Easily the biggest news of the year for Social Media in China is the just announced 430 million dollar investment by Oak Pacific Interactive for Xiaonei the Chinese Facebook. I posted just recently about China 2.0 over here, with inexpensive ways for brands to get involved with social media, but these guys have just thrown an incredible amount of money into this small start up despite a) the Social Media model is unproven in China b) a revenue model is yet to be harvested from that. This is the equivalent of Google's purchase of Youtube in 2006
Whether this proves a sound investment or not (and its hard to see why a way to make it work wont be found) this is another example of the shift from interruptive messaging of the traditional monologue model of advertising to the dialog model we are seeing all round the world. Advertising may not be broken in developing economies as Russell points out quite correctly, but as long as the shift of eyeballs to computer screens continues it's possible that the massive passive is diminishing a lot quicker than us Asian planners may have first anticipated.
For a comprehensive and authoritive analysis check out Kaiser Kuo's blog post on Ogilvy's Digital Watch.