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Date: Thursday, 18 Nov 2010 00:23

Sina’s popular Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo (Weibo means microblogging in Chinese) is becoming one of the most exciting product to Sina, and also to China’s app developers. In first China Weibo Developer Conference held in this Tuesday, over 2000 people attended it.

Over the conference, sina announced some stats about Sina Weibo:

  • By October 20,2010, just 14 month after its beta launch on August 28, 2009, Sina Weibo has reached 50 million registered users, and over 25 million updates (tweets) published every day. So far, over 2 billion tweets have been published on Sina Weibo platform.
  • Since its beta launch, Sina Weibo only took 66 days to reach its 1 million-user milestone; and by April 28, 2010, or eight months after launch, it reached 10 million users; then took another four month to reach 30 million users. Just in past 2 months, it got additional 20 million new users. It may be the fastest growing Internet product in China.
  • Currently, each second there are 785 updates on Sina Weibo, among them about 38% are made on mobile devices.
  • Youku, one of partners of Sina Weibo, witnessed its videos play over 1.3 million times on Sina Weibo every day.
  • On July 28, 2010, Sina Weibo opened its platform for apps, there are over 800 applications by now.

To further support Sina Weibo platform, Sina partnered with five top VCs in China, Sequoia, IDG, Innovation Works, Yunfeng Fund, DFJ, to set up a RMB 200 million dedicated fund to invest in Weibo app developers. Sina also launched a new domain Weibo.com.

Although Sina Weibo is a Twitter-like service, it has its own features more suitable to China’s market and Chinese users, such as comments, supporting images, videos, audio, survey and other meta-data for multi-media and multi-format data.

If you want to set up your own weibo, you can also use Xweibo, an open source weibo product from Sina, which can integrated with Sina Weibo smoothly.

Sina Weibo has become a phenomena for Sina and for China’s Internet, how can Sina monetize it? Even Twitter has yet to be proven business model, but Sina’s CEO said, “he hopes the service, Sina Weibo, will one day grow large enough to become the company’s largest source of revenue”.


If you are using Sina Weibo, you can follow me @Tangos.

Related posts:

  1. Sina Starts Twitter-Like Service
  2. Sina To Monetize Blog Service Directly
  3. Sina To Invest More On Blog


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Post tags: Sina, Sina Weibo

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "News, Sina, Sina Weibo"
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Date: Thursday, 17 Jun 2010 14:19

There has been rumor on the market that Tencent will invest $10 million into Comsenz, the leading social softwares developer in China since May. It is said the new investment will take over the stakes held by Google China. Today, a report on Sina said Tencent will acquire Comsenz instead of just investment.

Comsenz, well known for its popular BBS software Discuz!, offers free full-range social softwares for hundreds of thousands of China’s small websites, including BBS, CMS, SNS, microblogging and other softwares. Why there are so many small BBS in China, one of the most important reasons is because of Comsenz and its Discuz!.

Why Tencent will be interested in Comsenz? To acquire Comsenz, Tencent can take advantage of broad user base of Comsenz, whose websites can potentially make a large-scale affiliated websites network, covering tens of millions of Chinese netizens. By working closely with Comsenz’s software, it can benefit Tencent’s new search engine Soso.com to compete with Baidu, and build an affiliation network for Tencent’s online ads. For Comsenz, working with Tencent will help to monetize traffics of those small websites.

It is reasonable for Tencent to make such investment. Actually, PHPWind, a head-to-head competitor of Comsenz has been acquired by Alibaba in 2008.

Related posts:

  1. Comsenz Acquired EcShop
  2. UCenter Home: Comsenz Helps You to Build Your Own Facebook
  3. Comsenz Sells ECShop To ShopEX


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Post tags: Comsenz, PHPWind, Tencent

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "Deal News, Social Networking, Comsenz, P..."
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Date: Wednesday, 17 Mar 2010 15:39

(This is a guest post by Kai Lukoff. Kai Lukoff is an analyst at BloggerInsight and an editor on China Social Games. Follow Kai on Twitter @klukoff. You can find more information on China Social Game at the end of this post. )

Qzone, “the largest social network in China,” and Tencent’s other SNS (QQ Campus and Xiaoyou), are failures for three reasons:

  1. Squandered Opportunity: Chinese internet giant Tencent was enviously positioned to dominate social networking, but blew its chance. QQ Campus failed. Xiaoyou is far behind the competition. Qzone does not reach any new demographics.
  2. The Site’s Design and Features are Lousy: The Qzone website is an unintuitive eyesore. Its applications are of poor quality and frequently inaccessible.
  3. Is Qzone Really No. 1? Tencent’s claim of 305 million active users is highly suspect; even its classification as an SNS is questionable. Its competitors are encroaching upon its core user base of young teens.

Does this mean Tencent will soon collapse? Absolutely not.

Qzone is Tencent’s “Windows Vista”

Tencent with Qzone is like Microsoft with Windows Vista: a near-monopolist that thrives despite a terrible product and lack of vision.

Microsoft remains massively profitable despite releasing a terrible OS and missing out on all the new innovations (mobile, mp3 players, search, and social networking) that its competitors have seized upon (Apple, Google, and Facebook). Microsoft suffered from a stifling, dysfunctional corporate culture.

Benjamin Joffe, Tencent expert and CEO of internet market research firm +8*, told China Social Games:

Tencent is definitely not the best in terms of products or innovation – similar to Zynga in that sense – but their ability to deliver a ‘good enough’ mass market service and integrating it within their ecosystem is impressive.

Tencent is certainly massively profitable: 2009 revenues, just announced, were 1.82 bn USD, though it’s unclear what portion of the “internet value-added services” is attributable to Qzone.

Like Microsoft, Tencent will continue to profit in spite of the junk it produces. But Qzone does dampen Tencent’s star, opens the door for its SNS competitors (RenRen and Kaixin001), and questions its corporate culture.

