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Chinas Twitter knockoff invades America

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first_imgSina Weibo, better known as the Chinese version of Twitter, is set to launch “very soon” in the United States.An anonymous Sina manager told Chinese tech news site Technode that an English language version would launch soon, but wouldn’t try to replace Twitter. Instead, the North American launch would focus more on the professional market and try to give “overseas companies” [that is, ones outside China] access to Chinese users.Twitter is blocked in mainland China by the Chinese government, just like Facebook. In their stead, internet companies owned by the Chinese government have stepped in with their own services. Sites like Weibo and Renren (a Facebook clone) copy both the features and the look-and-feel of their Western counterparts, but also allow government censors to step in and remove posts it doesn’t want to be viewable.In launching, Weibo will partner with two more Western social media services, FlipBoard and Instagram, and will carry them back to China. FlipBoard, an iPad magazine-like reading utility for links from social media, is currently blocked in China but will become available, according to the Sina manager. Instagram, a photo filtering and sharing tool, is already online and popular in China.Sina’s expansion into the United States is the latest in a chain of entries from Chinese companies. Tencent may be the most aggressive to date, with its large acquisition of League of Legends maker Riot Games earlier in 2011 and a partnership with Zynga to take its games to China.via  Technodelast_img read more