RenRen, China’s Facebook counterpart, has launched a LinkedIn clone called Jingwei.
Jingwei recently entered beta, and it functions pretty much like LinkedIn. It also features a question and answer module, which gives it a Quora flavor of sorts. Focusing on those two features, its main competitors in the country would be UShi, the country’s leading invitation-only business social network, and ZhiHu, the Chinese Quora clone.
The country, notorious for blocking foreign social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter, also blocked LinkedIn at one stage but made it available again after a day. The California-based professional community has recently hit a 100 million user base milestone, which now caters to over 1,000,000 users from China.
According to Gang Lu, chief editor of Technode, the private beta version is still a bit buggy and some of the core features are not yet working properly. He also adds that by looking at its menu, it’s more or less like LinkedIn. Currently, Jingwei offers functions like Profile, Connections, Group, Companies — which are all are common to LinkedIn as well. Said Lu:
RenRen is now the leading social network in China, but its user base is still strong at young generation, e.g. university students. So moving to a professional network is quite a natural strategy for me. My doubt is that how RenRen could balance its resource as uploading photos and updating professional connections are totally different user behavior.
China is known for cloning popular Western websites, but the country is also known for innovating beyond what is copied. Mixing LinkedIn and Quora in one professional social networking site is a proof of that.