The Finnish-Chinese global web service Xiha Life - intends to challenge other popular online communities such as Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace. Xiha Life's strength over other similar online services is its multilingualism, bridging the gap between users of different nationalities. Xiha Life is promoted as "the world's first truly multilingual social network". Jani Penttinen, the founder of Xiha Life Ltd. believes that by the end of the year the online community will have a total of 15 million members.
'Xiha' means happy or joyful in Mandarin and Penttinen has plenty of good reasons to be happy. Xiha Life -online community has over 1,5 million visitors a month and the number is increasing monthly by 20 per cent.
Xiha Life was started when Jani Penttinen and his Chinese wife Wen Sun noticed that there were no multilingual online communities, even though there was a clear need for such a service.
- Large international online communities are usually based on English as the main language, although not everyone masters it. We are attempting to create a multilingual online community, where people can communicate with each other in different languages, clarifies Penttinen.
One third of the members are from Asia, another from the Americas and the rest from Europe and Near East.
In April 2009 the company was listed on the respected Red Herring 100 Europe-list.
The company has received an investment from a private Chinese capital investor. The company also plans to increases its number of personnel - the current ten employees will soon have new colleagues, totaling to 25-30 employees.
The profit making logic of Xiha is based on products and services, which are sold on the company's website. For instance the sale of computer games and hotel reservations generate reasonable proceedings. In the near future Xiha will also offer language courses.
Although Xiha has transferred its head office to Zürich, Switzerland, product development will continue taking place in Finland.