According to Chinese portal Sohu, fellow internet company Sina is developing a micro-blogging service similar to Twitter. The testing is occurring at t.sina.com.cn and includes about 500 users, mostly consisting of Sina employees. Like Twitter, users can publish short messages (the character count is unknown) and include pictures in their transmissions.
Tencent introduced a Twitter-like service called Taotao in late 2007 and, though growth has not even come close to that of Twitter’s, it has attracted an impressive 40 million users. Other similar, albeit much smaller, services in China include Fanfou and Digu.
As for Twitter taking it to the competition in China — where users represent a tiny portion of the company’s userbase worldwide? We wouldn’t expect any big moves anytime soon. Chinese users tend to be loyal to their own online services, and if China continues to ban Twitter around sensitive national events, it will be difficult to gain much traction there anyway.
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