China’s Tencent Will Bury You, Facebook

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chinaflag.jpgADOTAS – What’s that, Mr. Time Person of the Year? Mark Zuckerberg, you think you can just waltz into mainland China and win every party official and his grandmother over with your pitiful communication skills and your fancy American social network? Think again — Chinese social networks will take over the West!

(Wait a second — is this the plot for the long pushed-back “Red Dawn” remake?)

Right before Zuck’s much-speculated-about trip to China, Tencent, a former blogging platform that added Facebook-like features to its Qzone offering, announced that it will be launching an English-language social network in early 2011. Though details are sparse, in introducing an international version of its popular IM service QQ (now in English, French and Japanese) Tencent announced the new English-language social network will be  integrated into the existing QQ International site and synchronized with the IM service.

Facebook launched a Chinese-language version of the social network in 2008 that was quickly blocked by the government during ethnic riots. This month Zuckerberg is visiting the mainland with fiance Priscilla Chan on the pretense of meeting her relatives, but the smart money is on him sweet-talking government officials into re-opening the gates for Facebook.

So it’s pretty humorous that right before his visit one of the rivals for most popular Chinese social network would announce an upcoming English version. Is somebody trying to send a message?

1 COMMENT

  1. I know your question was rhetorical, but just in case anyone thinks otherwise, the answer is yes. It is a message. I will be very interested to hear how Zuckerberg does in China.

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