If Facebook reenters China, how will it compete?

chinese facebookFacebook has been blocked in China since 2009, when riots in the country’s Xinjiang region led to severe crackdowns on Internet use. Since then, statements from Chinese officials and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have hinted at the possibility of cooperation between the two, if a compromise between the nation’s overbearing censorship and Facebook’s “openness” can be reached.

Now it looks as though… something is going on. What exactly that may be is still up in the air, but numerous reports say Facebook is working with China to come up with a solution. According to Marbridge Consulting as well as a few blogs, a post on Sina Weibo from Hu Yan Ping, the founder of a Chinese market research firm claims that Facebook will be collaborating with Baidu to build an entirely new social networking site. Ping wrote, “Facebook really is about to enter China, the agreement is signed. A domestic website will work with Facebook to create a new site. This new site it not interlinked with Facebook.com. Will this live or die in China?”

It’s a legitimate question. Chinese blogging and social media services are becoming increasingly popular, even internationally. If Facebook (or a Facebook-led production) wants to make an impression in the country it needs to move fast. So what exactly would this new site, or even Facebook, have to compete with?

Sina Weibo

sinaweiboSina Weibo is China’s version of Twitter and has Sina, the largest Chinese web portal, behind it. It’s been around since 2009, but skyrocketed to mass popularity within the last year, reaching well past 100 million users. It’s also well-used among the celebrity set. According to Bill Bishop, who analyzed the site last month, “it is a better designed and more stable product, and Sina’s product roadmap appears to have it heading towards a robust SNS, almost like Facebook.” Sina Weibo combines elements of many popular social platforms, including polling, group buying, and applications.

It’s currently moving over to a new doman, Weibo.com, and rumored to be looking at an initial public offering.


qzoneTencent is most well known as China’s largest Internet company, and has recently decided to capitalize on that moniker by introducing new social networking services. The site offers social gaming, networking, and instant messaging, and is hugely profitable. Its social networking platform specifically is called Qzone and runs the full gamut of social applications, including blogs and photo sharing. It is arguably the world’s largest social network and claims to have more than 200 million users.


renrenAnother extremely popular social service is Renren, which has been around since 2005. It’s the most similar to Facebook among its Chinese competitor sites, and includes many of the same applications (like Places, Groups, etc). Its UI is almost the most familiar to Facebook’s, and just like its western counterpart, it has found a following among college students. It claims to have somewhere between 150 and 160 million users, and exists with an open platform allowing outside development and integration.

Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
DT Daily

DT Daily: Foldable phones, Facebook mulligans, and more

On the 12th episode of DT Daily, Digital Trends' live talk show, hosts Greg Nibler and Marie Pardo-Garber broke down the news of the day, including Samsung's foldable phone announcement, Facebook's upcoming "unsend" feature, and more.
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Social Media

LinkedIn gets serious about video with Vimeo integration

LinkedIn is gaining new video options thanks to integration with Vimeo. The new agreement allows for native uploads with further reaching, along with bringing tools like video analytics.
Social Media

Twitter tests home screen button that offers more control of your timeline

Twitter recently relaunched its reverse-chronological timeline, but accessing it means diving into settings. Now the company is testing a button on the main screen that lets you switch between the two different styles of timeline.
Social Media

Snapchat’s PR firm is suing an influencer for failing to influence

Snapchat's PR firm is suing a social media influencer for his alleged failure to promote Spectacles on Instagram. Actor Luka Sabbat was paid $45,000 upfront, but the suit claims he fell well short of the terms of the deal.

Urban legends for the digital age: The best scary stories from the internet

In need of some simple scares this Halloween? We've combed the internet for the best creepypastas, urban legends, and scary stories. From found footage YouTube videos to a deceptively scary wiki, these stories are sure to spook.

WhatsApp finally gives in to the lure of cash-generating ads

WhatsApp's co-founders always said their messaging app would never show ads, but once the pair quit the company, it seemed inevitable that its owner, Facebook, would find a way to incorporate them.

Shazam hooks up with Instagram Stories for another way to share songs

The latest update for Apple-owned Shazam lets iPhone users share music tracks to Instagram Stories in a few quick taps. To enable the feature, just make sure you have the latest version of Shazam loaded on your handset.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.