Chats with Gang Lu

56minus1 recently interviewed Gang Lu, a presenter at the recent 4th Annual Blogger Conference, co-founder of OpenWebAsian Workgroup and a tech blogger, blogging on Mobinode.com. Below are some highlights:

56minus1: Who will win the SNS war in China? The C2C war? The microblogging war? The video sharing site war?

Gang Lu: There will be more than one winner in the SNS war. Think about it, QQ, 51, Xiaonei, Kaixin001, etc., none of these big players are going to go down easily. In the C2C war, Taobao will dominate the market for a long while to come, but it now has some competition with companies like Tencent’s Paipai. Microblogging? I don’t know if there is or ever will be a war among microblogging services in China. I would be surprised if microblogging ever became truly popular in China. I’m more interested to see how these companies will compete with each other in the mobile market in the future, because I believe Web 2.0 has to go mobile to be truly become part of people’s everyday lives.

56minus1: When do you see Internet censorship no longer being an issue in China? How can China get there?

Gang Lu: Internet censorship will be around for a long time to come in China. The question I ask is whether or not censorship is really even a big deal in China…is it? To be honest, I’m uninterested in the “China Internet censorship” topic…it’s so boring. It reminds me of the LeWeb3 conference in 2006…there was a panel called “The Dragon’s Web” which was supposed to discuss the tech trends from the Chinese Web, but the first question the moderator asked is “what do you think of Internet censorship in China.” It was very disappointing. Censorship is of course not a good thing, but in my opinion, if China got rid of the GFW (the Great Firewall”) tomorrow, “The Dragon’s Web” will be in a mess!

56minus1: As you’ve lived abroad and Mobinode.com occasionally covers other Asian markets, can you comment on how Chinese Internet culture differs from digital culture in the West and elsewhere in Asia (Japan / Korea, etc.), or other (developed) markets?

Gang Lu: Chinese netizens are very young and the Internet in this market is still not exactly mature yet. The Chinese Internet is very “entertainment-centric,” this is why is the hottest Web services right now in China are video, gaming, and social networking. A lot of people talk about “attention” mattering most for mature and modern “digital lifestyles / culture” to develop, but in China, A.D.D. and entertainment are king. Korea’s online games rule the world and Japan’s mobile industry is far ahead of us (China). Indian and Israeli entrepreneurs are playing very active roles in the global industry, and countries like Vietnam will be the next battle ground for Asian Internet giants as they expand their empires.

Photo courtesy of Mobinode.com

Read more about blogging and the Chinese bloggers on CDT.

December 2, 2008 12:16 AM
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