Sina Weibo

When Robin Li, Baidu’s chief executive, gave an interview to the Financial Times in March, he made some enigmatic remarks, writes Kathrin Hille in Beijing.

Asked about what he intended to do to make sure Baidu, China’s largest online search engine, would not lose out in the rapid rise of the microblogs in China, he said: “Baidu is not in the social media business.” Read more

To outside observers of China, the country’s internet seems to be powered by copies of Western online services – Baidu is known in the West as ‘China’s Google’, Renren is ‘the Chinese Facebook’ and Sina Weibo is a ‘Chinese Twitter clone’, writes Kathrin Hille in Beijing.

But those using and watching the Chinese internet know that many of the web platforms in the country with the world’s largest online population have little in common with the Western pioneers they borrowed the initial idea from. Now, a solid piece of research shows just how little. Read more