Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Challenging Alibaba, Global Sources Buys Stake in Rival

From International Herald Tribune:

"Global Sources, a Nasdaq- listed company that matches buyers and sellers online, has purchased 10 percent of a Chinese rival - a move that will allow it to challenge's dominance of the nation's e-commerce market.

Global Sources bought 478 million outstanding shares of HC International for 76.9 million Hong Kong dollars, or $9.91 million, on Friday, the company said."

Yahoo-eBay War Rages in China

From Red Herring:

"A study released earlier this month by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) confirms Taobao’s claims to market dominance in China. The study, based on telephone and online surveys of buyers and sellers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, estimates Taobao’s market share at 67.3 percent compared with eBay’s 29.1 percent.

The remaining 3.6 percent goes to PaiPai, a relatively new entrant, which is operated by China’s leading instant messaging provider, Tencent. Market share was calculated based on total reported purchases across China’s three leading auction sites, but didn’t take transaction value into account."

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Monday, May 29, 2006

What Yahoo, eBay Deal Means for China

From Marketwatch:
By Sage Brennan

Current situation:
Yahoo and eBay announced last week that they will join forces over ads and online payments
Yahoo owns 40% of Alibaba.
Alibaba controls all Yahoo business in China.
Alibaba's "Taobao" C2C auction site and eBay are fierce rivals in China.

"I see two potential outcomes:

Capitulation: The Yahoo-eBay partnership gains steam and leads to further cooperation in the U.S., at which point eBay's China team will realize a face-saving way to throw in the towel and merge eBay China into Alibaba, like Yahoo did last year. As Alibaba's Erisman says, "This deal will not change things in China any time soon, unless eBay wants to just give up, which would be fine with us."

Rescue: When eBay China starts to bleed profusely (which has not yet happened, but seems inevitable, given the current situation), senior eBay management will finally set their reservations aside and allow the China unit to merge with a strong partner. EBay is rumored to be talking to Tencent, Tom Online and others."

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Worst Music Videos of all Time (Hilarious!)

The Worst Music Videos of all Time

Have a good weekend everyone.

Overview Of China's Digital Music Market

From Wharton School University of Pennsylvania (via billsdue):

"The market for traditional distribution of music and music videos was once 40 billion yuan in sales a year, and legal copies accounted for only 5% of that amount," says Song Ke, Taihe Rye's founder and president. "That market has shrunk to several billion yuan a year because of piracies and the rise of Internet music. China's online music market has grown to between 10 billion and 20 billion yuan, and less than 1% of that is legal."

VCs Continue Red Hot Investment in China's Web 2.0

From ChinaVentureNews:

"Web 2.0 is still the investment rage in China. Chinese podcast startup, has received $8.5 million Series B financing round co-led by Granite Global Ventures and JAFCO Asia. IDG Technology Ventures, which led the Series A, also participated."

China Net Investor: Toodou claims to be among China's leading Audio/Video Sharing Sites (similar to

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Microsoft and Look to Team up

From AsiaMedia:

"Microsoft Corp was exploring a deal with to integrate its MSN Messenger service into the mainland portal, sources said yesterday.

The news comes after Microsoft this week announced plans to form an alliance with's sister company, CDC Software, to jointly market CDC's products on the mainland.
Both CDC Software and are subsidiaries of Nasdaq-listed CDC Corp.

A potential hook-up with portal marks the latest attempt by Microsoft to establish itself in the mainland instant messaging market.
MSN accounts for just over 14 per cent of the market, which is dominated by Tencent Holdings' QQ service with about 77 per cent, according to internet research firm IResearch."

France Telecom Joins China's Home-Grown 3G Standard Alliance

From Forbes:

"France Telecom, Europe's second largest mobile telecom operator, has joined an industry alliance promoting China's home-grown third generation (3G) mobile technology standard TD-SCDMA, making it the first foreign telecom operator to join the group, the official Xinhua news agency reported."

China's Rising Entrepreneurs

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

"Some of China's most successful entrepreneurs earned their 10-figure fortunes by betting on internet technologies. For Ding, that meant massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs. These allow thousands of users to interact by assuming character roles, acquiring weapons and sometimes killing each other.

The games are so popular with teenagers that and other companies have agreed to limit the time players can stay on line by cutting the number of points they can earn after three hours. More than 1.5 million people play Ding's most popular game, Fantasy Westward Journey, which is based on the myth of a Chinese monkey king.

