Former CEO of Yahoo! China Launching An Asian Facebook Competitor/Replica Called Yiqi

Posted Mar 18, 2008

Xie Wen resigned as the Yahoo! China CEO in 2006. Xie was only on the board for 6 weeks total. Zeng Ming, a Senior VP of Alibaba at the time stepped up as CEO to replace Xie. Xie remained as a consultant of Yahoo! China for a while after. But now Xie has stepped back into a role where he will be overseeing a web company. However, his new startup is a copy of an already proven model. Xie has started a company called Yiqi, which is a replica of Facebook.

This is not the first time that a big shot in China has embraced Facebook. Last November, Li Ka-Shing, a billionaire in Hong Kong invested $60 million into Facebook. Li Ka-shing is the chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa Limited.

Facebook has been replicated several times before too. StudiVZ, a German clone of Facebook was acquired for â?¬100 million in January 2007. And in October 2006, Oak Pacific acquired Xiaonei, another Chinese version of Facebook.

Yiqi will be powered by Tanjian-based data mining company, Hylanda. Because the marketplace is already saturated of Facebook replicas, Yiqi probably won’t take off. They will also have to compete with MySpace China, a News Corp. subsidiary that recently partnered with Youku, a video-sharing site similar to YouTube but with a core focus on Chinese entertainment. In other words, it’ll be an uphill battle for Yiqi.