Youdao Note, the Evernote clone, announced 15 million users yesterday to celebrate its second birthday.

Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote disclosed in May that Evernote had had a combined four million users on the Chinese version, named Yin Xiang Bi Ji and launched a year ago, and Evernote International in China.

Like always, a bunch of Evernote clones emerged in China two years ago. Finally Netease’s Youdao Note and Shanda’s MKNote stood out — Mr. Libin, mentioned the two names in May this year as their competitors in China market.

Thanks to the emergence of those clones and after a couple of years, Chinese users have heard much about this kind of services. That’s why Zhou Feng, CEO of Youdao, is confident to see Youdao Note have one hundred million in one to two years.

Youdao Note team, like most people, don’t think Chinese users would be willing to pay for a premium edition like what Evernote and most Western products do. They plan to copy 80% of the paid offerings of Evernote’s, excluding those that need customer support, and provide Chinese users for free, said Zhou Feng,  shamelessly.(in Chinese).

They are not satisfied with just being an Evernote clone but want to be everything. A service similar to WeChat’s official account was launched not long ago.

Youdao is a sub-brand established for a search engine. While Youdao Search didn’t work out, the other two Internet products, Youdao Dictionary and Youdao Note, the team built later perform much better. As its location is next to Hsinghua University, one of the best universities in engineering in China, a majority of the engineers on Youdao team graduated from there.

Currently more than 90% of Neteast’s revenues is from online games and its online news service, once one of the three biggest in China, has been in decline in both advertising revenue and brand perception. In the early years, the company became one of the biggest Internet companies in China with an e-mail service, 163 mail, and made money from enterprise e-mail offerings.

After having led its game development team for several years, William Ding, CEO of Netease, seems to be turning back to consumer Internet services. He referred to Youdao Note as the next strategic product after the e-mail service, hoping to establish a “Cloud-based full-fledged platform” with it, a social music service launched earlier this year and a mobile reading service.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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