In the not-quite-so-distant future in a universe not so far away, a war has begun. Well actually, it’s not surprising that in a country renowned for reverse engineering and manufacturing knock-off handbags that a war has begun for the hearts and clicks of netizens throughout China.
Last Friday it was reported through qq.com that Oak Pacific, the company behind Xiaonei.com had registered the domain name kaixin.com. This comes only a month after Kaixin001.com secured USD 4-5 million in venture capital.
Oak Pacific Interactive, who purchased Xiaonei only in October 2006 for USD 2 million has been successful in capturing the student market but falls behind Kaixin001 in capturing the white collar worker market. Oak Pacific itself is no stranger to the clone sites as it’s highly popular Xiaonei.com network also has it own clone Xiaonei001.com and have obviously decided that it is a strategy worth trying.
Oak Pacific is arguably one of the most powerful force in China’s social networking business having received a committment in April this year for USD 430 million for 35% of the company, from a consortium of VC funds led by Softbank.
Techcrunch reports that Kaixin001.com is
…China’s fastest growing social network having amassed a staggering 7.5 million users in the first 5 months since it launched in May 2008. The site tripled Twitter’s traffic reach in the month of September alone and is currently the 250th most popular site on Alexa worldwide.
To some, the domain kaixin.com lost to such a strong competitor may be akin to having one’s hand cut off. We will wait to see if this young new social media Jedi will have the strength to fight the financially stronger empire that Oak Pacific represents given this latest blow.