Mixi Inc., owner of Japan's largest social networking service, expects to fend off Facebook Inc. because its website is better suited to domestic users and personal data are more secure, President Kenji Kasahara said recently.
"Facebook's service emphasizes connection to users overseas, stresses openness over privacy and doesn't reflect regional characteristics," Kasahara, 35, whose stake in the company is worth almost $500 million, said in a recent interview in Tokyo. "Our users value a social space that is like a living room — private, comfortable and personal."
Mixi, whose shares have tumbled 39 percent this year, is adding games and expanding into smart phones to revive earnings after profits fell for three of the past four quarters. Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in July his company is focusing on expansion in Japan and Russia this year, increasing the pressure on the Japanese company to introduce new features to protect its lead.