Western tech companies often make wrong assumptions about what Chinese internet users want, tells Baidu´s director of communication Kaiser Kuo in the Korea JoongAng Daily. “They are not as fragmented as the US users.”
The Korea JoongAng Daily:
A. In the West, especially in the tech industry, there is little understanding of how specific cultural and linguistic spheres have a tremendous hold on the ways people use the Internet. One of the aspects I find very interesting is that even though there is a huge number of net users [in China], they are not as fragmented as U.S. users. When there is an interesting post on news or some kind of Internet persona emerging, people all start talking about it. No matter where you are, it reverberates very quickly. So two days after major posts, many Chinese already have read the same post through different media channels. There is a very dense weave of social media.
Q. Korean net users also are known for favoring homegrown portal sites. What do you make of Koreans’ use of the Internet?
A.I think Korea has something in common with China, because the Chinese also developed a quirky and idiosyncratic way of using the Internet. Koreans also rarely go to search engines created by other countries. I think the personalities of these two countries are very similar in this regard. Korea’s popular websites have different designs and settings than American websites.
Q.What other kind of technology has attracted the Chinese, and how do they use it?
A.Recently, a mobile instant messenger took off in China. People often use group messaging in China, but it often causes some trouble between people, because you don’t know somebody has invited someone. I am not a heavy user of the instant messenger. But I think people use mobile instant messenger specifically because it offers more privacy control than a microblog. Also, it is not heavily commercialized. We saw people move away from Weibo, a popular microblog site [because of the commercial issue].
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