Among the swarm of Pinterest clones in China in recent months, the largest independent/startup one is Mogujie with six million registered users. Its CEO and founder, Chen Qi, has hinted at a big development for his site in a recent tweet on his Weibo  account. He says that Mogujie will tie-up with eTao, the product search engine run by e-commerce giant Alibaba, for what promises to be an interesting social commerce venture.
Chen’s teaser (pictured below) says, in my rough translation:
Excitedly, I can reveal a new product that’s being developed, which is an open-platform shopping guide service, a deep collaboration between eTao and Mogujie. The two teams together have been secretly developing this for three months, and it’ll soon launch.
Having independently checked the rumor with another source, we can say that this seems very likely to happen just as Mr. Chen hints. Well, he did give a pretty massive hint. Since eTao is an industry-wide product search engine, this’ll likely cover other sites such as Dangdang (NYSE:DANG) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) China – though not the dissenting 360Buy or Suning – and not just the company’s own Taobao and Tmall. The Mogujie and eTao tie-up, in whatever form it ultimately takes, could possibly turn out to be the most profitable and trafficked implementation of a social pinboard – i.e. Pinterest-like – site we’ve ever seen.
The original Pinterest itself is proving effective as a great traffic driver; and in China, Renren’s own clone, called Plaza, is filled with links to users’ Taobao shops and other online stores. And so it makes sense that Alibaba would want to get involved more directly in a social medium that seems popular with women and can be a powerful tool for steering these women to e-commerce sites. We’ll update if we hear any more info.
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