Very few Chinese I know like Renren, either as a service or a company. Some believe its founder, Wang Xing who is currently the CEO of Meituan, would make it a better service if it weren’t sold to Joseph Chen, current chairman and CEO of Renren, as if it wasn’t a copy of Facebook when it was only serving college students. What I agree on is it’s a pity that Renren, with tens of millions of college student users, never came up with interesting services tailored to them and monetizing their youth lifestyle. Eventually, it took the universal antidote for Chinese internet services, online gaming.

I read a transcript of an interview with Joseph Chen, finding, surprisingly, what he said about Chinese mobile Internet and Renren makes sense (source in Chinese). For instance, Joseph Chen is grateful about the cash Renren grabbed from its IPO that now is sitting in the bank “so that it’s possible for us to invest in the future.” “What can you harvest without making investments, especially in China Internet market, such a Red Sea market that is hardly seen anywhere else in the world?”

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com