#1 Squandered Opportunity

Tencent’s had awesome resources for building a social network:

  1. Instant user base. QQ Messenger has 485 million active users, which Tencent uses to cross-promote new services, like Qzone, on young Chinese netizens.
  2. High brand awareness. QQ is the first introduction to the internet for most Chinese.
  3. Many complementary sites. QQ Games, for instance, could be beautifully integrated with Qzone, but is instead poorly slapped together.
  4. Regulatory environment experience. As an early internet giant, Tencent knows how to reach the right government contacts and manage user-generated content.
  5. Financial capital. Tencent has deep, deep pockets.

In addition, Tencent had long aimed to expand from its core demographic of young teens to include a more mature audience. Social networking was clearly the perfect chance to do so.

Despite all these advantages, Tencent squandered the opportunity. Qzone never gained an audience beyond young teens. Instead, RenRen, which completely copied Facebook (as Tencent also could have done), attracted the student demographic. Kaixin001 has snapped up the valuable white-collar demographic with a simple, user-friendly site.

Most damningly, even users who start on Qzone almost all “graduate” to the other networks. In September of 2008, Tencent finally tried to retain users with QQ Campus, which failed and is now shut down.

In June 2008, Tencent finally responded with the SNS Xiaoyou (classmates), but the site has virtually the same lousy interface as Qzone, except with a decent skin. The apps and games are even fewer and lesser than those on Qzone. The first five times I tried to join Xiaoyou, I was rejected because “The system is busy, please try again later.” Competent websites optimize splash pages to convert users; Tencent is clearly not concerned with such trivialities. It’s a fitting illustration of the embarrassingly poor quality of Tencent’s SNS properties.

“The system is busy, please try again later.” A warm welcome to Tencent’s Xiaoyou SNS.

In addition to Tencent’s failure to expand, anecdotal evidence suggests RenRen is encroaching upon young teens, Tencent’s traditional turf.

Tencent saw the social networking trend coming from across the Pacific Ocean, but still blew its chance. Tencent had all the advantages in the world, so resources were not the issue. The problem was Tencent’s poor execution and strategy.

Most Chinese internet experts likely disagree with my assessment of Qzone as a “failure” though, or at least with the degree of disappointment. Benjamin Joffe comments, “Considering Tencent is already reaching everybody with its IM service and Qzone started off as a blogging service, its revamping into a social network does not seem that bad… I am not sure what you would measure Qzone’s success or failure against, but in terms of reach it seems fine to me.”

(...)
Read the rest of 3 Reasons Why Tencent’s Qzone, the Largest Social Network in China, is a Failure (1,157 words)


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Post tags: QQ, QQ-Campus, QQ-Xiaoyou, Qzone, Tencent

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "Social Networking, QQ, QQ-Campus, QQ-Xia..."
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Date: Tuesday, 02 Feb 2010 14:41

After two weeks of public vote, ChinaMode Awards 2009 have received 121446 votes. We are now happy to announce the winners of the first ChinaMode Awards in each 7 categories.

2009ChinaMode评选最受关注网站/应用/服务

  • Best Internet Applications: Taobao, Google, Baidu;
  • Best User-Experience Applications: Google Chinese search service, Sogou Pinyin Chinese Input Method, Alipay;
  • Most Promising Applications: Google Music, Sina Microblogging, Douban FM;
  • Best Mobile Applications: Mobile QQ, UCWeb, Fetion;
  • Best Overseas Internet Applications: Twitter, GMail, Youtube; (a detailed analysis on this results on Mobinode
  • Tech Person of the Year: Kaifu Lee, Han Han
  • Best BBS/Online Forum: Tianya.cn, Baidu Tieba, Mop

Since ChinaMode Awards are organized by 14 popular tech bloggers in China, it is possible that a high percentage of the voters are regular readers of these blogs, which can not represent the general profile of China’s netizens.

Related posts:

  1. ChinaMode Awards Now Open to Nominate
  2. ChinaMode: A China’s Web Awards Initiated by Bloggers


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Post tags: ChinaMode

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "News, ChinaMode"
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Date: Monday, 25 Jan 2010 14:54

Douban, a symbol of web 2.0 services in China, announced its $10 million series B financing today. The new round is led by Trustbridge Partners, and co-invested by its existing investor Ceyuan Ventures, who invested in $2 million in 2006.

Douban started from a social networking sites for book lovers, movie lovers and music lovers in 2005, when hype of web 2.0 just began. When people talked about web 2.0 in China, they will talk Douban. Since its inception, Douban is always one of my most favoriate Chinese websites, and I’m also an active user of Douban. Douban’s newest major product development is the release of Douban Radio, which is an personalized online music streaming service powered by a recommend engine to tailor the music just for you. (You can check our previous reports on Douban here)

Currently, Douban’s main revenue source is online advertising, some big brands are Douban’s advertisers already. For Douban Book, it also gain revenues from affiliation with Dangdang, Amazon Joyo and other book ecommerce sites.

Congratulations to Douban and Bo Yang. I strongly believe that Douban can lead to something bigger.

Related posts:

  1. Douban To Add Book Series
  2. Douban Adds Miniblog Service
  3. Douban Launched Blog Recommendation


China Web Radar | Permalink | 3 comments | Add to del.icio.us | Follow us on Twitter| China Tech Events
Post tags: Douban, funding

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "Social Networking, Douban, funding"
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Date: Thursday, 21 Jan 2010 14:36

The post is to introduce an event which our readers might be interested in. The post is drafted by the event organizer.

The Digital Future Symposium (DFS) is a highly successful event first launched in 2007 by the CENTRE FOR CONTENT PROTECTION (CCP). It has conducted successful events in Japan, Singapore, India and Malaysia. Every year, it attracts hundreds of key industry players in the field of content distribution and content protection.

Established in 2007, CCP is a consortium committed to shaping Asia Pacific’s digital future through innovative technologies that provide secure ways for consumers to enjoy anywhere, anytime access to their favourite movies and television programs.

This year, the DFS comes to China, Beijing, in a breakthrough event that aims to bring Chimedia content owners and distributors together to explore new business solutions and opportunities for digital distribution in China and the region.

It targets content owners, producers, technologists, content security companies, Internet businesses, academics, and anyone else in the media and technology industry.

The theme for this year’s DFS, to be held on 24th March at Novotel Peace Beijing, is “Technology, Internet and Content Business”. Major topics to be covered include Internet Distribution and New Media Business in China, Technology, Standards, and Content Protection.

