Evernote, the American note sync service, has today launched a separate Chinese service called Yinxiang Biji. Avoiding the usual ‘cloud’ name in its Chinese rivals – such as Yunbiji by Netease (NASDAQ:NTES) – it means Memory Notes or Impression Notes.
The announcement comes both on the Evernote blog and live at the 2012 GMIC in Beijing – where we have three bloggers right now – where CEO Phil Libin spoke this morning. The blog says:
We’ve been hard at work on this for months: building a great team in Beijing, engineering new products, and setting up our new data centers. Minutes ago, we flipped the switch.
Phil Libin said this was coming in an interview earlier this week whilst also acknowledging that China is “the hardest” market to crack due to its tough regulatory environment for media and tech companies.
The Evernote apps already support the Chinese language, so the team says that this rollout is about giving users speed and flexibility. The blog adds:
People in China now have the choice to create an account on Yinxiang Biji. Existing Evernote users may copy some or all of their notes and notebooks to a new account on the Chinese service, which will give these users all the speed and reliability advantages of the local service.
This will not affect users of the service outside of China. Evernote addresses concerns over possible government access to notes on its Yinxiang Biji service:
This still leaves the question of government access. The laws and practices controlling data stored on servers in China are evolving rapidly and Yinxiang Biji will comply with Chinese regulations applicable to the service. This means users of Yinxiang Biji should be aware that Chinese authorities may have the right to access their data according to current regulations.
When Phil Libin was onstage at GMIC this morning, my colleague at the event notes that he said the new service “runs entirely locally on Chinese servers.” Still, he said, it would be “bridge Beijing and Silicon Valley together – to benefit the worldwide users.” He added: “We’re hiring very quickly – doing everything from the Beijing office – local marketing for Chinese market, and doing development, business development here.” The CEO has always been infectiously enthusiastic about Asia – and China – in particular, so we wish them the best of luck in what the blog describes as their “big adventure” in China.
Read more about the move on the Evernote blog.