Charles Chao, the CEO of Sina, was on TV last Saturday with Yang Lan (who was called the “Oprah of China” at TED). The topic of the show was Weibo, currently the hottest property of the Chinese Internet media giant, Sina (NASDAQ:SINA). The interview, titled “Sina Weibo’s Growing Pains,” is fairly long, stretching to about 20 minutes (embedded below in Chinese).
In the interview, Charles Chao revealed that although he expected Sina Weibo to grow quickly prior to its launch, he didn’t expect it to grow that quickly and eventually became an essential tool for Chinese netizens.
There have been, however, negative aspects to Weibo’s fast growth and viral impact. Rumors can spread so quickly that netizens find it hard to decipher what’s real and what’s not.
Also, many of Weibo’s “users” are zombie accounts that people can actually pay to get as “fans.” On the zombie issue, Chao said that Sina has a team to crack down on them. The main target isn’t those ones who use zombie accounts to promote themselves but those who are using zombies to defame/accuse other Weibo users.
Chao also sees Sina Weibo as adopting bits of Twitter and Facebook and said that Weibo isn’t really a social network, but more like a media network. Some of the main differences between Twitter and Weibo include the Chinese SNS’s threaded conversations, file storage, virtual currency, and also its selection of games.
Hat tip: iChinaStock