All agendas, updates, and registration information are available at CCP’s website.

Related posts:

  1. [Event] Geeks On A Plan
  2. Events: Barcamp Beijing & New Era, New TV Seminar
  3. Event: Web 2.0 in China: What’s Next?


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Post tags: events

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "News, events"
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Date: Thursday, 14 Jan 2010 11:22

(This is a guest post by Kai Lukoff. Kai Lukoff is an analyst at BloggerInsight and an editor on China Social Games. Follow Kai on Twitter @klukoff. You can find more information on China Social Game at the end of this post. )

The social game market is still in its infancy, but growing up fast. The first smash hits, Friends for Sale! Parking Wars, and Happy Farm are just over a year old in China. Here are 5 predictions for 2010:

1. Social Games Displace Web Games

Social games are reaching unprecedented demographics, including females and middle-aged users. These users are open to casual gaming, but unlikely to seek it out on 3rd party website. Social games go viral by using existing services (social networks) and trusted references (friends). As a result, social games enjoy unprecedented numbers of users. In China, Happy Farm has an estimated 23m daily active users across all platforms. On Facebook, FarmVille has blasted past 27m daily active users in only 6 months. Social games boast a superior distribution model and as in-game content also becomes more social, web games will be left in the dust.

2. Consolidation of Game Developers

The days of a few friends developing a hit from the dorm room are over. The Facebook market has already seen consolidation on a colossal scale, with huge paydays: Playfish (300m USD merger with EA), Zynga (180m USD funding), RockYou! (70m USD funding), and Playdom (43m USD funding). Production values are rising in China too, with RenRen Restaurants (copy of Playfish’s Restaurant City) and Happy Pet (copy of Playfish’s Pet Society). Developers will need more resources, serious teams and finances, to develop the next hit game.

China’s consolidation will be on a miniature scale compared to Facebook though. In fact, it has already begun: Five Minutes, developers of Happy Farm, scored 3.5m USD from Draper Fisher Jurvetson on December 1. And Rekoo, developers of Sunshine Farm, received 1.5m USD from Infinity Venture Partners. Expect more consolidation in 2010.

3. Entry of Western Game Developers

Western social game developers are knocking on the door. RockYou! launched a game on RenRen in June, 2009. PopCap Games followed up with with Bejeweled Blitz 2 on RenRen on November, 2009. China Social Games has spoken to several other players scouting the market.

The themes and mechanics of Facebook games tend to play well in China. The real challenge for foreign developers is managing relations with powerful social networks and the government.

4. Chinese Networks Open Up Their API

The games on RenRen (mostly-open API) blow away those on Kaixin001 and Qzone (closed APIs). RenRen has seen a proliferation of 3rd party developers whose are games are innovative, sticky, and popular. The other networks, especially Kaixin001, did a decent job of copying games in-house at the start. But as social games become more sophisticated and difficult to copy, their offerings look increasingly anemic.

Superior games will slowly drive users to spend more time on RenRen, at the expense of Kaixin001 and Qzone. As these networks realize that they can’t keep up with only in-house developers, they’ll open up their API. Qzone is already experimenting with licensing, starting with Five Minute’s Happy Farm). Expect this, in turn, to increase the leverage of game developers, who will demand greater than the maximum 56% revenue share RenRen currently offers. Chinese game developers are struggling to monetize, but if Kaixin001 and Qzone open up their API it’ll create more opportunities.

5. Family Friendly!

The rules are still being written, but expect social games to be harmonized in 2010. Mafia games are already gone. Happy Farmers are now picking—not stealing—crops. Expect developers, especially foreign ones, to err on the side of caution. All social games will be family friendly!

Bonus: What Will NOT Happen In 2010

1. Social Glue for the Chinese Internet!

While Facebook and Google compete to become of the social glue of the internet (via Connect features), Chinese networks are determined to defend their islands. RenRen, the closest copy of Facebook, is the best contender here, but its efforts (links with Dianping, etc.) all appear to be directed at keeping traffic on its site rather than connecting the internet.

2. Facebook Unblocked!

Dream on. But more and more Facebook games will be ported over to Chinese networks, though its unclear whether it’ll be Western developers or copycats who do it.

About The China Social Games Blog
China Social Games (@CNsocialgames) is a blog dedicated to tracking the hottest games, networks, and trends. It recently released a report for sale (590 USD) on the Top 10 Social Games in China. Though already wildly popular in China (and on Facebook), social gaming is still in its infancy, so the market is evolving, innovative, and competitive. China Social Games offers up-to-the-minute coverage. China Social Games is run by the BloggerInsight team (@BloggerInsight).

Related posts:

  1. Is SNS+Game the Next Big Thing?
  2. Kaixin001 Has Ads on Apps
  3. Kaixin001: A New SNS with High Growth


China Web Radar | Permalink | 6 comments | Add to del.icio.us | Follow us on Twitter| China Tech Events
Post tags: 2010, China Social Games, prediction, social game

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "Social Networking, game, 2010, China Soc..."
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Date: Thursday, 14 Jan 2010 03:49

No matter Google will finally withdraw all business from China or not, I think it is time to review Google’s four-year operations in China. So I made the following list, if I omitted anything important or made any mistake, feel free to leave your comments.

