MySpace set to launch … everywhere

MySpace is almost ready to launch local versions of its site in Canada and Mexico, with South Korean and Chinese versions soon to follow. MySpace, the world’s largest online social networking site, encompasses 90 million unique users, 400 employees worldwide (double what it was six months ago), and nine national sites, with eleven new local sites ...

604458_myspace_logo_05.gif
604458_myspace_logo_05.gif

MySpace is almost ready to launch local versions of its site in Canada and Mexico, with South Korean and Chinese versions soon to follow. MySpace, the world's largest online social networking site, encompasses 90 million unique users, 400 employees worldwide (double what it was six months ago), and nine national sites, with eleven new local sites launched six months earlier than expected. It's now overtaken yahoo.com as the most viewed site in the United States.

Since MySpace was bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation for $580 million in 2005, it has continued to grow by leaps and bounds, but its dramatic expansion has not come without a few hitches. Murdoch, with the help of his wife Wendi Deng, has been aggressively working on getting the site up and running in China. Because of strict foreign media laws (and restrictions on the free exchange of information—which have also burdened Google), MySpace China is likely to have local partners that would own 50 percent of the site, ensuring, as Murdoch carefully puts it, that MySpace is "a very Chinese site."

Launching MySpace in China adds a layer of complexity to the already-complex challenge of running a cacophonous, user-generated behemoth. In the past, the site has been hit with negligence lawsuits for failing to provide adequate child safety protections, and one of MySpace's founders, Brad Greenspan, even added his voice (and lawyer) to accusations of censorship and anti-competitive practices. Rupert Murdoch's headaches are bound to proliferate as MySpace adds millions of new users around the globe.

MySpace is almost ready to launch local versions of its site in Canada and Mexico, with South Korean and Chinese versions soon to follow. MySpace, the world’s largest online social networking site, encompasses 90 million unique users, 400 employees worldwide (double what it was six months ago), and nine national sites, with eleven new local sites launched six months earlier than expected. It’s now overtaken yahoo.com as the most viewed site in the United States.

Since MySpace was bought by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation for $580 million in 2005, it has continued to grow by leaps and bounds, but its dramatic expansion has not come without a few hitches. Murdoch, with the help of his wife Wendi Deng, has been aggressively working on getting the site up and running in China. Because of strict foreign media laws (and restrictions on the free exchange of information—which have also burdened Google), MySpace China is likely to have local partners that would own 50 percent of the site, ensuring, as Murdoch carefully puts it, that MySpace is “a very Chinese site.”

Launching MySpace in China adds a layer of complexity to the already-complex challenge of running a cacophonous, user-generated behemoth. In the past, the site has been hit with negligence lawsuits for failing to provide adequate child safety protections, and one of MySpace’s founders, Brad Greenspan, even added his voice (and lawyer) to accusations of censorship and anti-competitive practices. Rupert Murdoch’s headaches are bound to proliferate as MySpace adds millions of new users around the globe.

Prerna Mankad is a researcher at Foreign Policy.

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