Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Internet is not for Information, yet!" in China

Gang Lu has a brilliant post about microblogging in China. In the post, he shared that in China "Internet is not for Information, yet!" The quote is indeed a crucial point that all western Internet businesses must learn to be successful at China. Due to various reasons (especially the political reasons as well as some sort of historical tradition), Internet in China is not about information, it's about entertainment. This insight is a modern interpretation of a long-history idiom in Chinese history---莫谈国事 (do not talk on the affairs of state).

Until now, 莫谈国事 is still an important part of the life of Chinese. The emergence of World Wide Web (supposed to be able to change the custom) has not been able to change it yet. Lu's post tells us that the idiom has only extended its influence from the real world to the virtual world in China.

Xu Jinglei (Chinese: 徐静蕾), one of the most well-known celebrities in China and whose blog is known to be the No.1 personal blog in visiting numbers in China (and probably in the world). She is known to be a belle not only in her appearance, but also in her mind and brain. However, 莫谈国事 is also one of her maxim to ensure the popularity of her blog in China. In fact, the Chinese Characters 莫谈国事, reading from right to left, shown above is written by Miss Xu.

Certainly, however, it is not a duty for western Internet business to try to change the culture. By contrast, they need to learn to be customized for the culture to succeed.

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