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Platform to be trendsetter


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IMAGE: LinkedIn Corp »

October.17.2014

Online career networking company LinkedIn Corp will be the much-needed catalyst that will speed up the development of China's professional social networking market, said analysts and insiders.

With more and more Chinese users using online platforms for social networking and interactions with friends, it is only a matter of time before demand for professional social networking systems like LinkedIn also goes up rapidly, says a recent report published by the Beijing-based Internet consultancy Analysys International. Though the agency does not give any specific figures about the size of this particular market in China, it goes on to say that the market will see "skyrocketing growth" this year.

Jing Xiaolei, an analyst with Analysys, said that most of the Chinese users are already familiar with online social networking systems, such as Tencent's WeChat and QQ, and use them for interacting with friends. However, most of them have now realized that there is a need to have separate platforms for social and professional networking.

A number of companies, such as Shanghai-based ushi.com, a networking system focusing on white-collar professionals, and tianji.com, a Chinese site that has been acquired by Paris-based Viadeo, Europe's largest business-oriented online social networking platform, have already put a lot of effort into developing the Chinese market.

"I think the market will be ready quite soon. It would be too late for LinkedIn to enter the Chinese market after it is fully developed. So it has made the right decision to be an early bird and to help in educating and nurturing the market," Jing said.

Jamie Huckabay, chief executive of ushi.com, said the market will benefit from LinkedIn's presence in China. "There are several opportunities in the market as more people are finding it important to network professionally and more companies are using such network systems as agencies to locate the right talent. With more players in the market, such as LinkedIn, we actually have more partners to move the industry in the right direction," Huckabay said.

Xiaofeng Wang, an analyst with Forrester Research, said that unlike other top social platforms such as Sina Weibo and WeChat, none of LinkedIn's local rivals like Tianji, Wealink and Ushi has a dominant position in professional social networking yet. Thus LinkedIn has a good opportunity to grow the market, he said.

"It already has the elite group of users in China. Multinational companies and English-speaking professionals in China have already been using LinkedIn for several years. They are the most valuable users and the trendsetters.

The biggest barrier for LinkedIn to grow beyond its niche in China was the language. Now that it (LinkedIn) has a Chinese name and local language service, it will certainly help expand the user base," she said.

Article Credit: Chinadaily

Updated 4 Years ago
 

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Tags:     LinkedIn Corp     Jing Xiaolei     ushi.com     Jamie Huckabay     Xiaofeng Wang

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