Picture of the day: Diandian v. Tumblr, another classic Chinese copycat in the Internet age

April 20, 2011Jing Gao2 Comments, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We can’t fail to notice how many similarities Chinese social network Renren.com and Facebook share. We also find Chinese Fanfou reminiscent of the old Twitter. But this February, Kai-fu Lee, former Google China president and now a chairman of a venture capital fund Innovative Works, bankrolled a Beijing-based startup DianDian.com with more than $1 million.

What is Diandian, you will know the moment you look at its interface that it is an unabashed clone of Tumblr.com. Even Chinese have begun to poke fun at Kai-fu Lee, who is as widely viewed in China as an icon as Steve Jobs is in the U.S., and how unoriginal this website is.

Although Kai-Fu Lee is not the only source of capital that DianDian has seized, people began making jokes of his name on Twitter. One joke says Kai-Fu is really the short for Kai-Shi-Fu-Zhi Lee, in which ‘Kai-Shi’ means ‘Start’ and ‘Fu-Zhi’ means ‘Copy’, and together his full name becomes Start-to-Copy Lee.

Someone built a website called Copy Works using a theme ripped off from Innovation Works’s homepage. The parody page is blanketed with sarcastic “statements” and “slogans” such as, “Micro-Copy,” “Copy: it changes everything,” “Cultivate talents of copying; realize the dream of copying,” “A scholar who copies is not a thief.”

(Pictures picked from jyorr.com)

Screenshot of copy-works, a theme ripped off from Innovation Works’s homepage

Interface of Renren.com (literally, everybody), a copycat of Facebook.

Chinese versions of Renren and Facebook Apps.


Interface of Fanfou, (literally, “Have you had your meal?” which, like weather in Western countries, is a very common and safe topic when Chinese meet or start a conversation), Chinese Twitter clone.


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2 comments to “Picture of the day: Diandian v. Tumblr, another classic Chinese copycat in the Internet age”

  1. Visitor | April 21, 2011 | Permalink Reply

    What can you expect from a generation of Chinese people who cannot think for themselves. The system does not allow or accept any kind of initiative, The powerful think free thought is dangerous or subversive.

  2. Popo | October 20, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Funny thing is though… Tumblr doesn’t make money in the US. Why copy a money losing company?

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