SHANGHAI Aug 10 China's largest search engine
Baidu Inc said on Wednesday it will shut down its
Twitter-like microblogging platform, Shuoba, on Aug 22.
Kaiser Kuo, a Baidu spokesman, declined to give a reason for
the closure but industry experts chalked up Shuoba's stringent
real name verification features as the reason the service failed
to gain much traction with China's netizens.
Shuoba competes with Sina's highly popular
microblogging service Weibo which has over 140 million users.
"We have learnt quite a bit from it. It will be very useful
for the development of our other products," said Kuo.
Baidu, which launched Shuoba late last year, will continue
to develop social networking products, Kuo said.
The firm posted a notice on Shuoba's webiste (t.baidu.com)
on Monday saying that due to business adjustments, Shuoba was
shutting down and urged users to back up their personal data.
Although Twitter and Facebook are inaccessible in China,
Chinese Internet companies have filled the void with similar
microblogging and social networking products.
(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing Kazunori Takada)