A Challenger for LinkedIn in China

Viadeo, a professional networking site operator aiming to compete with LinkedIn by dominating non-English speaking markets, is throwing its weight behind Chinese subsidiary Tianji despite regulatory challenges.

The Paris-based company’s CEO Dan Serfaty has moved to Beijing with plans to help Tianji establish a new subscription revenue model. The Chinese website currently earns the bulk of its revenue from recruiting tools, but is free to regular users. Globally, Viadeo earns 30 percent of revenue from recruiting, 20 percent from advertising, and 50 percent from subscription fees paid by users.

The company plans to explore various models, including small, incremental payments (like those online game and instant messaging operator Tencent charges users for virtual goods) and subscriptions. Viadeo will also soon be launching a platform for third-party applications on its website, which is expected to earn some revenue as well.

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