Google China

  • July 19, 2005, Kaifu Lee joined Google, which was also a big thing in tech sector at that time
  • January 26, 2006, Google launched Google.cn in China, which filtered search results to obey China’s law and regulations
  • March 2, 2006, Tencent launched its search engine service Soso.com, which was powered by Google’s technology. Actually Tencent partnered with Google on search service and search ads on Feb 4, 2005
  • April 12, 2006, Eric Schmidt announced Google’s Chinese name 谷歌
  • June 26, 2006, Google sold its 2.6% stakes in Baidu
  • January 4, 2007, partnership with China Mobile
  • January 5, 2007, announced investment in Xunlei, a mega-file downloader
  • March 2007, acquired 265.com, the acquisition was announced on May 23, 2008
  • March 12, 2007, launched Daohang service, which is a hot sites directory in one page. Daohang is a simple but very China-oriented service
  • April 2, 2007, announced its investment in Tianya.cn, one of the biggest BBS in China
  • April 4, 2007, launched its Chinese Input software, however which was found to copy the code from Sohu’s Chinese Input software. Later Google acknowledged it and apologized to Sohu
  • May 24, 2007, launched China’s life search service, you can search information on housing, jobs, train tickets, restaurants and so on
  • June 11, 2007, announced its strategic partnership with Sina, largest online portal in China, on search and adsense service.
  • July 1, 2007, Netease announced Yodao, its own search engine, and it will not renew its partnership with Google.
  • August 20, 2007, Google announced its new products on Tianya.cn, these two services, Tianya Laiba and Tianya Answer, intended to compete with Baidu’s popular service, Baidu Tieba and Baidu Zhidao.
  • September 27, 2007, Google finally got the ICP licence which is required by China’s regulators to operate website in China
  • January 30, 2008, Google released a Google map mashup, Spring Festival Mass Transportation Map, which was regarded as a product to show the innovative culture of Google.
  • March 26, 2008, announced its $1m investment in Comsenz, a social software developer.
  • May 8, 2008, launched its dictionary software which is a partner with Kingsoft
  • August 5, 2008, announced its partnership with Top100.cn to operate music search service in China
  • March 30, 2009, launched its music mp3 download service in China
  • June 18, 2009, China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre (CIIRC) published a report in its frontage condemning Google.cn for spreading obscene contents. The report, titled as “Strongly condem google for spreading indecent and obscene information”. CCTV also made series reports on the issues, which made Google to suspend its Google Suggest and overseas web page search temporarily.
  • September 3, 2009, Tencent announced it will start to use its own search technology on Soso.com to replace Google’s search technology.
  • September 4, 2009, Kaifu Lee resigned from Google to run his incubator
  • October, 13, 2009, Two Chinese writers’ groups claim that Google has scanned Chinese works into an electronic database in violation of international copyright standards.
  • January 13, 2010, Google announced its new China approach, and stop filtering search results, and it may pull out of China.

(Image copyright REUTERS/Jason Lee)

Related posts:

  1. Google China Partners With Sina
  2. Google Answers Rebirth From China
  3. Google Investment In Xunlei To Be Announce Next Week


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Post tags: Google, Google-China

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "News, Google, Google-China"
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Date: Wednesday, 13 Jan 2010 17:27

Google’s announcement of its new China approach is the biggest tech news today, there are tons of comments and analysis on news, blogs and tweets already. I currently don’t have much more to add to the discussion. I just pick up some posts I read and share with you.

Google’s statement is very controversial, some people believe that it is because of the lose of business in China. Sarah Lacy of Techcunch think “I’m not saying human rights didn’t play into the decision, but this was as much about business”, and ” Google has clearly decided doing business in China isn’t worth it, and are turning what would be a negative into a marketing positive for its business in the rest of the world.” Sun Yunfeng, the Chief Product Designer of Baidu, also questionned Google’s sincerity in his personal blog, “If Google gain 80% search engine market share in China, will Google’s executives announce do no evil and quit China”? (The original post has been deleted from his blog.)

Obviously, Google doesn’t do well in China market, and revenue from China is immaterial, PaidContent pointed out that the estimated Google China’s $600 million revenue in this year “only represents just over two percent of the $26 billion in revenue that most analysts expect Google to post this year.” But it still keeps about 30% market share in this high potential Internet market. Leaving China in this way, without saving face to China’s government is not an easy decision to make.

Robert Scoble quoted, a Google Spokesperson “This is not about market share. While our revenues from China are really immaterial, we did just have our best ever quarter [in China].” Scoble also thought “China is a HUGE market”, “Google has EVERY INCENTIVE to kiss Chinese ass. That’s why this move today impressed me so much….It doesn’t matter to me that Google played footsie up until today, either. They were the first to stop playing footsie and THAT deserves a HUGE round of applause”.

It is not the first time for Google to think leaving China. Keso, the most famous IT blogger in China, said, according to his sources, Google had planned to withdraw from China in the year before last year, but Kaifu Lee sought help from Gary Locke to solve this problem. You should read Scoble’s second post to feel the push and pull of China market.

“As an American I saw two opposite poles [of China]: one of unending opportunity and one of unending frustration of dealing with the government…..I both disagree with [Sarah's article] and agree with it. Why? Because I’m feeling the push and pull of China. Is Google doing this because of business or because of ethics? Probably a little bit of both. Or, maybe, just sheer frustration from the push and the pull of China.”

You should also readJames Fallows’ post, “It is a significant development. Significant for Google; and while only marginally significant for developments inside China potentially very significant for China’s relations with the rest of the world.”

Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba commented that a company will encounter many difficulties when operating in any country. It is easy to leave China, but giving up is the biggest failure for Google. But Xie Wen, a prominent internet commentator, saidhe admires Google, and “China’s Internet companies should not take pleasure in other’s misfortunes, today’s Google China may be your tomorrow”, and “China’s Internet will enter into the Age of Stone”.

You can also find the translations of Chinese Tweets on it, “It’s not Google that’s withdrawing from China, it’s China that’s withdrawing from the world”.

Kaifu Lee responded on his Twitter, “A captain would never run away from his duty, if he knew the ship was sinking”.

It seems the best predictor is Robin Li, in about five years ago he said “we will not see Google in five years”, though he will not know Google will leave in this way.

Related posts:

  1. Google China Partners With Sina
  2. Google China Launches mp3 Search
  3. Four Years of Google In China


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Post tags: Google, Google-China

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "News, Search Engine, Google, Google-Chin..."
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Date: Tuesday, 12 Jan 2010 13:50

It is an excellent post on HK online startups by Rex Chung, thanks Rex for republishing it on China Web Radar. Rex Chung is the founder of Ankoder, a cloud based video transcoding web service that was launched in 2009. He also previously founded a web and ruby on rails consultancy firm RoRCraft Ltd. in 2006 with head office in Hong Kong Science and Technologies Park.

There’s alot of startup activities in Hong Kong and not many people know about it. Since I didnt have much time myself during the year I’ll try to summarize what I know in one post and also making some predictions for 2010. In 2009 there’s some successes, some fell into the deadpool and I’m sure some companies you have never heard of. Please excuse me if I have missed anyone and I have no intention to exclude anyone for any purpose. However, I do believe HK startups need more press!

