Sina Weibo Challenges LinkedIn in China with New Business Social Network

Steven Millward
10:29 pm on Nov 27, 2012

Sina Weibo, China’s hottest Twitter clone, already has lots of spin-off features. And this week it has one more in the shape of Wei Renmai (‘Weibo Connections’ might be a good way to translate it), which is a business social network that challenges LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) in the country.

Sina’s (NASDAQ:SINA) newest attempt at monetizing Weibo is currently in invite-only beta mode, and can be found at renmai.weibo.com. Inside, the new service is essentially just a partitioned variation of the main Weibo service, with all the usual features like follows, comments, retweets, and putting people into circles. Perhaps the most powerful part of the new Wei Renmai is the search engine up top, which lets you do some serious business networking by searching for ‘people’, ‘companies’ or the more mysterious ‘opportunities’. See the main feed screenshot here, courtesy of Tech2IPO:

The Sina Wei Renmai launch will be bad news for LinkedIn in China, as well as for other professional networks such as Tianji, Ushi, and the startup Guanxi.me.

(See: Derek Ling, Tianji CEO, Talks Professional Social Networks In China)

Sina Weibo recently passed 400 million users, so all those are potential converts to Wei Renmai with just a few steps worth of additional information.

The new service launches with some promising tools on offer, such as a map of mutual contacts among friends on Wei Renmai, and that aforementioned ‘opportunities’ section sounds like a great way for entrepreneurs to connect with people who are going in the same direction. All in all, Sina’s latest effort looks really promising.

[Source: Tech2IPO – article in Chinese]


Replies
  • Damon

    Possibly a chance. surprisingly no one is the leader in online professional social networking. although most chinese i know use linkedin.

  • http://www.greatwallclub.com Maxim

    What makes LinkedIn attractive is that professionals from almost every country in the world have it. I don’t see the rest of the world giving up LinkedIn for a new network any time soon, most people have already invested too much time and effort into their LinkedIn network to switch.

    Even if Renmai takes off for a bit in China, it won’t be long until professionals in China will realize that they need LinkedIn to connect with non-Chinese professionals.

  • Dan Harris

    Not true, there is enough scale for local relationships….and most people who use Linkedin are not expats with Harvard/ MIT degrees like the readers of this blog….

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