By Guest Writer Gang Lu
FeedSky is the largest Chinese feed management provider and has just launched its Beta 3. CEO Xinxin Lv described it to me as "mainly a UI update with some performance enhancement".
The web2.0 market is still quite young in China, but its concepts are rapidly spreading throughout the country. The China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC) reported that by August 2006, the number of bloggers had reached approx. 17.485 million and 33.747 million blog spaces had been registered. FeedSky's main competitor, worldwide RSS service provider Feedburner, reported in its Fast Facts and Stats that it has a total of 506,278 feeds registered. But the Beijing-based FeedSky, launched in July 2005, has just announced a company milestone - 1.5 million feeds have been registered and it has partnerships with over 30 BSPs (Blog Service Provider) and 40 media companies from mainland China, Hongkong and Taiwan. Feedsky has become the dominant service provider in the Chinese market and is probably going to be the largest feed management provider in the world.
The Beta 3 version introduced an interesting WAP service, which allows users to read registered feeds on a mobile handset. "The UI update is a sign of our next round growing up", Xinxin said - also noting that "a few killer services will be launched very soon". The next version is in private testing currently. It is a major update and some social networking elements have been integrated - e.g. users with the same interests can join a group and the feeds managed by a user can be shared with others. Xinxin didn't reveal further details to me, but I am really looking forward to this upgrade.
Feedsky just closed its first round of venture funding. It is definitely one of the key contacts, if someone wants to get into the Chinese blog market. Blog-based services such as Google Blog Search are expected to play a much more important role in the Chinese Internet Content market in 2007, so I will not be surprised if there is a connection between Feedsky and these services - particularly those from the western world.