: China's Top Four Internet Industry Stories For 2004
"1. China Mobile Flexes Its Muscle
Investors should also have a very clear understanding that the portals like Tom.com, Netease.com, and Sina.com do not make a truly impressive amount of money off their relationships with China Mobile. I warned two years ago, and again earlier this year, that receivable cycles were tortuously long in the China telecommunications sphere. And sure enough, last year and again this year we saw many times where the portals issued guidance that they were having problems collecting from their daddy.
2. No Bubble-Bursting
One big story of the year is what didn’t happen: with the big run-up in share prices of Chinese listed stocks such as Sohu, Sina and Netease in post-SARS 2003, many thought the stocks were due for a big correction, a big bursting of the bubble. The surprise: it did not happen. While share prices of most Chinese tech companies hover far below their all-time highs, the share prices remain at lofty levels. Mary Meeker should be proud.
3. The American Occupation
This was the year when the large American online players began to make their move on the Chinese Internet sites. There was Amazon buying a stake in Joyo.com, one of China’s leading online booksellers. Barry Diller’s IAC took a controlling stake in eLong, a top Chinese online travel site. Yahoo and Google moved in on Chinese search and auction sites.
4. Technology Rules and Regulations
No central government can operate without rules. The scope of laws governing business practices increased in China this year and we saw rules about Internet cafes, laws governing media joint ventures, jail for online editors, edicts to halt the spread of spam, and online pornography crackdowns. " Read more