China has always tried to create a gated internet. An Internet produced by China and used by China. Language is the main reason why other factors like huge population have similar interests residing together. The Chinese population is also so huge (note that 36% of the world's population lives in China), sites that mimic the success of hugely successful global sites cater to a large group of people and thus become a hit here too.
Below are the Chinese versions of the world famous sites.
1. Google -> Baidu
Baidu was formed in 2000, two years after Google's launch. It was founded by Robin Li and Eric Xu. Robin Li was the son of factory workers in China who was extremely passionate about computer science in his teens. He is also currently the richest man in mainland China with a net worth of $ 12 billion. More people use baidu in China than Google (Baidu has a 76% search revenue share in China).
2. Facebook -> RenRen
RenRen was launched in 2005, exactly one year after Facebook was launched. RenRen has adopted an exactly similar layout and color theme for its site. It was such an imitation of Facebook that some people in China believed it had an official connection with Facebook. RenRen currently has 45 million active users in China and is listed on the nasdaq.
3. Twitter -> Weibo
Weibo was launched in 2009, a year after the launch of Twitter. It currently has 503 million users and a 30% share of Internet users. It has the same features as mentioning another user with @ and using hashtags. In 2013, giant Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba bought 18% of Weibo's equity for $ 586 million. Weibo has an alexa rank 17, while twitter has an alexa rank 9 worldwide.
4. Amazon -> Alibaba
Alibaba was launched in 1999 by Jack ma, an English graduate who doesn't know C coding until now. Jack ma built this company under his great vision and tenacity. Amazon is not competing with Alibaba. In the year 2013, its total revenue was $ 170 billion, which is more than double Amazon's revenue ($ 74 billion). Alibaba serves 350 million customers and employs over 24.000 workers in its company. Yahoo owns a 24% stake in this company.
5. Quora -> Zhihu
Zhihu was launched in 2011, one year after quora. Zhihu in Chinese means "you know". It has an alexa grade of 1475 while quora has an alexa grade of 434. The layout and features of this website are almost the same as quora and this adds to the list of other China imitation attempts.