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It didn't take long for the Pinterest craze to reach China. Internet users behind the Great Firewall of China have already created Pinterest clones, like the Facebook and Twitter clones that came before, Renren and Sina Weibo.
About 20 Chinese Pinterest clones have already popped up, according to the BBC. The biggest change between the original Pinterest and its Chinese counterparts is that many of the Chinese iterations are more closely intertwined with ecommerce.
The prominence of retail in these new sites in China, home to the world's largest online population, has the potential to greatly benefit the nation's economy, FreshNetworks social strategist Hamid Sirhan told the BBC.
"While Pinterest has faced criticism for surreptitiously inserting paid-for content, Chinese entrepreneurs seem much more prepared to link some of these networks to commerce," Sirhan says.
One such clone with ecommerce at its core is the Alibaba Group's social shopping platform Fa Xian, which is already receiving 60,000 visitors each day, despite only launching in a preliminary mode four weeks ago. In addition to "pinning" and commenting features, Fa Xian boasts the ability to sell every item on the site through two online retailers, Taobao Mall and Taobao Marketplace.
Two other popular Chinese Pinterest knock-offs, Mogujie and Meilishuo, only let users pin products from the country's largest online retailer, Taobao.
Not all of the Chinese clones have retail in their DNA. Like Pinterest, Qihu 360′s, Woxihuan, Huaban and iCaitu.com allow pinning from across the web and don't directly tie into ecommerce sites.
Do you think the prominence of retail in the Chinese Pinterest clones is better than the original Pinterest's strategy? Let us know in the comments which you prefer.
BONUS: 7 Pinterest Clones: Can You Tell the Difference?
Self-description: "You can plan your wedding, interior design, and recipes using your collection.
Rip-off factor: 10. Pinspire and Pinterest are pretty much indistinguishable.
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