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China Not Fond of Microblogging

msnjukuWhile many of us can’t imagine living without things “made in China,” the Chinese don’t seem very impressed with some of things coming out of the good ole USA. I’m most specifically talking about microblogging.  Sites like Twitter have swept America by storm this year.  In fact, a report from Sysomos earlier this year said that only 0.49% of Twitter users were from China, while 62.14% of Twitter’s population were Americans.  The British make up the second biggest amount of users on Twitter, but they are far behind America since they only account for 7.97% of Twitterers. 

While it seems no other microblogging site could beat Twitter at this time, Microsoft has launched a new microblogging service in China, hoping to beat Twitter’s success in a different country.  The new service is known as MSN Juku, which Microsoft is calling a “local innovation developed by MSN China.”

The site allows users to connect with their Live Messenger contacts with a message of 140 characters or less.  While Twitter’s service pretty much ends there, Juku has some other additional features to help the new site stand out.  Games for example is one of Juku’s strong points.  While we gave game sites like OMGPOP, and other integrated within our social media profiles, Farmville on Facebookfor example, Juku actually awards prizes to its users.  Time will only tell how well how well Juku does.

While we are talking about the American fails of China, another surprising report this morning comes from PCWorld.  While many of us can’t go a minute without seeing someone on their iPhone, finding an iPhone in China can be quite a challenge.  The phone has been available for about a month, and China’s top online shopping site, Taobao.comhas sold a whopping  5 iPhones.  No, I did not accidentally miss a few number key.  5, as in the amount of fingers on your hand.  Or for this time of year, 5 golden rings.  Of the five sold, two of those were 8GB iPhones and three of them were 16GB iPhones.  So what gives?  People here in America, line up days before the latest version of an iPhone comes out, and after a month of being in China, the top online retailer sold 5.

iPhoneChinaThere are two main things which could be attributing to this.  iPhones from China “have to compete with iPhones brought into the country from abroad,” said PCWorld, “which users have bought since long before the official handset arrived. iPhones bought outside China have Wi-Fi, which was removed from the China Unicom iPhones to comply with local regulations. The official handset is also more expensive than iPhones bought elsewhere. The 32GB iPhone 3GS with no service contract costs 6,999 yuan (US$1,024) in China, compared to about US$800 in nearby Hong Kong.”

Ouch, that’s a big expensive, but it still baffles most to hear that over a period of a month, only five iPhones were purchased online.  It’s estimated roughly 5,000 iPhones have been purchased since their release in China, while over 60,000 South Koreans have ordered iPhones since their release last week.

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