Alibaba enters social network arena

Chinese e-commerce giant launches new social networking site called "Laiwang" in beta and aims to attract not just its existing subscribers but global users too, reports note.

Alibaba has launched a social networking site and will be available on Google Android and Apple iPhone mobile platforms, according to reports.

Reuters reported last Friday that the social networking site is called "Laiwang" and is available on PC and downloadable on Google's Android-based smartphones as well as Apple's iPhone. An Alibaba spokesperson, Dora Chai, also told Reuters that the site is currently under "beta testing" but declined to give more details. On the site, it stated that the service is available for Android users but not for iPhone users, yet.

According to a separate report by Chinese state media Xinhua on the same day, the site is not only for Alibaba's existing users but for the global Web population.

If successfully launched, Alibaba's Laiwang service will compete with Chinese social media companies such as social network operator Renren.com and microblogging site Sina Weibo for users in the world's most populous country.

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