Oct 18, 2010

MOKO – a beautiful Chinese social network

Originally posted on The Peking Order.
The Peking Order is committed to seeking out exciting media phenomena in China, especially when those exciting media phenomena involve half-naked women. This week, Beij 3 features MOKO.cc – an extremely popular Chinese social network that appeals both to the narcissism of women in China and the lust of humans everywhere.

The premise is simple, just like Myspace or Facebook, members have a personal profile that allows them to list basic information and upload photos. So that members can be spotted and make network connections, they can be listed under various titles, i.e. Actor, Still Model, Car Show Girl, Producer, etc.
However, the reasons that MOKO looks so good are also the things that make it different from other social network sites:
1. There is a selective registration process. According to the site, only 10 percent of applicants get through the initial screening. What it is not mentioned are the criteria are used to choose members. Although it could be that the unlucky 90 percent did not fill out their form correctly, a quick look at member profiles (a “quick look” will be impossible for many) would suggest it has a lot to do with looks.
2. The site has an offline presence. MOKO has a number of successful partnerships with magazines like Maxim and FHM, as well as Beijing nightspots, like LAN Club, which hosts regular MOKO parties.
3. MOKO makes photos look good. Once a member, people can apply to be a MOKO Top Girl (or a MOKO Top Man). Once accepted, members are invited for an interview and a photo shoot, all free of charge. The photos taken at the shoot are the photos you see all over the site. If you wonder why the some of the girls look too good to be true, they probably are – MOKO boasts that it photoshops the photos, also free of charge.
4. There is a voting system. The votes of unregistered viewers are worth one point, the votes of members are worth five. Meet Zhang Yinghan, who currently leads the MOKO Top Girl ranking with 164,802 votes: