Sina Weibo Fund announced that it has sealed a strategic cooperation agreement with WeMeet (Weimi in Chinese), a WeChat-like group messaging service developed by Hangzhou Kuyue Tech which Sina invested in (report in Chinese). Peng Shaobin, vice-president of Sina and partner of Sina Weibo Fund, is named as the executive director and CEO of WeMeet.

At the same time, WeMeet released a 1.5 version on both iOS and Android platforms, highlighting two features of WeMeet Group and WeMeet Radar that differentiate the service from Tencent’s WeChat. WeMeet allows users to share their comments and posts to Sina Weibo and WeChat friends.

In WeMeet Goup, users not only can see the latest updates of their friends in personal blog like in WeChat’s Moments, but also can browse friends’ posts in other public groups. Users can thus join the group of their friends if they are interested. In order to protect the privacy, users who do not want to share their comments in other public groups can go to the setting menu to hide such posts.

Most commonly used in offline scenario, WeMeet Radar enables users to find and add their friends in an easy meaner by long-pressing a button at the same time.

These differences show that WeChat helps users to strengthen their relationships with current friends, while WeMeet also attempts to expand user’s social circle.

Internet companies swarmed into IM service industry in recent years. China Telecom and Netease jointly launched EasyChat and Alibaba released Laiwang. But it is difficult for the latecomers to lure the users of current reigning WeChat to switch to their services, because most of the users have established their social network in WeChat.

Industry insiders predicted that WeMeet will act as a complementary and supporting tool for Sina Webo in the short term.

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via lixin@sixthtone.com or Twitter.

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  1. Is this common in China? How does an executive of a public company, who also oversees the company’s investment fund, seals “a strategic cooperation agreement” with his own private company where he is the CEO? Did he look in the mirror and negotiate hard on the commercial terms with himself? What about the financial interests of the public company shareholders? Are they now just a minority shareholder of this private company? This all seems rather self serving. Where is the board of directors and governance committee?

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