September 10, 2008

Chief of MySpace China Quitting, Aide Confirms

By David Barboza

The chief executive of MySpace China, the social networking site, has resigned slightly more than a year after bringing the site to China.

A spokeswoman for MySpace China confirmed that the executive, Luo Chuan, planned to resign, but declined to comment on the reasons.

The departure of Luo, who was once a Microsoft China executive, is a setback for News Corp., which had licensed the MySpace brand name in China in an effort to expand its media and Internet presence. is a division of News Corp.

News Corp. announced in April 2007 that it had signed a deal to license in China. The company was hoping to avoid the mistakes encountered by other U.S.-based Internet companies, like Yahoo and eBay, that had ventured into China only to be outmaneuvered by Chinese Internet start-ups.

Earlier this year, China surpassed the United States as home to the world's largest Internet population, with more than 250 million users. But the market is largely dominated by Chinese Internet giants, like Alibaba, Baidu, Sina and Tencent.

MySpace China had tailored its operations to the China market, hoping to tap into a market dominated by young people who love to socialize on the Web.

The venture was initially financed by News Corp.; IDG VC, a unit of the Boston-based International Data Group; and China Broadband Capital Partners.

Originally published by The New York Times Media Group.

(c) 2008 International Herald Tribune. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.