on MySpace “localization”
China IT community Donews has an opinion piece by blogger Guo Yanjing called "If Myspace wants to succeed, it shouldn’t act like an outsider", that I quite like. It gives you a sense of what some of the debates are in the Chinese online world regarding Myspace in China. It also reveals some of what makes it so hard for a Myspace or a Google to do well in the Chinese internet business. Rough translation:
There have been more and more articles about Myspace written recently, putting forth all kinds of views, from pouring cold water on the idea to giving suggestions, while some are saying that Myspace’s success will depend on a couple of factors such as, "will it succeed if it localizes?" and "is it suitable for China’s online environment", and so on. But…none of these points really hits the mark.
1. There’s really no question of how to localize: Sohu never localized, Baidu never localized, Sina never localized, why does Myspace have to study how to localize? You can’t put yourself in the position of an outsider. Whenever Myspace stops bringing up the issue of localization, it will really be on the right path.
2. There’s no such thing as the problem of whether or not it will suit China’s special online environment, therefore there’s no political risk, nor is there a problem with [Chinese] netizens being hard to please. Myspace is already an Internet company in China, and if Sina, Sohu, Shanda and others can all do well, why are you worried? Whenever you get over these misgivings, there will be the hope of success.
3. Don’t be holier-than-thou: why hasn’t Google done that well in China? It’s because Google wants to act chaste, but since it’s a mainland company it has to play by the mainland’s rules of the game. The foreign devils may be dressed up in suits and leather shoes, but when they start walking on China’s vast territory, they can’t beat a Chinese robe and cloth shoes.
4. Learn from the best Chinese personal websites: who knows China’s netizens’ demands best? It’s the thousands and thousands of personal sites. They’re not only netizens, they’re practitioners, and they’re the ones who have really penetrated the web and understood the demands of netizens.
5. It has to be addressed to a specific group to make a breakthrough. If Myspace is aiming at the youth space, it will need a deep understanding of the needs of young people, especially college students…
It’s still too early to predict the future for Myspace, and given the turmoil of the Internet anything is possible. But one thing is for sure–don’t act like an outsider.
3 comments on “on MySpace “localization””
360Quan & MySpace China any connection?
It has been noted on several blogs/forums and various publications that MySpace is entering China Web2.0 ‘undercover’. Under a Chinese affiliate and Chinese identity. Stories have leaked that the newly luanched and fastest growing web 2.0 in China 360Quan.com, is actually MySpace. As reported bloggers in China (in Chinese). Is 360Quan really MySpace China? How can you explain their growth an unknown web 2.0, or really a giant lurking behind?
Nooooooo way !!!