Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2008

From xiaonei to hainei: The Quest for the Social Networking Service Market in China

by Joseph B. Lassiter III, Michael Shih-Ta Chen and Keith Chi-ho Wong

Abstract

Wang Xing, the founder of Hainei.com, one of the fastest growing social networking service (SNS) providers in China, was preparing to raise funds from venture capitalists. Since late 2003, Wang had established several Internet startups in China. Xiaonei.com, which he founded in December 2005, had been the most notable in China and around the globe for its resemblance in website design and marketing strategies to those of Facebook. The market landscape of SNSs in China had changed drastically since Wang founded Xiaonei.com, with domestic and local competitors flocking into the market. With all his experience and knowledge in the SNS market, Wang had to convince the potential investors that his new venture could warrant sustainable growth and profitable returns.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Venture Capital; Social and Collaborative Networks; Competition; Internet; China;

Citation:

Lassiter, Joseph B., III, Michael Shih-Ta Chen, and Keith Chi-ho Wong. "From xiaonei to hainei: The Quest for the Social Networking Service Market in China." Harvard Business School Case 808-164, June 2008.