQ group and RTX Tencent’s corporate IM tool. And it works even better”,said Lai.
On rumor of 115’s death, the CEO responded that, “This is entirely groundless doubt. 115 has been running very well, the user data is in safety, and the capital is sufficient.” The company has invested RMB 70 million into developments, and also finished raising more than US$ 20million in Series A round late last year. B round is still under way and many VCs have showed their interests.
Founded in 2009, 115 is among the first batch of the Chinese cloud storage service and is also the most used one. The platform is favored by over 40 million users for its convenience in use. CEO Lai is a young entrepreneur who founded two tech start-ups in seven years, and both of the companies were valued at over hundreds millions RMB. Last year he left his startup Startos and focused on 115.com.