Since July 2009, both Facebook and Twitter have been blocked in China. In their absence, there has been a huge battle between the domestic players in the social networking segment. There is no clear winner yet, but Weibo and Renren are leading the pack.
Sina Weibo, the closest equivalent of Twitter, builds a strong relationship between the users and high quality content. Some people even go so far as to say that Weibo is more of a social media site than a social networking site. Users on this site follow celebrities and opinion leaders to stay abreast of happenings in certain sectors.
Regardless of how many freedom Weibo gives, the company still works very closely with the regulators. It is more than capable of stopping certain users from logging online and blogging certain posts that they seem inappropriate.
Renren, the largest registered social networking site in China since 2010, went public on NASDAQ in 2011. Renren is considered to be similar to its global counterpart, Facebook, but a lot of people argue that it is hardly the case.
The site’s target customers are campus students, which is successful in the short run but eventually these users stop using their accounts once they are working. As the competition in the domestic market intensifies, Renren is losing a chunk of its on campus users to Weibo as well as to Tencent, another social networking giant in China.
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By G+ Author: Erin Washington.