Credit Suisse has estimated the value of China's online gaming market would soar 39 per cent this year to $US886 million and could soon reach $US3 billion. The number of online game players will double to 80 million in 2010 from 40 million this year, according to Shanghai internet research firm iResearch."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Shanda Deal Expands Disney in China

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"An online game featuring popular Disney characters will be launched in China next year, under an agreement between the US media giant and a local games company.

Disney and local partner Shanda Interactive Entertainment said that the game is designed to appeal to a broader audience than existing online games, such as female gamers.
Shanda will develop, distribute and operate an "online casual game based on the magical worlds of Disney and featuring some of Disney's most popular animated characters"."

Microsoft, Lenovo, Introduce 'Pay As You Go' Computer

From TMCnet:

"Microsoft Corp. and Chinese-based computer manufacturer Lenovo have decided to kick off market trials for pay-as-you-go purchases of computers in China and India, reports AFP.

Thanks to pay-as-you-go purchases, buyers will be able to purchase Lenovo PC for almost half its retail price. Not only that they will be able to pay off the balance over time as well. For that they will have to purchase pre-paid cards from Lenovo.

Users will get a chance to purchase a predetermined number of usage hours. Once the balance for the computer is paid, they won’t have to purchase the pre-paid cards any more."

Lenovo Posts Loss on Costs From IBM PC Unit Purchase

From Bloomberg:

"Lenovo Group Ltd., China's largest personal-computer maker, reported a worse-than-expected fourth- quarter loss because of costs for cutting jobs after buying International Business Machines (IBM) Corp.'s PC business.
Net loss for the three months ended March 31 was HK$903 million ($116 million), compared with a profit of HK$166 million a year earlier, the Purchase, New York-based company said in an e-mailed statement. Lenovo said it had a one-time cost of HK$543 million for cutting jobs and relocating offices."

" "The IBM purchase might not have been worth the money,'' said Francis Lun, general manager of Fulbright Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong. "The problem is much deeper than we thought.'' "

China Mobile Close to Biggest Overseas Acquisition Ever by a Chinese Company

From Financial Times:

"China Mobile is close to buying Millicom International Cellular, the mobile phone operator focused on emerging markets, for about $5bn, people familiar with the situation said yesterday.

A purchase of Millicom, which has more than 8m subscribers in 16 countries, would be the biggest overseas acquisition ever by a Chinese company.

China Mobile would pay $48 for each of Millicom's shares in cash, which would value the Luxembourg-based company at about $5bn, according to people familiar with the situation."

China Net Investor: China Mobile is the world’s biggest mobile operator by subscribers

India, China to Drive IT Spending Till 2010

From ZDNet India:

"Buoyed by increased demand in China and India, IT spending in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, will grow by 52 percent to reach US$162.5 billion by 2010, says IDC."

"This year, IDC expects IT spending in the Asia-Pacific region to grow at 8.9 percent to hit US$116.7 billion. China alone, will account for 41 percent of all 2006 incremental growths, with India making up 24 percent.

During a Web conference held for journalists, Gary Koch, IDC Asia-Pacific's associate vice president of vertical research, said: "Over the next five years, [IT markets in] China and India will continue to grow in importance."

IPTV in China Still Faces Significant Barriers

From interfax China:

"China's IPTV market, despite huge potential, is still facing a number of issues on policy, business operation, and technology, Tang Xiongyan, deputy head of China Netcom's research academy, said Tuesday.

"IPTV is still at an early stage of market exploration and more patience is required," Tang said at the 2006 China Broadband Triple Play/IPTV Forum in Beijing."

Baidu Planning to Expand Internationally?

From Pacific Epoch:

"Chinese search engine (Nasdaq: BIDU) announced on May 22 that it is recruiting engineers competent in Japanese and Vietnamese, Sina reports. Baidu has previously recruited Korean engineers. Baidu public relations director Wang Dong said that this recruitment is only so that Baidu can research foreign markets and that the company will not launch foreign language search websites in the near future."

From Chinabyte (via China Tech Stories):

"Yesterday, Baidu announced a new hiring plan to search for search talents with Japanese and Vietnamese skills. The reporters have found that Baidu had already hired several engineers with Korean skills. Analysts think this is a clear sign that Baidu is planning to expand internationally even they still claims to focus on Chinses search only."

Friday, May 19, 2006

US State Department Bans Lenovo

From The Inquirer:

"The US State Department has suddenly decided that the Chinese PC maker Lenovo which is making the same gear in the same places as IBM is now a major security threat.
Always on the ball, the State Department has banned Lenovo from classified networks because officials are spooked by the possibility of Chinese spyware being installed.

