The most popular Chinese websites

Chinese internet population is estimated to be 420 million. Compared with other countries it is much more controlled by the government and there is even Internet Police in China.

Only 1 of 10 people in China use Google. More than 80% of search is done by Baidu. Company which has more than 6 thousand employees was founded in 2000 by Robin Li, who is at the top of Chinese billionaires list.

Facebook is blocked by The Great Firewall of China so social network market is ruled by local companies. Renren which has 160 million users and Kaixin with 100 million users are both expected to do IPO in 2011. Despite being blocked in China Facebook gains more Chinese users mostly among 440 thousand Chinese students who study abroad, mostly in USA, UK and Australia.

Also YouTube is not popular among censors and is on the blacklist of Chinese firewall. Therefore space for local copies is widely open and the most popular are Youku (already listed at NYSE) and Tudou which is preparing for IPO in cooperation with Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.

Microblogging is very popular among Chinese with more than 120 million users who use local services because Twitter is blocked in China. The most popular microblog is Sina Weibo, the 3rd largest internet company by capitalization Tencent also created its Tencent Weibo in 2010.

Chinese also love online shopping. The most popular retail website Taobao is owned by Alibaba group, founder of B2B website Alibaba.

Skype and MSN are used by some Chinese but instant messaging is also ruled by locals. QQ is operated by Chinese largest internet company Tencent. The number of simultaneous online QQ accounts exceeds 100 million and more than 640 million QQ accounts are active.

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