Facebook is blocked in China mainland due to some government policies. In 2009, Kai Xin001 (KaiXin means happiness in Chinese.) popped up and now is booming as China’s Facebook potentially.
Part of Kai Xin is operated exactly as same as Facebook. Uses have to sign up with their real names; they can post photos, comments, celebrities’ news, or re-post other friends posts on their homepages and friends can see the updated information instantly; users can share music, movies and video clips or send birthday gifts to each other. One magic played by Kai Xin is the function of “Finding friends”. I found my best friend in kindergarten on Kai Xin and we two have lost in touch with each other for 20 years.
However, why Kai Xin is mushrooming is because of its interactive online games which have built it like a virtual social community. Taking me as an example, I have my own house, yard and my own restaurant on Kai Xin. I live on selling a variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers planted in my yard on market and dishes in my restaurant; further, the tricky thing is that I can steal the plants from my friends’ yards, vice versa. I was surprised to hear that one of my colleagues woke up at 4 am in the morning in order to steal the vegetables in my yard. Apart from farming or opening restaurant, users can make money by playing the games such as “exchanging slavery” (employing friends-even their direct report bosses in the company to finish various tasks for them, such as grabbing a cup of coffee or serving in the restaurants), “parking lot”(parking private cars somewhere without paying fees) and “trading housing”(trading property on market).
It seems that overnight, everyone around me, including my friends, families and colleagues, has obtained an account on Kai Xin and everyone is obsessed to those tiny and ridiculously funny games. My perspective is that residents in coastline areas in China are living in a crazy and horribly competitive life; we need a way out and Kai Xin is providing a fantastic platform timely. Psychologically speaking, we can live in our own world for a short period of time everyday online, which may mentally comfort us.
Kai Xin is rocketing up in SNS (Social Networking Services) field of Mainland internet territory thanks to some renowned brands sponsorship, such as Minute Maid Juice from Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, KFC and Pizza Hut. Kai Xin has done a great job of mixing and matching the content of brand marketing campaign with its games or other resources online, which will not raise users’ antipathy. Minute Maid Juice is a case of point. This juice brand promoted a new product line on Kai Xin last summer by selling the juice tree seeds to users; users can plant orange trees in their yards and sell the fruits; meanwhile, they can play lucky draw to win a five-day tourism to visit the orchard in Brazil sponsored by Coca-Cola.
Besides Kai Xin, other SNS websites are growing up in Mainland, for example, Xiao Nei (Xiao Nei means on-campus in Chinese.) and Ren Ren (Ren Ren means everybody in Chinese.). These three websites have different target users. Kai Xin focuses on office workers, especially in Eastern part of Mainland such as Shanghai Municipality, Zhe Jiang and Jiang Su Province; Xiao Nei and Ren Ren targets on students in Northern part of Mainland such as Beijing. SNS is developing rapidly in China Mainland. We now have China’s Facebook, who will be China’s Twitter next?