Earlier this year you may recall that everyone’s favorite iPad reading app Flipboard was blocked in China. But apparently the GFW ain’t no thang, as the company has made its way into China via big-name partnerships with none other than Sina (NASDAQ:SINA) and Renren (NYSE:RENN).
As Flipboard points out in a blog post:
[Y]ou can already search for and add content in any language to Flipboard. What’s different about the Chinese edition is the fact that the entire Flipboard experience is in the local language, including a curated Content Guide with regionally-relevant content and the inclusion of popular local social networks Sina Weibo and Renren.
I’m not certain what the most recent status of the regular Flipboard app is (is it still blocked?) but this is certainly good news for Chinese fans of the app. In a Wall Street Journal report this morning, Flipboard’s Robin Chan notes that “[b]y working with government-approved content from partners, we think we addressed the issue with the government.”
This Chinese version is Flipboard’s first international edition, and it’s certainly a bold step considering the app’s previous troubles. As co-founder and Chief Exec Mike McCue noted at the time, it opened the door for Flipboard clones to step in in their place (see Zaker for example):
But McCue told the WSJ that part of the reason for entering China first was because these clones created a ‘sense of urgency’ for Flipboard to develop a Chinese edition.
As for Sina, CEO Charles Chao noted that “having Sina content and publication partners available on Flipboard [provides] a new way for publications to reach readers and a new way for our Sina Weibo users to enjoy and share content.” Likewise Renren’s CEO Joseph Chen said “[our] cooperation with Flipboard will further enrich our social network experience and satisfy user demands.”
If you’d like to try the Chinese edition of Flipboard, you can get it for free via iTunes. We’ve included a few of their screenshots below, showing the same great design that made the original edition so popular.