Friendless future for China's SNS innovators

By Curtis Y. Li
0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, January 10, 2011
Adjust font size:

Soon after Mark Zuckerberg was selected by Time magazine as Person of the Year 2010, he set off to China. Though the details of his China trip were kept highly confidential, Facebook certainly cannot afford to leave the Chinese market unattended.

China counts as an exciting but potentially lethal market for Facebook. With the world's largest number of Internet users, China has already proved to be a Waterloo for many big US Internet companies, such as eBay and MySpace. Money and technology are no guarantee of victory here.

Zuckerberg's China tour was closely scrutinized by Chinese IT watchers and users. Even his Chinese girlfriend has been hotly discussed, with people hoping it indicated that Zuckerberg might have a special preference for Chinese culture and the Chinese market. If Facebook officially enters the Chinese market, what strategy will it adopt: Work alone or with a well-connected local partner? The first option is not likely to be successful.

On and off screen, Zuckerberg seems to have a complex or even a contradictory personality. In the movie The Social Network, Zuckerberg was depicted as socially awkward, helping millions of users to connect to each other, yet ending the movie begging his former girlfriend to accept his invitation to be a Facebook friend.

The characterization of a greedy and cunning person who stole the idea for his site from others and cheated the best friend who had supported him from the beginning does not seem to match the easygoing nature of the generous young entrepreneur.

Last month, Zuckerberg signed "The Giving Pledge," a donation campaign initiated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. By signing the pledge, he promised to give 50 percent or more of his wealth to charity.

The youngest billionaire and the youngest person to be named Time Person of the Year, Zuckerberg has his own unique story. He also shows how an innovative idea can be fostered and developed into a successful business model in the US.

In contrast, Wang Xing, the pioneer of China's SNS (Social Network Sites) and twitter, had such unfortunate experiences that he was dubbed the most unlucky Chinese Internet entrepreneur. Wang's social network website,, founded only a year after Facebook, quickly ballooned among China's universities in 2006.

1   2   Next  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from