Chinese social network Xiaonei.com was bought out by Oak Pacific in October 2006 and even raised $430 million in May 2008. The name Xiaonei translated to “in campus” in the Chinese language. Essentially this limits people to believe that the social network is only limited to college and university students in China. The name Renren actually means “everyone” in Chinese.
Apparently the name change will open up the possibilities for “everyone” to join. Similar to Facebook, the service started only intended for college students but gradually opened up for everyone. Renren is taking the same approach.
Joe Chen of Oak Pacific decided upon the name change and is rumored to be merging the company’s other social networks under the Renren brand. The other social networks include MOP and Kaixin.com. Renren.com used to be a hot web property in 1999, but it went bankrupt in 2001. Then Joe Chen bought the domain name in 2005. Renren was made into a classifieds website in 2006, but then it was shut down again in 2007.