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Mail.ru Group launches social network and online games in Asia

Russia’s second most popular social network, Odnoklassniki.ru (Russian for “Classmates”), owned by Mail.Ru Group, has expanded to China, Iran, Iraq and Macao, Izvestia reported last week

Oct 05, 2016
On August 31, the network’s new Android app was launched under the OK.RU brand in these countries, the Russian newspaper learned from unnamed sources close to the company.

When contacted by Izvestia, the company declined to comment on this information.

The promotion of the new application started earlier this month. It is restricted to local users, with no possibility to download it from Russia. The app functions as a social network, allowing its users to chat, make calls, comment on and "like" their friends’ photos, watch videos, listen to the music, play games, upload and edit photos, become a member of a group and track its updates, show their location and share gifts.

According to stats from LiveInternet cited by Izvestia, OK.RU currently attracts 43 million users every day, including 61% from Russia, 10,8% from Ukraine and 4% from Belarus.

At present, Odnoklassniki has versions in English, Romanian, Moldavian, Georgian, Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Ukrainian, Armenian, Kazakh and Turkish languages. In 2013, Odnoklassniki announced a Tajik version, but it is not available now.

Russo-Chinese gaming friendship

Another initiative in China was announced by Mail.Ru Group earlier this month. The group inked an agreement with a Chinese IT and game technopark in Hainan, an island province in Southern China, as reported by Izvestiya.

The parties will collaborate on developing the competences of Russian game companies on the Chinese market, securing favorable conditions for expanding the market of Russian game products in China, and on measures to attract Western and Asian partners in order to establish a global union in the gaming industry, according to the company’s official press release.

"Currently, Europe and the USA the key regions for the expansion of our game business. However, since the Chinese mobile games market has a huge potential, we intend to study it thoroughly and improve our expertise through cooperation with local partners at all levels, from developers to public institutions," commented Mail.Ru Group’s deputy director for games Ilya Karpinsky.

Listed on the London stock Exchange, Mail.ru Group is a leading Internet group, which operates in Russia and internationally.

The company claims to be the leader in the Eastern European online entertainment market, and the largest domestic developer of mobile and massively multiplayer online games.

These incluse Chinese projects such as Perfect World, a popular Chinese MMO, and a new online project called Revelation created by China’s largest game developer NetEase. Widely acclaimed on the Chinese market, the project will be launched in Russia soon.