Myspace China Cuts Staff as CEO Departs

By Andrew Litz January 10, 2011

An article on Yahoo News has reported that Myspace China cut approximately 30 employees last month and that its CEO has departed. The Myspace China employee who reported the staff cuts did not disclose how many employees remain, but a Chinese news report said that about two-thirds of the staff had left the office.

This development could indicate that the social networking service is pulling back from China’s Internet market.

The Chinese version of Myspace was launched in 2007. The site, which has positioned itself more as a social networking platform for music fans, has only been a minor player in China’s Internet scene, analysts say.

According to Wall Street Journal sources, Myspace, which is owned by News Corp., is planning a “dramatic downsizing of its business.” Reports say that Myspace has been preparing to reduce its total staff of 1,100 employees by 50 percent as the site struggles to compete with Facebook in terms of number of users. In October 2010, Myspace launched a new version of the site in an attempt to attract users.

In December 2010, rumors also surfaced in a Wall Street Journal blog that Myspace may soon to be up for sale. News Corp. COO Chase Carey said that the company was “open to all options for Myspace pending an overhaul of the struggling social-networking website.”

China is one of the world's largest Internet markets, with 450 million Web users, according to an official report, and almost half of those visit social networking sites, with the number of users increasing from 176 million in 2009 to an estimated 216 million in 2010, says Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. Because Myspace China focuses on music fans, the site has fewer users than other Chinese social networking sites, said an analyst with Analysys International, but even as a music site, it has yet to make a breakthrough in tapping user potential.

Myspace is not the only popular U.S.-based website that is struggling to make inroads in the Chinese market. Facebook and Twitter are both blocked in China, and Google has lost ground to China's Baidu search engine.

Andrew Litz brings more than 20 years of experience in publishing to his role as Web Editor at TMC, where he covers cloud computing, networking, and other related areas. Previously, Andrew served as a technical editor for a leading analyst firm providing research and advisory services to users of information technology, as well as providing editorial support to the IEEE, a global professional society in the areas of electrical engineering and electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Andrew Litz

TechZone360 Web Editor

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