Rachel Lu

Romance of the Three Microblog Kingdoms

Rachel of Tea Leaf Nation is honored to be a guest columnist for TechRice,  a popular blog that offers sharp analysis of the China tech scene, from startups to internet giants and angels to IPOs. Here is a short excerpt from the article Romance of the Three Microblog Kingdoms brewed by Dragonwell. For the entire article, please see TechRice’s blog.

The reign of the Sina Dynasty may be on the wane in the realm of Chinese microblogs. Regional warlords have risen rapidly to take advantage of weaknesses on the fringes of Sina’s empire. To add to Sina’s troubles, upstarts are recruiting confused citizenry in guerrilla warfare and sleeping Titans may be starting to stir.

An Early Winner

In 2011, a well-circulated joke captured the competitive landscape in Chinese microblog-land in an imaginary conversation:

Sina: We have an early start; Tencent: I have 600 million QQ users.

Sina: We have more celebrities; Tencent: I have 600 million QQ users.

Sina: We have better quality; Tencent: I have 600 million QQ users.

Sina: We lead public opinion; Tencent: I have 600 million QQ users.

Sina: ….

Sohu: You guys keep talking, I am leaving now…

 Tencent’s QQ user base made it a credible me-too player, but Sina was the undisputed champion who spent 2011 pumping its muscles and building on a strong lead. Can anyone challenge Sina’s dominance in 2012? Please see more here.

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Rachel Lu

Rachel Lu is a co-founder of Tea Leaf Nation. Rachel traces her ancestry to Southern China. She spent much of her childhood memorizing Chinese poetry. After long stints in New York, New Haven and Cambridge, she has returned to China to bear witness to its great transformation. She is currently based in China.