Posted by Sara Zucker on January 29, 2010 03:10 PM
China, a country known for counterfeiting, has graduated to imitating the Internet.
When Google threatened and then left China after tensions rose over censorship and hacking issues, the still-Communist nation took matters into its own hands with Goojje.com. YouTube, the Google-owned video site also blocked in China, was recreated as YouTubecn.com.
Google, known for taking a passive stance, had little to say about its unofficial brand extension. "The only comment I can give you right now is just to confirm that we’re not affiliated," responded Jessica Powell, a spokeswoman for the site.
Throughout the last decade, China's counterfeit industry has flourished by profiting from illegal copies of everything from designer purses and blockbuster films to electronics and software. But will a knock-off website produce the same amount of success?
A fake Fendi handbag or cheap Rolex are simply cheap replications of fashion statements and demonstrations of wealth. But a website must actually be functional. China's YouTube rip-off reportedly lacks the pizzazz of the original and apparently the site's videos are slow, if they play at all. YouTubecn also does not support embedded tags. Goojjee, on the other hand, does not feature paid-search ads, and most search results appear to come directly from Google. Oh, the irony.
YouTubecn allows videos depicting China's political turmoil, which YouTube was banned from doing last year after posting clips related to conflicts in Tibet.
Founder of YouTubecn, Li Senhe, explained, "I did this as a public service."
Of course he did. Unless he's faking it.