Evernote, the company that helps you remember everything through personal notes and an archive of information, launched a separate service in China uniquely for the Chinese market under the name Yinxiang Biji.
The brand roughly translates to “memory notes” or “impression notes,” the company stated.
The new company is completely independent with a team centered in Beijing, with separate data centers in China only recently switched on. The previously existing service remains unaffected.
Evernote already existed in China with over a million users. The company explained in a blog post that the stand alone Chinese company was formed to resolve connectivity issues that Chinese users were experiencing.
“(China is) already our third largest country and at the current rate it’ll soon top Japan to move into second place. We’re really pleased with this, but, frankly, using Evernote in China hasn’t been a great experience,” blogged Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote.
“The most common request we get from our Chinese users is to make Evernote faster, more reliable and better integrated with the rest of the Chinese Internet. Due to poor network connectivity between the US and China, there’s only one way to definitively fix the problem: have a separate service in China. That’s what we built.”
The service will look exactly like its Evernote parent, but with Chinese characters. It will also include Chinese versions of the apps Hello and Skitch. Chinese users will be able to upload their old Evernote accounts to the new service. Chinese users can opt to remain on the international version.
The two sites will be developed together, with new updates pushed through both services.
Yet naturally in China, the new company will face government censorship. Though Evernote promised to maintain an integral security on the Yinxiang Biji service and not allow other corporations to view the data, it will comply with Chinese censorship laws.
“The laws and practices controlling data stored on servers in China are evolving rapidly and Yinxiang Biji will comply with Chinese regulations applicable to the service,” Libin blogged. “This means users of Yinxiang Biji should be aware that Chinese authorities may have the right to access their data according to current regulations.”
Plenty of web startups have tried the Chinese transition and failed. Evernote’s strategy of tackling the market with an independent offspring could be effective, though it will naturally be a struggle, as Libin openly acknowledged.
“In a perfect world, great companies with roots in Silicon Valley should be able to succeed in China and great companies with roots in Beijing should be able to succeed in San Francisco,” Libin blogged. “We don’t live in a perfect world, but through hard work, innovation, optimism and transparency, we think we can nudge it along a little.”