I spent the morning with Xiaoxin Chen, CFO of Oak Pacific Interactive, one of the largest interactive networks in China. Mindblowing discussion about the Internet in China, the explosion of wireless, file sharing, consumer willingness to buy online, Google, Baidu, and his hot company — one of the top ten in terms of traffic with 30 million visits per day and about 15 million registered visitors.
Mop.com — which translates into “cat rushing forward” — is primarily a site aimed at the younger market. This is a MySpace type of model for China. All Ajaxy and Web 2.0-ish but more.
You register and basically get your own place, your social network, your file sharing network, etc. This is where the two viral sensations of China — the guys in Yao Ming shirts lip synching (who have since been signed to corporate sponsorships) — got their start before they viralled over to Youtube.
Mop is a broadband network, and their TV site — itv.mop.com — is total video, from movie trailers to user uploaded content. The model is advertising based — I counted a dozen impressions on the home page, the design is crazed — and there is a premium model where users can buy more space, and services.
Chen, a Stanford MBA, is riding a tiger. An hour with him and you want to move to China and set up shop. This is Wild West stuff, volumes of users and ad dollars that no SOMA or Silicon Alley dot.com could have dreamed of in the late 90s. His partner, the founder, Joseph Chen, a Stanford classmate, sold his first company to Sohu, hung around for a while, left, went optical before that bubble burst, then got back into interactive media with ChinaInteractiveCorp — which is now Oak Pacific Interactive, a network which includes pcast, dudu.com, uume, and DoNews.
I need a month here. Too much to absorb in a week.