Already more than two years old, Kaixin001 has managed to become one of the popular social networks in China, in other words, one of the best Facebook wannabes which satisfies the desires of Chinese internet users.

Within 6 months from its launching date in May 2008 the number of Kaixin001 (开心网) users has already been approaching 10 million. Its success hasn't been hindered since, although its resources are still quite limited. It seems that while Xiaonei 校内 (which is now better known for its new name renrenwang 人人网), another immensely popular SN site, is directed primarily to university students, Kaixin targets a wider niche, including youngsters, students, but perhaps above all middle class office workers, who spend a significant portion of their day in front of the computer screen.

Although the applications variety is continuously developing, it can be stated among Facebook's popular applications Kaixin has successfully 'imported' iLike (sharing one's favorite music with his or her buddies) and Friends for Sale, the amusing 'friend market' which seems to be beyond its popularity peak already and the Where I've Been application, translated to 'footprints‘ (足迹 zújì), which displays a map of places one has visited, focusing on China rather than the entire globe.

Why doesn't Kaixin own the domain Kaixin.com? Domain property rights issues have enabled the parent company of RenRen to purchase the kaixin.com, launch another SN site, and later to merge it with the renren.com url, allowing RenRen to collect some lost users who were looking for Kaixin.

One should try several Chinese SN before deciding which one works the best for him or her. Two things that must be taken in to consideration are the language barrier, which makes some application difficult to comprehend by non-Chinese fluent speakers, and the likely fact that Facebook will never become China's leading social network.

Links:
Kaixin001.com
renren.com
(xiaonei)
 

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