Or, maybe it thinks that, the Chinese, being small, could sneak themselves into the PCs, Trojan Horse-stylee, and launch an invasion of the USA, turning it red."

Hong Kong's PCCW to Explore IPTV with Star TV

From abc news:

"Hong Kong telecoms network operator PCCW Ltd. said it would work with Rupert Murdoch's Star TV to explore Internet protocol pay-TV (IPTV) opportunities, drawing on each other's strengths.

PCCW and Star, a unit of News Corp., would work with platform operators and media companies in Asia to provide services for IPTV, or television transmitted over telecoms networks using Internet protocol, PCCW said in a statement issued late on Thursday."

Thursday, May 18, 2006

China Mobile Phone Producers Market Share Hit a Low

From China Knowledge:

"The sales of China-made mobile phones reached 22.38 million sets in the first quarter this year, accounting for 36.9% of the market, its lowest in the last three years, according to the 2006 Q1 Cell Phone Market Report by IT research firm Analysys.

The report shows that the concentration of GSM mobile phones rose as major companies like Nokia, Motorola and Samsung gain more market share.

Domestic GSM mobile phone producers have yet to see a rebound in market performance, but Lenovo mobile phones did see rapid development in terms of sales, becoming the second largest domestic mobile phone brand just after Ningbo Bird."

Google Eyes China's Mobile Market

From Times online:

"Google is in talks with China's largest mobile phone company in a move that could see the American group dramatically increase its controversial presence in the communist state.

China Mobile, which has some 260 million subscribers, today said it is holding discussions with the online search and advertising company over mobile services.

""I recently met with Google’s CEO for the second time. And we both share the same idea: how to turn cell phones into a new kind of internet search engine," Wang Jianzhou, chairman and chief executive of China Mobile (Hong Kong), told reporters."

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Yahoo's Analyst Day: Alibaba's CEO Jack Ma Ready to Take on The World

From asia.internet:

"Jack Ma , founder, chairman and CEO of the Chinese Web site, took the stage yesterday at Yahoo's analyst day and boldly proclaimed that his company will take on all comers in the Chinese marketplace.

These comers include eBay, Google and Baidu, and Alibaba may well emerge as one of the top Internet companies in the world."

Some Jack Ma quotes from yesterday's Yahoo analyst day:

"Today I don't see a real search engine in China. Baidu is good. Google is good. But we have not started to compete yet. We will start in September."

"In 10 years, among the top-three most powerful Internet companies in the world, one of them will be from China. Among fortune 500, one will be a China private company, not a state-owned company.

Whether Alibaba will be lucky enough to be one of top three Internet companies or Fortune 500 companies I don't know, but that's the goal we are looking for."

"Like GE, Microsoft or IBM, we want to make Alibaba a company that can last long and influence people."

China Net Investor: Yahoo is Alibaba's biggest shareholder. In August, Yahoo bet big on China, with a $1 billion dollar investment in Ma's Alibaba.

Winners and Losers in China Games Market

From vnunet:

"Chinese online games firm Shanda Entertainment has reported a second quarter of weak revenues and falling profits following a dramatic shift in strategy last year.

The company is betting its future on a new content delivery platform, the EZ series, but has only managed to attract 50,000 registered customers, despite claiming pre-orders of over 800,000."

"Meanwhile, competitor Netease saw net profits double in the first quarter compared to the same period last year to reach $36.5m."

"Shanda's fortunes have long been tied to its hit multiplayer online game series, Legend of Mir.
But as the game aged and began to lose market share to newer rivals like World of Warcraft, Shanda switched from a subscription-based service to a free-to-play business model late last year.
While this strategy has helped Shanda attract new players, observers have blamed it for the firm's plunging profits."

Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd Q1 2006 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

China Reports 2.4 Billion Webpages

From People's Daily Online:

"China reports a total of 694,000 websites, over 20% being individual's. The number of domain names surged 40 percent to reach 2,592,000, according to the report on China's Internet information and resources 2005 published by the State Council Informatization Office on Tuesday,

The webpage number soared 269% to reach 2.4 billion in 2005. Each website has 3,748 pages on average. 18.6% of websites locate in Beijing, 16.6% in Guangdong, and 9.7% in Zhejiang.

Company websites account for 60.4% of the total number; then comes individual's website, which account for 21.9%; educational and scientific research websites account for 5.1 %."