Hong Kong Startups 2009

2009 is the year of iPhone and Facebook apps.

With the popularity and coolness of the iPhone, HK has spurred a new industry and group of indie developers. Here’s some indie and startups of note. (My apologies for not having much detailed research on HK iPhone apps market. This is purely as a user point of view)

Bill So: Finger: Turns iPhone/iPod touch into Chinese writing tablet.

Nuthon (Leo To – 杜B): Developed various Location based application like Toilet Rush and 行Guide.

Conceptable.net: HK Weather, Reading.
ThinkBulb: Puri (Photo Sticker app with 580k+ downloads)
Stepcase (Leon Ho): Darkroom, Meeting Time, Lifehack, Enroute.
Crispy Comics: Casey Lau, first publisher for original comics distributed on the iPhone, it kicked off this Summer with “Super Kaiju Hero Force”.

iPhone App generators:
motherapp – A Science Park incubated company released their multiple mobile platform application generator. Some successful application using the technology are OpenRice, TDC. They also won the Bronze prize of HK ICT Innovation and Research award.

Kanchoo – A web application that generates iPhone apps specifically for news publishers. Founded by cubicle muses – Aaron, William and Michael.

aNobii – A book lover social network very popular in Italy released iPhone app that can scan barcode and add to your own virtual book shelf. A Facebook app. The same team also launched a mooshnow.com + iPhone app, which is a movie reviews web site.

Facebook apps

6wave: Ex-Yahoo workers Ng, Cheng, and Lee, a startup that has developed social applications and casual games on the Facebook platform with 32 milion monthly users.

Pencake – A successful DIY e-card web portal. I know the two brother team has recently built some popular facebook applications. Some of you might have used their app without knowing – polling, quizes and 成份分析. They are targeted at the Chinese speaking communities like HK, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. Now they are helping companies promote their facebook fan page. They also moved into HK Science Park in 2009.

Online Video – my area of interest :)
Ankoder – Obviously I’m biased here. I believe Ankoder was the first platform as a service based on Amazon’s cloud computing services launched out of HK. Also based in the Science Park, I will definitely have more product news in 2010. So far the clients are coming from US, Europe and Australia.

goyeah – A free online movie portal, basically saves you from buying the old favorite on VCD. I’m not sure what their plans are in 2010. There’s some cool flash interactive video campaigns with HK comedian.

anyplex – Subscription based movie portal that works directly with setup boxes. They actually moved out of Science Park in 2009. They have agreements and partnerships with movie producers in place so they are set for a bright 2010.

vcast.tv – A video portal with some 2nd tier video content going on with advertising model. Still too early days to tell if it’ll work or not. Their core competency is doing event video streaming. Their mobile video portal also won the Gold prize in ICT mobile award 2008.

vcasmo – Synchronize your video with power point presentations. Launched in 2008 have a strong client base in Japan. Similar to Omnisio.com which was acquired by Youtube early 2009.

choochootv – an artists video blog.

Groups and Meetups
Startup networking events were more than ever, too much that I couldn’t attend all of them.

HKSUA – They have held numerous useful workshops that are very informative to startups.

Wordcamp – Matt Mullenweg came over to HK and held a wordpress fan + blogger meetup.

0 to 0.1 – Organised by Greg and Leon, which provided mentorship to a few groups of University students during the summer holidays. The goal was to launch their lean startup in a few months.

Amazon Web Services Evangelist – Jeff Barr visited HK.

Web Wednesday – Napoleon managed to invite Guy Kawasaki (Jackie Chan of VC) along while he was in HK.

Barcamp:
Most notable was probably the presentation by Ko Kin, who is a 100% Hongkonger that started and established a mobile game company in Mainland China. He wrote a book about his 10 years experience and released the PDF version under creative commons license.
Here’s Aaron’s review of the day.

Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (CVCF)
This year’s theme was angel investment. Some well respected celebrity in the VC world made it to HK. – Dave McClure and Aydin Senkut.

Startup Mondays -
A group of entrepreneurs formed a regular meetup after seeing the gap from CVCF.
Also a group blog at startupshk.com

Other groups and events of note:

香港青年創業家聯盟
Punchparty Cantonese speaking events with local bloggers and tech enthusiasts.
BloggerCon- Annual Blogger Conference.
Agile HK was pretty much dead in 2009 since the financial crisis and Thoughtworks moved out of HK.
Ruby on Rails HK – Sorry I was supposed to organise this one, my bad.

Cocoahead – Bill has been keeping up with organising this iPhone+Mac developer group while he also helped out with TEDx Taipei.
tweetups, twestival.
iPhanatics – organised by Casey Lau, who also created Popcorn Network – Hong Kong’s first e-commerce blog network featuring the best of fashion, gadgets and wine.

Funding:
Although I didn’t see significant funding activities for HK startups, there’s some good news and groups formed that are showing good signs.

Tolo Harbour Angel Group. I have never joined or invited :P , but there’s definitely some activities there. I could see Dominic from Darkhorse in the pictures and Chinese University and Science Park staff are involved.

Cyberport Creative Micro Fund (CCMF)
YCombinator style – 100K HKD to be awarded to 5 companies. Deadline was late October and granted companies announcement will be on Jan 11 2010.

Zendesk, although a Danish company, one of the partner Michael, was based in HK during the early days and had sponsored some local startup events. They received series A and series B in 2009, now with their headquarters in San Francisco.

Editgrid – the iconic HK Web 2.0 startup had rumored to be acquired by Apple.

Outblaze – Although not really a startup, their messaging service was acquired by IBM.

Deadpool – Social Networks
Unfortunately there’s some companies to be classified into the deadpool, interesting most of them are social network companies.

CityIn – launched in 2008, wanted to be “the” social network for south China.

Thumbdive – iPhone social network, got swamped by more focused applications like twitter, foursquare.
Harbork – Subscription model probably didn’t work.
Another social network you probably haven’t heard of – Missu.
Although Zorpia seems to be doing well, I haven’t talked to the founder myself, at least they didn’t need to fire sell like friendster. Duedee (used to be bullpoo) – A virtual stock trading social network is still hanging in there, although I heard there’s not much new development done to the site.

