Pinterest Chinese Style – Wantu Arrives on the Market
In the long standing tradition of China’s finest media companies, copying creative ideas from the West and executing them for the Chinese market – Taobao has now launched the latest in a succession of Chinese Pinterest clones, Wantu. The name apparently, means “mischievous rabbit” which is almost certainly because the rabbit stole the idea pretty much in its entirety.
Of course given the instant proliferation of these copies, it’s anyone’s guess as to which company will finally control the market. So Alibaba are hedging their bets and continuing their cooperation with the indie Pinterest clone Mogujie. That doesn’t mean anything significant as in China, historically it’s possible for multiple clones to succeed in gaining some traction – after all with over half a billion net users it’s a fair bet that some of them would prefer to choose an alternative.
The basic premise is all the same, users find web content that they like and then “pin” it so that they can share it with friends and other users. The idea is that content curation (which is what this activity is), will enable peers (and potentially prospective clients) to identify the experts in a particular field and engage with them. In practice this has worked very well in the United States with young tech-savvy women. It will be interesting to see how China’s demographic differs (or if it does).
Finally, if it’s always about the shopping for you the “Discover” Pinterest clone (from eTao) furnishes you with plenty of opportunities to buy the things you like. It’s also firmly targeted at the female audience with which Pinterest has had so much success. Let the Pin wars commence.