IBM And Baidu Partner For Hard Disk Search Service

From Pacific Epoch:

"IBM and Baidu (Nasdaq:BIDU) signed a contract to explore China's hard disk search market on May 16, National Business Daily reports. The service will target enterprise users. Baidu will partner with IBM China's Research Center to develop hard disk search. The report said that Baidu's hard disk search will be combined with IBM Lotus Notes and will be able to search content in Lotus Notes documents."

Chinese Online Gaming Pushes Netease Revenue Higher

From TheStreet:

"NetEase (NTES) posted better-than-expected first-quarter results, becoming the latest Chinese Internet company to beat Wall Street expectations."

"On an adjusted basis, NetEase had profit of $39.9 million, or 28 cents, beating the 24-cent-a-share average forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call. Sales were $66.1 million, up 67% from $39.6 million last year. That beat expectations of $61.7 million."

NetEase, Inc. Q1 2006 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

China Net Investor: Netease, Shanda and the9 are China's dominating online gaming companies. Shanda Interactive Entertainment (Nasdaq: SNDA) will announce Q1 2006 earnings today.

Read more:
Online gamers in the Middle Kingdom could double by 2010

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hong Kong's PCCW to Broadcast Real-Time TV over 3G Network

From indiantelevision:

"The Hong Kong-based PCCW Mobile announced it has become the world's first mobile provider to broadcast real-time TV over its 3G network, using Cell Multimedia Broadcast (CMB) technology.

The service was demonstrated today by PCCW executive director Alex Arena at a keynote address at the 2006 Broadband World Forum Asia, being held in Hong Kong.

PCCW will begin broadcasting programming from its IPTV service, now TV, to its 3G mobile trial customer base, using the CMB technology. The technology, developed by Huawei Technologies, allows broadcasts of television programming to 3G phones, states an official release."

Best Buy Stocks Up in China

From Motley Fool:

"You can't ignore 1.3 billion potential customers. Best Buy is paying $180 million to acquire a majority stake in China's fourth-largest consumer-electronics chain. Hooking up with Jiangsu Five Star Appliance isn't the first time that Best Buy will be stamping its passport in the world's most populous country. The company already has three offices there. Given the region's prominent role in the manufacturing of appliances and other consumer electronics, it's just good business. And with a significant chunk in Five Star, the company achieves an immediate retail presence in the country, too."

China PC Sales up 13.5 per Cent

From vnunet:

"Revenues from desktop PC sales in China increased 13.5 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2005, market researchers have reported.
However, the total number of computers sold fell slightly, according to local research firm Analysys International."

"Local firms, led by Lenovo, continue to maintain a strong presence in the desktop PC market. The three largest domestic PC makers are responsible for more than 60 per cent of sales. Lenovo alone controls 37.5 per cent of the market.

Foreign manufacturers, while strong in China's more profitable notebook and server markets, are poorly represented in the desktop sector."

China's 3G Debate - Interview with Stephen Falk, VP of Sprint

From Interfax:

"Interfax conducted an interview with Stephen Falk, Vice President of Sprint. His primary focus is international strategy and business development. He has been with Sprint for 5 years. Before his time at Sprint, Falk spent 21 years with AT&T, 9 years focused exclusively on international telecommunications." Interview with Stephen Falk

Huawei, Guangdong, Motorola Top Export Lists In 2005

From Pacific Epoch:

"Huawei was the top ranked privately held Chinese exporter last year with US$2.052 billion in exports according to a ranking released by China's customs authorities, Sina reports. The value of Guangdong's exports of mobile telecom base stations was the highest of all Chinese provinces in 2005 at US$650 million. China exported 228 million handsets worth US$20.635 billion in 2005. Motorola China was China's top handset exporter in 2005, exporting 36.385 million handsets worth US$5.19 billion. Most of the companies in the rankings were OEM or foreign companies' Chinese subsidiaries."

Monday, May 15, 2006

Electronic Arts Allies With Tianyue

From TMCnet:

"On April 26, Electronic Arts Inc (EA), the largest computer game company in the world, announced in Guangzhou that it would entrust Guangdong Tianyue network technology co., Ltd as its solo agency in China."

"On April 26, EA signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Tianyue at the presence of a vice mayor of Guangzhou. From then on, Tianyue will solo sell POGO in China. POGO is a leisure computer game popular in Europe and America."

RIM to Introduce Blackberry Service in China

From TMCnet:

"On May 11, RIM said that it was operating the balckberry service with China Mobile, and expected to officially introduce this service into the market on May 17."

"After supplying blackberry service for the enterprise-level consumers in three to four months, RIM plans to introduce this service into the greater market, which is expected to be authorized by the related administration at the beginning of this fall, and RIM will sell their mobile phones, such as RIM8700 and RIM7130."