Another social network focused on entertainment celebrities with a name “AliveNotDead” is still alive not dead and exploring different business models like merchandizing.

More startup companies that are just doing their things.
muecs – Another science park incubatee, launched two products. One is enterprise twitter – Molaboration, similar to Yammer. Another product seems to be their first iteration was a social media market place if I understood it right.

We also have threadless like crowdsourcing designer Tshirt / products websites.
Foncept, dookaz and not so well known comedaily are peacefully propelling the crowdsourcing market in Hong Kong.

Frenzoo – A 3D avatar design your own fashion social network. They are funded by ex-Skype employees and an incuTrain graduate. They launched their virtual items market place in 2009 and have some big plans for 2010.

Sampiplan – Project management tool designed specifically for product design and production.

I know I mentioned alot of Science Park incubatees already, but there’s more.
getogeto – A social events invitation website.
gearapp – Highly customisable CRM that is adaptable to all business needs.
cartforge – Targeted ecommerce and analytics platforms.
Innoverz – Fast RIA store front.

StorBackup – Cloud based backup solution that works over unstable internet connections.
Intuitive Automata – Dr. Cory Kidd from MIT – A Robot coach designed to help people who are trying to lose and keep off weight.

2010 will be Social Media, Cloud Computing and Android
Social media marketing will get serious, especially measuring ROI. There’s a few social media conference in 2009 and more planned in 2010 already, and even Hong Kong Government CIO is on twitter. HKAIM has already organised a few social media related events

in 2009 and more to come in 2010.

There’s 2 companies I know that are in this space.
Admomo – Online Advertising Competitor’s analysis.
kmatrix CI - Social Media Buzz Monitoring system.

Any stealth startups hiding in HK?
Anyone in stealth mode should make yourself known now, because nobody cares about your secrets! But I know there’s some startups to look out for in 2010.

Jeff Lyndon – Experienced online game expert is working on something.

Thomas Pun is working on a project joining the YCombinator.

Kenneth Kwok is writing up some informative posts on web analytics tips and techniques.

Eugene Lam, ex-Googler developing a social software review website.

Vincent Chan, working on backbonehr and writing a nice startup blog at scale.cc

Thats it for 2009, this post has turned out to be much longer than I thought. Hope when I write the 2010 post it will be even longer :)

No related posts.


China Web Radar | Permalink | 3 comments | Add to del.icio.us | Follow us on Twitter| China Tech Events
Post tags: HongKong, startup

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "Guest Blogging, HongKong, startup"
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Date: Saturday, 09 Jan 2010 16:30

Yeeyan, a popular online translation collaboration community in China, was back online in yesterday morning, after it was shut down in Nov 30, 2009 by China’s online content regulators. But its domain name changes from Yeeyan.com to Yeeyan.org.

On almost all my list about my favoriate China’s websites, you can find Yeeyan. Since it started in 2006, still a group blog at that time (see our first post on Yeeyan), I kept an eye on its developments. In 2007, Yeeyan becomes an online content collaborative translation community, users can collaboratively translation and publish foreign language articles into Chinese. The translators can also have opportunity to gain financial benefit from the articles translated by them. I think it is the best crowdsourcing website in China.

Yeeyan partnered with both foreign and Chinese media, by translating articles from foreign media into Chinese and publishing on China’s newspaper, magazine and website, it can reward its translators with real money. Yeeyan also translated and published several books by this crowdsourcing model. According to Chen Haozhi, CEO of Yeeyan, some of the translators can get RMB4000 to 6000 a month, and Yeeyan also makes break even.

But partnerships with foreign news media, such as The Guardian, Time Magazine, New York Times, also made troubles to Yeeyan. In Nov 30, Yeeyan was shut down by regulators, because it published news in its website without getting necessary licenses.

Now Yeeyan is back, but the new Yeeyan will focus more on tech, science and business, not on current affairs which might enrage regulators. You cannot find articles from those foreign news media now.
Yeeyan also introduces a pre-publish auditing system, a new translation will only be open to public after it is reviewed manually. The group feature is replaced by a new feature called Project, it also reflect the new Yeeyan tries to strengthen itself on translation collaboration functions, rather than generic social networking.

Anyway, welcome back, Yeeyan. We missed you.

Related posts:

  1. Yeeyan Rolls Out New Version
  2. Yeeyan: Translate Chinese Blog Posts into English
  3. Earthquake Relief Efforts on China’s Web


China Web Radar | Permalink | 1 comment | Add to del.icio.us | Follow us on Twitter| China Tech Events
Post tags: Yeeyan

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "Social Networking, Tools, Yeeyan"
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Date: Saturday, 09 Jan 2010 16:22

Since today, this blog China Web 2.0 Review will be renamed as China Web Radar, the acronym is still CWR, and our domain also change to ChinaWebRadar.com.

China Web 2.0 Review was launched in Nov 2005, when the concept of web 2.0 was becoming hot either in the world or in China. I started this blog in order to make a bridge between China’s startups and overseas English-speaking people. Actually, we not only covers small startups, but also wrote lots of posts on big Internet companies, such as Baidu, Tencent and Sina. The most used tag on the blog is Baidu.

I rename the blog, not because I though web 2.0 is dead, but I thought “web 2.0 review” cannot reflect all the content and the position of the blog. Besides it, the name “China Web 2.0 Review” is not easy to pronounce, is too long. Our old domain name (cwrblog.net) is hard to remember. So I decide to change the name and the domain together.

Thanks for all your supports in last four years. In 2010, I will make more updates on this China Web Radar blog than in last year, hope you will still support us.

Related posts:

  1. About China Web2.0 Review
  2. New Domain, New Features
  3. China Web 2.0 Review Reader Survey


China Web Radar | Permalink | 3 comments | Add to del.icio.us | Follow us on Twitter| China Tech Events
Post tags: China Web Radar, CWR

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "Announcement, China Web Radar, CWR"
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Date: Wednesday, 06 Jan 2010 14:46

Sequoia Capital China, Highland Capital and Qihoo 360 yesterday announced that they plan to jointly invest 1 billion, I think it should be 1 billion RMB, into China’s free software industry in coming years. The plan targets at startups and individuals in freeware sectors, by means of investment, incubation and M&A.

