In an interesting turn of events, Foursquare, the location based social networking system, has been de-listed as a banned site in China thanks to a partnership with China Daily USA. You may remember the popular service was quickly shutdown after waves of check-ins and sensitive comments at Tiananmen Square on June 4th.
Using the uber creative slogan, “Love China, Explore China,” the central government’s main English mouthpiece introduced their account to the world, growing to over 1,000 friends in a few days.
The official announcement from their Foursquare homepage:
China Daily would like to take you to almost every corner of China and help you explore the misteries of the oriental country. Follow us to receive the tips and unlock our edition badges to enter into our SWEEPSTAKES!
While this is good news for Foursquare, it still doesn’t slow the growing threat from Facebook’s Places, even if it might be able to gain Chinese market share while Facebook remains blocked. Then again that’s not guaranteed either, considering it doesn’t have a Chinese language site and major Mainland competitors, who quickly filled the void after the Tiananmen fiasco, are building significant user bases.
One of the better Foursquare wannabes is Jiepang (街旁), which is cleverly connected to four different social network systems including Renren, Douban, Kaixin and Sina Weibo and comes pre-installed on HTC model phones as of September this year.
Still, we are looking forward to some sweet China Badges. Can we get a “24-hour train” badge? Or maybe, the “eat over 50 dumplings” badge? Better yet, a “survived the Expo” badge. The possibilities are endless people.