Interview with Alibaba's CEO Jack Ma


"Q: You've given eBay a lot of grief in China. What do you think of their chances in China? How are you going to compete against them?
A: I think eBay is one of the companies I respect the most in e-commerce. They are really so successful. But in China, I think they are gone. This game is over. They have made so many mistakes in China. We are lucky. Two years ago, I said that eBay lost the first battle. We won the first battle. But now I say the game is done. It is very difficult for them to come back in China.

Q: What kind of mistakes are you talking about?
A: There are several mistakes that they made. For example, they believed too much that their business model in the U.S. will work in China. It's such a good business model in the U.S., but in China the credit card system is bad and Internet infrastructure is no good. A lot of concepts here in the U.S. are good. But moving them to China takes time.
Second is the technology platform. They think that eBay needs a global technology platform, so they put the China site on their global technology platform. It sounds great, like a Boeing 747 flying is great. But if the airport is a school yard, you cannot land. Even if you want to change a button, you have to report to like 14 guys." Interview with Jack Ma

Management Changes at Sina and UTStarcom

From TheStreet:

"Sina (...) said its CEO, Yan Wang, resigned, although he'll remain on the board as vice chairman. Charles Chao, formerly Sina's president and CFO, was named the new CEO. He'll remain president."

From ContraCostaTimes:

"Alameda-based UTStarcom Inc., the biggest supplier of wireless-telephone systems in China, said Chief Executive Officer Hong Lu will resign effective Dec. 31. Ying Wu, chief of China operations, will become CEO. Tom Toy, currently an independent director, will become chairman as of Jan. 1."

Earnings Conference Call Transcripts: Baidu, Sina, Tom, eLong, 51job Inc. Q1 2006 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
Sina Corporation Q1 2006 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
TOM Online Inc. Q1 2006 Earnings Conference Call Transcript¨
51job, Inc., Q1 2006 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
eLong, Inc. Q1 2006 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Saturday, May 13, 2006

C2C Sites in China Are in Fierce Competition

From iResearch:

"The result shows (2006 China C2C Online Shopping Survey Report) that the C2C sites in China are in fierce competition, with taking up 67.3% of market share, eBay Eachnet 29.1%, Paipai 2.2% and 1pai 1.4%."

From Dow Jones:

"Insiders at eBay Inc.'s (EBAY) China unit haven't denied that a general feeling of malaise permeates the company's China operations, withering under the constant fire of Corp.'s Taobao consumer-auctions site.
Even as eBay struggles to realize any advantage from the integration of the former Eachnet group, Alibaba Chief Executive Jack Ma, typically outspoken, last week told Marketwatch's Bambi Francisco that "the game is over" between his company and primary competitor eBay."

"Hong Kong-listed Tencent Holdings Ltd. would make a nice partner for eBay. Also a rising star in China's e-commerce sector, although it only entered the fray last September under the flag of its consumer e-commerce property, Tencent's user base and product offerings would pose an effective counterpoint to those of eBay."

Taobao Enters B2C Market

From webwereld:

"Already the country's most popular consumer auction site, Taobao now wants to establish itself as an online storefront for large manufacturers and retailers.

"Taobao is like the eBay model, and what we're adding is an," said Porter Erisman, Alibaba's vice president of international marketing."

"Electronics makers Motorola Inc., Nokia Corp. and Haier Group, as well as apparel companies Adidas Salomon AG, Li Ning Co. Ltd. and Giordano (China) Co. Ltd. have signed up to open stores on Taobao, which promises more deals are in the works."

"One source of new sellers on Taobao is its sister site,, an online directory of companies and products spanning 10 million small and medium-sized Chinese businesses."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Baidu Launches Chinese Wikipedia

From Mail&Guardian Online:

"China's biggest internet search engine has launched an online encyclopedia modelled on the US-based website Wikipedia, which is blocked by Beijing."

"Entries on Baidupedia, the new service from Nasdaq-listed launched last month, are however censored by the Chinese government." Soars 30 pct on Earns Report

From Reuters:

"Shares of Inc. soared more than 30 percent on Wednesday, a day after the Chinese Web search leader said quarterly profit soared and forecast revenue well ahead of analysts' estimates."

"Baidu, which is based in Beijing, on Tuesday posted first-quarter net profit of 35.2 million yuan ($4.4 million), or 1.02 yuan (13 cents) per share, compared with 2.5 million yuan, or 0.08 yuan per share, a year ago."