This week, we saw the Chinese web scene ripple with shock as Google snubbed Net Nanny, had a laugh at the ingenuity of pirates of Diablo 3, and ruminated on Sina Weibo’s new carrot-and-stick policy to keep gossipy users in line. Oh, and look: a shiny new infographic!
1. The rise of social media in China, with all-new user numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]
Starting the week’s action on a light note, the folks at BestFreeOnline kindly gave us first dibs on this, showing all the very latest user numbers for China’s major social services.
2. China opens ‘.cn’ domains for individuals, registrations increase more than 20-fold
After a two-year ban on regular folks registering ‘.cn’ and ‘.中国’ domain names, China’s administrative agency for internet affairs opened it up again, causing a huge flood of interest.
3. Sina Weibo’s new ‘credit’ system is just a number-crunching way to ban loose-lipped users
Earlier this week, Sina’s new contract with users went live, wherein a points-based ‘credit’ system will penalize users who mention prohibitive words or phrases, or engage in malicious gossip. Expanding on the theme, my colleague called BS on the whole system, pointing out that Sina will still censor, delete, and ban users at will, regardless of how much virtual credit we have.
4. Google notifies Chinese users of blocked search terms
Google, too, was tackling China’s recalcitrant Net Nanny, adding a new feature to its Hong Kong-based search engine that will alert users who’ll probably see a ‘connection reset’ message after entering certain search terms, causing Google to be blocked for a few minutes. Basically, the U.S. web giant is explaining the throttled site’s instability by saying “It’s them, not us.”
5. Taobao cracks down on Diablo 3 sales, vendors start selling “pineapples”
In gaming news, Chinese pirates got creative on the nation’s biggest amateur shopkeeper e-commerce site, Taobao, using puns to disguise the hot new game as big, juicy pineapples.
6. China’s B2C e-commerce space is a two horse race
Speaking of e-commerce, Taobao’s sister site, Tmall, is the country’s leading B2C e-tailer. Along with rival 360Buy, they dominate more than half of the market.