14 China Internet insights About.com learned launching Abang.com
Jan 14, 2008
Photo from abang.com
These 14 China Internet insights were learned by About.com, which quietly started operating abang.com.cn late last year (more details on their business plan here).
Thank you to Wen-Wei Wang, a seven-year About.com veteran now working for the company in China and Matt Roberts, general manager for the site’s China operation.
1- Chinese don’t trust professional-looking sites
While US-users tend to trust a professionally put-together site, Chinese users have the opposite reaction and are highly skeptical. Chinese users presume that a professional-looking site was put together to promote a product or service. “Chinese have suffered from propaganda and soft content for so long that they are very savvy,” Roberts said. “Instead of believing what a professional site says, users in China prefer to ask a bulletin board to hear what anonymous users post in reply.”
2- Chinese like titles to be of the same length
While US website users don’t mind titles of different lengths on a page, Chinese users find it annoying to have a list of titles that do not run the same length. As a result, About.com requires all the titles to be the same length within a character or two. The major news portals face the same issue and as a result rewrite titles of news stories to fit the standard length of their homepage.
3- Chinese love images
While the US version of About.com limits images to one per page, Chinese very much like pictures. As a result, the Chinese version currently allows two images and may allow up to three. Anything over three photos and the site is designed to insert a page break. The fear is that too many images will slow down the page on China’s slow Internet connections.
4- Chinese love nutritional information on recipes
While the US version divides About.com recipes in to separate courses (Appetizer, main, dessert, etc), the Chinese version divides foods into the eight major regional cuisines of China. Reacting to consumer demand, About.com also introduced two sections unique to China: One on cooking pointers (Max temperature for certain oils, etc) and another for describing nutritional facts. Guides sometimes even divide the nutritional information into what Chinese medicine says the food offers and what western medicine says about the dishes’ ingredients.
5- Chinese like to comment after each article
While the US version of About.com has a separate section for comments, the Chinese version allows comments after every article. This could help About.com emphasize a bulletin board-like service, since bulletin boards are where Chinese users tend to interact most with each other in the Internet.
As for what can be learned from the users of abang.com.cn, Wen-Wei Wang offered these highlights:
2 – Dog fart guide
Our dog guide gives a very good tip on what to do if your dog farts a lot (the bad smell type of fart).
3- Electro Camping
Our Outdoor equipment guide introduce a safe way to bring electronic equipment while camping outdoors.
4- Meaty, but not meat.
Chuan Cai guide introduces a vegetarian dish that taste like meat, but nonetheless very healthy.
5 – Hot soup
Our soup guide has a good recipe for a tasty soup that is good for winter.
6 – Shanghai restaurant
Our Shanghai guide introduce the famous eatary street at WuJian Road (fashion food and fashion people)
7 – “When in Shanghai…”
Want to learn some Shanghainess so you won’t be treated as “XiangXiaRen”, our Shanghai guide gives some tips.
8 – Cheap shoes
Our lady shoes guide introduce on tips to buy cheap brand name shoes.
9 – Adult toy guide
Who says toys are only for kids, take look at these toys from our guides in Hobbies channel.