Feeds

Chinese 'Twitter' breaks out of China

Sina Weibo to take on global customers (who want to toe the Party line)

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Popular Twitter clone Sina Weibo is planning to bust out of China before the end of the year, bringing additional features but maintaining state-mandated censorship.

Sina Weibo is currently limited to China, and the Chinese language, but as Reuters reports, the company is promising to provide an English-language service, available around the world, by the end of the year. That should create proper competition to Twitter's monopoly, as long as users don't mind the Chinese state restricting what they're allowed to talk about.

Sina Weibo has around 140 million users in China, compared to Twitter's global 170 million or so. But while Sina Weibo can poach Twitter's existing customers the reverse is prevented by the Chinese government block on uncensored services, which prevents Twitter from entering the country.

Sina's English-language service will be censored: updates containing inflammatory words or phrases will disappear into the aether as they do on the Chinese version, but that doesn't seem to bother the locals who replace known keywords with codes, or simply don't discuss such things in public.

So those locals provide Sina Weibo with a significant, and untouchable, base from which it now plans to attack international markets.

Micro-blogging, or Weibo as it's known locally, is huge in China – it's perfectly suited to the immediacy demanded by Chinese youth who aren't as bothered by state censorship as we mighty imagine them to be. Without Twitter, China has incubated three competing Weibo networks, driving innovation while Twitter has been content to rest on its laurels.

It's unlikely we'll see Sina Weibo organising a big US launch when its English service goes live in the autumn, but it will be interesting to see if twitterati elsewhere care as much about censorship as one might hope they do. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.