Neil Shen, Founding Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital China, Chuan Thor, Managing Director of Highland Capital and Zhou Hongyi, Chairman of Qihoo 360 will participate in the plan and provide supports to software developers. Qihoo 360 will use its 360 software to promote these freewares to Chinese users. They will not only help freeware developers in financing, but also offer help them to build strategy and improve operations.

In China there are some quite popular free softwares, such as Maxthon, an IE-based browsers, Xunlei, a mega file downloader, Baofeng, a video player and Qihoo 360, a anti-malware software. However, it is still interesting to see venture capitals to announce future investment plan in this sector, when the trend shows that more and more applications are switching from desktop softwares to cloud computing.

In China, maybe there are too many uncertainties in Internet industry, since you can lose the control of your domain and the site can be inaccessible just because of command from governments without any notice. Cloud computing is too far away to Chinese users, we still live in the age of desktop softwares.


China Web2.0 Review | Permalink | 3 comments | Add to del.icio.us | Follow us on Twitter| China Tech Events
Post tags: freeware, Highland Capital, Qihoo, Qihoo 360, Sequoia Capital

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Author: "Tangos" Tags: "News, freeware, Highland Capital, Qihoo,..."
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Date: Wednesday, 06 Jan 2010 14:46

Sequoia Capital China, Highland Capital and Qihoo 360 yesterday announced that they plan to jointly invest 1 billion, I think it should be 1 billion RMB, into China’s free software industry in coming years. The plan targets at startups and individuals in freeware sectors, by means of investment, incubation and M&A.

Neil Shen, Founding Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital China, Chuan Thor, Managing Director of Highland Capital and Zhou Hongyi, Chairman of Qihoo 360 will participate in the plan and provide supports to software developers. Qihoo 360 will use its 360 software to promote these freewares to Chinese users. They will not only help freeware developers in financing, but also offer help them to build strategy and improve operations.

In China there are some quite popular free softwares, such as Maxthon, an IE-based browsers, Xunlei, a mega file downloader, Baofeng, a video player and Qihoo 360, a anti-malware software. However, it is still interesting to see venture capitals to announce future investment plan in this sector, when the trend shows that more and more applications are switching from desktop softwares to cloud computing.

In China, maybe there are too many uncertainties in Internet industry, since you can lose the control of your domain and the site can be inaccessible just because of command from governments without any notice. Cloud computing is too far away to Chinese users, we still live in the age of desktop softwares.

Related posts:

  1. Qihoo received $25M, a recap of 8 months
  2. Qihoo To Focus on Search-Based Q&A Service
  3. Qihoo Helps BBS To Build Own Search Engine


China Web Radar | Permalink | 3 comments | Add to del.icio.us | Follow us on Twitter| China Tech Events
Post tags: freeware, Highland Capital, Qihoo, Qihoo 360, Sequoia Capital

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "News, freeware, Highland Capital, Qihoo,..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Dec 2009 03:34

Baidu adsOn December 1st, 2009, Baidu closed its previous paid search ads system, and fully switched into the new Phoenix Nest system. But on December, we found that the concept of the new system is still old.

Traditionally, Baidu made its paid search listings on its search result pages, most of the users of the search engine cannot differentiate ads from organic search results. They are confused by paid and non-paid results.

In Nov 2008, China Central Television (“CCTV”), the largest state-owned television network in China, reported that Baidu took money from illegal medical companies for paid search results. The more they pay, the higher up their name appear in the search results page. The paid search results undermined the integrity of the search experience.

Immediately after that, Baidu announced that it would introduce a new ads system, i.e. Phoenix Nest, which will more clearly separates its paid links from ordinary search results. In April 2009, Baidu pilot launched its new ads system. Phonenix Nest system is a totally new system in terms of advertising management, it is very similar to Google’s Adwords system. As to the media reports on Phoenix Nest, on its new system, the sponsored results will only be listed on the right of the search results pages, and separated from organic results.

In Nov, Baidu announced that the old ads system will be totally replaced by Phoenix Nest on Dec 1st. On a report by China Daily on Nov 30, it said, “the new stem will clearly distinguish search ads from normal, or organic, search results. That means the controversial keyword advertising bidding system is going to step off the stage”.

However, on Dec 1st., I found that you can still see paid results mixed with non-paid results, just as previously. This new system still allow ads to be listed on the left, even though you need to refine the quality of your ads text to make it qualified to be listed on the left.

The new Phoenix Nest is still old in terms of its underlying paid search concept. An ordinary search users can still be confused by paid ads and non-paid search results.

Related posts:

  1. Baidu Invested A Video Ads Service Provider
  2. Eye Tracking Study on Baidu and Google
  3. Baidu reported to be more advertiser friendly


China Web Radar | Permalink | 5 comments | Add to del.icio.us | Follow us on Twitter| China Tech Events
Post tags: Baidu, Phonenix Nest

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "Advertising, Search Engine, Baidu, Phone..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Dec 2009 03:34

Baidu adsOn December 1st, 2009, Baidu closed its previous paid search ads system, and fully switched into the new Phoenix Nest system. But on December, we found that the concept of the new system is still old.

Traditionally, Baidu made its paid search listings on its search result pages, most of the users of the search engine cannot differentiate ads from organic search results. They are confused by paid and non-paid results.

In Nov 2008, China Central Television (”CCTV”), the largest state-owned television network in China, reported that Baidu took money from illegal medical companies for paid search results. The more they pay, the higher up their name appear in the search results page. The paid search results undermined the integrity of the search experience.

Immediately after that, Baidu announced that it would introduce a new ads system, i.e. Phoenix Nest, which will more clearly separates its paid links from ordinary search results. In April 2009, Baidu pilot launched its new ads system. Phonenix Nest system is a totally new system in terms of advertising management, it is very similar to Google’s Adwords system. As to the media reports on Phoenix Nest, on its new system, the sponsored results will only be listed on the right of the search results pages, and separated from organic results.

