How you wondered why the Silicon Valley can conquer Lagos and Bangalore and cannot do the same in Being, for social media? We mean, Facebook becomes a behemoth in these local markets and no one can compete locally? Youtube rules in all English speaking countries? Why you cannot seem to get away from Google?
The reason is simple: language. With China’s indigenous language, you cannot scale an idea from Silicon Valley without making heavy adjustments. You need to act local and that is not easy. By the time you move guys from Silicon Valley to Being to figure it out, a local guy has done it.
While Google rules the English speaking world, it gets into trouble completing with Baidu. Youtube rules all of us, but Youku challenges it in China. When the boys in Lagos cannot profitably clone Twitter in Lagos, Chinese Twitter clones are doing just well.
Do not be surprised. In China, language has been the greatest differentiator in the social media business. Why? Because they speak and use that language. Unlike in Nigeria where the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba are used mainly in the informal settings, Chinese/Mandarin is the engine that drives all aspects of their programs.