Kaiser Kuo and Andrew Lih on China’s unique Internet trends
Oct 14, 2007
Two prominent experts on China’s digital development tell what is unique, new and different in China’s Internet.
TREND: Hyper-speed peer-to-peer networks
High speed P2P has arisen in part due to China’s lax regulatory environment (read: high level of piracy) and, according to Kaiser, they outstrip Bittorrent by a country mile.
Kaiser puts their speed at 50 times that of Bittorrent and said they also have an amazing ability to grab bandwidth.
The protocols are so fast that people use them to watch videos in real time rather than download full films.
In a test with his wife, Kaiser said that within minutes of starting to install the client software, she began watching a DVD-quality film in real time that was never paused once due to slow downloading.
TREND: Chinese-built browser
Pitching Maxthon as the first Chinese web company to have a global footprint, Kaiser said the browser had a tabbed form before Firefox and continues to innovate the browsing experience.
TREND: Flexible media player
A media player that can play in “every format known to man”.
TREND: Video sharing websites
Unlike the US, where YouTube dominates, there is a hotly contested three-way race in China between these sites. Click on them to see how they are experimenting with advertising.
For Andrew Lih, author of the upcoming book The Wikipedia Story, China’s gaming world offers something very unique and different.
While games formerly came into China, there is now a new generation of Chinese games created by Chinese, for the Chinese market.
One of these, run by Zen Tou Networks (spelling?), has a system feature that runs counter to gaming culture in the US and Europe. Instead of starting at a level playing field and earning your special powers and levels, players can simply buy their way up the game.
Since credit cards are still nascent in China, people buy cards in malls and newsstands to pay for armor and special powers on this wildly popular game.
Sounds like virtual raw capitalism is running strong in the PRC!