In Nov, Baidu announced that the old ads system will be totally replaced by Phoenix Nest on Dec 1st. On a report by China Daily on Nov 30, it said, “the new stem will clearly distinguish search ads from normal, or organic, search results. That means the controversial keyword advertising bidding system is going to step off the stage”.

However, on Dec 1st., I found that you can still see paid results mixed with non-paid results, just as previously. This new system still allow ads to be listed on the left, even though you need to refine the quality of your ads text to make it qualified to be listed on the left.

The new Phoenix Nest is still old in terms of its underlying paid search concept. An ordinary search users can still be confused by paid ads and non-paid search results.


China Web2.0 Review | Permalink | 5 comments | Add to del.icio.us | Follow us on Twitter| China Tech Events
Post tags: Baidu, Phonenix Nest

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Author: "Tangos" Tags: "Advertising, Search Engine, Baidu, Phone..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009 05:55

ChinaMode Awards, the annual awards on tech industry co-hosted by 14 Chinese tech bloggers, is open to nomination now.

In this year’s ChinaMode, we have 7 categories for nomination, including Best Internet Applications, Best User-Experience Applications, Most Promising Applications, Best Mobile Applications, Best Overseas Internet Applications, Tech Person of the Year and Best BBS/Online Forum. You can nominate your favorite applications on ChinaMode’s website, it is only in Chinese. And we will have a Best Overall Application of the Year, selected by our observers and hosting bloggers.

We are proudly to have 10 observers on board, including Keso, the most prestigious tech blogger in China, Hu Yong, a famous professor in Peking University with researches on digital media, Hu Yanping, Director of DCCI, Niu Wenwen, Chief Editor of The Founder, Jui Tan, Partner of BlueRun Ventures, Harry Man, Partner of Matrix Partners, George Liu, famous Taiwan tech blogger, Richard Macmanus, Founder of Read/Write Web, Patrice Nordey, Managing Director of Aisa L’Atelier-BNP Paribas Group, and Netanel Jacobsson, ex-International BD Director of Facebook,

Let’s start to nominate companies, applications and people you think deserve it, and make ChinaMode rock!

Related posts:

  1. ChinaMode: A China’s Web Awards Initiated by Bloggers
  2. Best China’s Podcaster Awards is Open Soon
  3. 7 Internet Companies Awarded Fortune China’s 2005 Coolest Companies


China Web Radar | Permalink | 1 comment | Add to del.icio.us | Follow us on Twitter| China Tech Events
Post tags: awards, ChinaMode

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "News, awards, ChinaMode"
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009 05:55

ChinaMode Awards, the annual awards on tech industry co-hosted by 14 Chinese tech bloggers, is open to nomination now.

In this year’s ChinaMode, we have 7 categories for nomination, including Best Internet Applications, Best User-Experience Applications, Most Promising Applications, Best Mobile Applications, Best Overseas Internet Applications, Tech Person of the Year and Best BBS/Online Forum. You can nominate your favorite applications on ChinaMode’s website, it is only in Chinese. And we will have a Best Overall Application of the Year, selected by our observers and hosting bloggers.

We are proudly to have 10 observers on board, including Keso, the most prestigious tech blogger in China, Hu Yong, a famous professor in Peking University with researches on digital media, Hu Yanping, Director of DCCI, Niu Wenwen, Chief Editor of The Founder, Jui Tan, Partner of BlueRun Ventures, Harry Man, Partner of Matrix Partners, George Liu, famous Taiwan tech blogger, Richard Macmanus, Founder of Read/Write Web, Patrice Nordey, Managing Director of Aisa L’Atelier-BNP Paribas Group, and Netanel Jacobsson, ex-International BD Director of Facebook,

Let’s start to nominate companies, applications and people you think deserve it, and make ChinaMode rock!


China Web2.0 Review | Permalink | 1 comment | Add to del.icio.us | Follow us on Twitter| China Tech Events
Post tags: awards, ChinaMode

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Author: "Tangos" Tags: "News, awards, ChinaMode"
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Date: Sunday, 06 Dec 2009 16:15

Each year, there are lots of various awards and competitions in China’s Internet and mobile sector. But now we have a totally new awards, ChinaMode, proposed by OpenWeb.Asia, and co-hosed by 14 China’s IT bloggers, including: Appin, Williamlong, Web20share, Kenengba, Jandan, MobiNode, Webleon, Showeb20, Vista2.o, Yunkeji, Riku, Herock, China Web2.0 Review and MobiNode.TV..

ChinaMode is the first grassroots award to encourage innovative Internet and mobile applications and services in China. One day, it might be China’s Crunchies Awards.

Stay tune with us, more details will be disclosed later, including nomination details, award categories and etc. We are also open to any community, company or individual who wants to help us or participate (on media coverage, partnership and sponsorship etc). Please contact us on the online form or just leave your comment here.


China Web2.0 Review | Permalink | 3 comments | Add to del.icio.us | Follow us on Twitter| China Tech Events
Post tags: ChinaMode

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Author: "Tangos" Tags: "News, ChinaMode"
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Date: Sunday, 06 Dec 2009 16:15

Each year, there are lots of various awards and competitions in China’s Internet and mobile sector. But now we have a totally new awards, ChinaMode, proposed by OpenWeb.Asia, and co-hosed by 14 China’s IT bloggers, including: Appin, Williamlong, Web20share, Kenengba, Jandan, MobiNode, Webleon, Showeb20, Vista2.o, Yunkeji, Riku, Herock, China Web2.0 Review and MobiNode.TV..

ChinaMode is the first grassroots award to encourage innovative Internet and mobile applications and services in China. One day, it might be China’s Crunchies Awards.

Stay tune with us, more details will be disclosed later, including nomination details, award categories and etc. We are also open to any community, company or individual who wants to help us or participate (on media coverage, partnership and sponsorship etc). Please contact us on the online form or just leave your comment here.

Related posts:

  1. ChinaMode Awards Now Open to Nominate


China Web Radar | Permalink | 3 comments | Add to del.icio.us | Follow us on Twitter| China Tech Events
Post tags: ChinaMode

Author: "Tangos" Tags: "News, ChinaMode"
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