China may not have Facebook, but it looks like the country is getting timeline. Renren, a Chinese social media site, has pretty much copied the design of Facebook’s timeline, right down to the introduction page.
If Facebook were to launch its own search engine right now, it would immediately attract nearly one-quarter of that sector and become the second-most-used search engine in every major market in the world except China, Japan, and Russia, where it would place third, according to a recent report by independent digital marketing agency Greenlight.
China, the world’s most populous country at 1.3 billion people, has blocked its citizens from accessing Facebook. It doesn’t appear that this will change anytime soon. At a recent social media conference in Hong Kong, Facebook’s North Asia director, Jayne Leung, said the social network currently has no plans to make a move into China.
Many Facebook users are still angry with the site for implementing timeline. They’re not alone. According to TechRadar, a Chinese Pinterest-like site — Cubic Network — has sued Facebook, claiming that the company stole the idea for timeline.
According to the latest figures from comScore, Facebook’s user growth figures for April were down dramatically, with the social network up just 5 percent in unique visitors versus April 2011, following growth rates of 24 percent last year and 89 percent in April 2010.
China is worth keeping an eye on as Facebook turns its focus to mobile. It is being called the most active social country on the globe, with 95 percent of residents in China’s major cities using social networks, according to a new survey of 5,700 Internet users in China. While the country continues to block Facebook, as well as other outsider social networks including Twitter, it is gathering millions of users on its home-grown social networks and adapting to the new mobile platform at a brisk pace.
Maybe we’re skeptical by nature, but it’s hard to believe that an appearance in the background of a China Central Television documentary by Facebook Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and this then-girlfriend (and now wife) Priscilla Chan was a coincidence.
There’s been talk lately about Facebook’s growth potential among international markets. Much of this will depend on if and when the social network determines how to sell things on mobile, and if it can set up a seamless, user-friendly payment platform.
Persistence pays, goes the motto, and, in some cases, more handsomely than others. Facebook’s ambition to pursue a business relationship with China has not dwindled, and if anything, the company’s May 18 initial public offering makes the proposition even more enticing, with the potential to double the worth of the social network for investors.
Facebook Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg spent this week in China and Japan: Was it a pre-initial public offering vacation with girlfriend Priscilla Chan, business, or a little bit of both?