Facebook has reportedly inked a deal with Baidu to build a social network for the People's Republic. According to the report, anonymous sources at China's biggest search engine outfit claimed an agreement had been reached following a number of meetings between Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and Baidu CEO Robin Li. Bloomberg …
Ai Weiwei needs a justice poke
You know I was really annoyed that I had to go out of my way to submit reports on my activities, whereabouts, and relationship status; thankfully now I'll just have to "Like" the Peoples Totalitarian Republic of China.
And if the Reg get their server coding fingerts I'd even be saved the bother of reporting my comments made around the web. I could have submitted this comment and have it flagged up in facebook and hence on to our obsessive friends in the far east.
Although, when facebook was still available in China it spawned a pixel for pixel clone in xiaonei.cn and then renren.com (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renren) that now holds the largest user base in China for a social network. Even striking a deal with Baidu, I would like to see how facebook China, being exlcusively in use for the Chinese and being monitored by the authorities would manage to:
b: take those users away from renren (which incidentally is 50% of the reason why facebook is blocked - they wanted their own homegrown version to have the economic advantage as well as subversion avoidance - I wrote a blog about it here: http://www.geejayoh.com/blog/2010/11/china-censorship-not-what/)
c: keep us stinking ex-pat lao wai off the service (so not exactly exclusively chinese) unless they used some kind of reverse firewall implementation and blocked others getting in?
d: keep any of their design or code as their own, when copyright and recourse against infringement are literally NON-existent. Every new feature would just be copied by renren reverse engineered by their code-monkeys (and there is a lot of them)
still, I guess they're trying to get a foothold, if China EVER opens up, they would have a foothold and just merge the userbase. Wait and see time I guess.
Common view of privacy
Zuckerberg and China share the same ideals of privacy so this should work well.
geejayoh nailed it - see his google post
the chinese will NEVER allow a non-Chinese firm to dominate the market, or participate seriously - however if you want to donate some source code, training, expertise ...
they just want to get their hands on the Facebook source code, and some free training for University grads the same way they did G
watch they'll make access a part of "demonstrating good faith" - ask Cisco, G, Embraer or Vestas and train some of their cadres in the latest marketing techniques, advertising, etc
see geejayoh's Google post - http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2010/11/16/baidu_ceo_talk/
and read McGregor's The Party for the way things work
note Mr Kai-Fu Lee Got a Nickname, Start-Copy Lee, and someone started a CopyWorks website - According to Jyo, InnovationWorks is so clone-heavy that it has become a meme among Chinese entrepreneurs. By a Chinese pun, his new nickname is now "Start-Copy Lee," and a mischevious entrepreneur created a parody website called CopyWorks, which mimicks the design of InnovationWorks' website. http://www.businessinsider.com/kai-fu-lee-innovation-works-clones-china-startups-2011-4#ixzz1JpXkja00
- Chinese business culture is to tell the audience in front of you what that audience wants to hear - it's not even "lying" in the Western sense since the concept of "objective truth" isn't there
- Baidu has Party ownership somewhere, somehow, and don't kid yourself - Mr Li serves at the pleasure of the CCP - read McGregor and Li Shufu below
- isn';t Baidu the one with the Wenku piracy problem ?? only this time it's Chinese authors- oops
- This month, the U.S. Trade Representative's office cited Baidu in a list of 33 websites or public markets in China, Russia, India and other countries that it deemed "notorious markets" linked to sales of pirated or fake goods.
- when all else fails, come up with some bogus Google tax "crimes" - oh by the way - the regulations are so loose and confusing (deliberately) that noone knows what they mean -
" Tax probe headache for Google April 4 2011 at 10:46am By Chris Buckley Beijing - Chinese authorities found three companies linked to Google broke tax rules and are investigating possible tax avoidance, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on Thursday ... accused of presenting false and unjustified claims to the total value of 40 million yuan ($6 million) (big whoop ) ... China generates a small percentage of Google's revenues, but is the world's largest Internet market with more than 450 million users. The country's search market, dominated by homegrown Baidu Inc , was worth 11 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) in 2010 and is likely to grow by about 50 percent each year for the next four years, according to iResearch "
- China is considering investments of up to $1.5 trillion over five years in seven strategic industries - right, and they're going to invite FB to the party
- and none other than Li Shifu (Geely) pulls the rug out from under Robin Ly-i-ng
( in his defense he's just telling you what you want to hear - tomorrow he'll tell the 工业和信息化部 and 公安部 what they want to hear ..
Chinese entrepreneurs? We do what The Party tells us
What is the relationship between privately-owned Chinese businesses and the country’s ruling Communist Party?
It is a basic, but very important question. Chinese companies are increasingly looking for investments and technological tie-ups in the Europe and the US, and both investors and the general public are asking, “Who is the boss?”
There was a very straightforward answer today from Li Shufu, the billionaire founder of Geely Automotive, China’s second-largest car maker who bought Volvo from Ford last year, and also own a stake in Manganese Bronze, the makers of London’s Taxis.
Mr Li, one of China’s richest men whose company started out in 1986 as refrigerator parts manufacturer, was asked during an interview (in Chinese) with China’s netease portal, how he would characterize the relationship between entrepreneurs and the government in China? He said:
“It is a relation of the leaders and the led. Chinese entrepreneurs have to implement their work under the leadership of the Party and the government—it is very clear.”
Asked how enterprises like his communicated and interacted with the Chinese government, he said:
We carry out our work under the leadership of the government. We will do whatever the government tells us to do, which is a critically important principle of the Chinese market economy and there is nothing more for discussion about it. I think it is definitely right to listen to the Party and follow up government’s instructions. ....
Suckerberg's gonna get his comeuppance, Chinese style