Well, after what happened to RIM, Blackberry with the Redberry I should not be surprised that they copied Fon in China. The difference though for the 150 foneros we already have in China plus all the ones who are coming is that with Fon you share WiFi in China and you roam not just China but the whole world for free as Fon is already in 140 countries.
While I know that many Chinese do not yet have a chance to roam the world I also know that most dream of doing so, and Fon is a lifetime membership. With the growth that China is experiencing we will soon see Chinese massively cruising the globe. Secondly Fon has designed its own social router and we will introduce it in China in September. This router will come at a very attractive price because we are able to place an order for 1 million routers to be sold on a global basis. From what I saw in my last visit to China the Chinese are extremely price/quality sensitive and that´s why Fon wants to promote itself in China as a hardware product, a social router, rather than a download. So we are confident that Fon, the original Fon will succeed in China.
Still we are very impressed at how quickly they can copy us (I read the blog post but have not tested the service) and we are very aware that our partners at Google, eBay and Skype were beaten in China by local competitors who copied them and added better local marketing and we want to have a strategy that includes Chinese partners from the beginning. This is why we have teamed up with my good friend the entrepreneur Yat Siu of Outblaze who is putting together an outstanding team of Chinese partners and we have selected Accton as our key technology supplier.
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