Tuesday, June 27, 2006

U.S. Internet Firms Will Lose Much, Get Little in China

From MarketWatch:

"After spending 10 days in Beijing and Shanghai meeting with executives, venture capitalists and government officials, analysts Stewart Barry and Michael Zhang wrote the following:

We feel that U.S. Internet firms, in particular Google, will continue to struggle to penetrate the market as core ideological conflicts between the Chinese government and American media make China a far-off, if altogether limited, opportunity, given China's current political realities.

The Chinese government remains the ultimate arbiter of media content. Control over media and communication is a core strategic asset of the Chinese communist regime and, as such, the government is intimately involved in the development, nay, it is the final arbiter, of media content, both traditional and new, in China."

What Goes on at Huawei's Campus

From silicon.com:

Dan's China diary - day 18: What goes on at Huawei's campus

"I'm completely bowled over by the size and scope of this place. And apparently Huawei is building another huge complex in Nanjing. Certainly an interesting company to keep an eye on."

"Huawei is one of the few companies I've seen in China that really appears to understand the international market and how to use branding. It's won some impressive contracts over the last year or so - notably beating Marconi as one of a dozen or so vendors to BT's 21CN next-generation network project. (Apparently BT audited Huawei in 16 different areas before awarding the contract.) "

Read more:
Inside China - Special Report

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Select Google Videos are Now Free

Google lets us watch select premium videos for free today.

Charlie Rose - Fishman
Ted Fishman, Author, "China Inc."

Thomas L. Friedman, author of "The World is Flat". Friedman is also a columnist for The New York Times.

Charlie Rose - Economist Milton Friedman.
Economist Milton Friedman discusses the state of the economy and China.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Maxthon: China's Hip Browser

From CNET:

"Maxthon, a browser made by a tiny Beijing company of the same name, has attracted millions of users in China for functionality that can funnel traffic through a Web proxy and circumvent government controls on information in search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, Baidu.com and other popular sites or Internet service providers in that country."

" "It's exploding there," said Netanel Jacobsson, a Maxthon senior vice president and partner who's based in Israel.

Of course, Maxthon does not promote the proxy feature openly--it's merely a shortcut that has spread virally among Chinese Web surfers. People who download the browser must be fairly technically savvy to activate it, but according to Jacobsson, various bulletin boards in Chinese instruct people how to do it."

Bidding War for PCCW Leaves Analysts Mystified

From International Herald Tribune:

"The bidding war over the assets of PCCW, the biggest telecom company in Hong Kong, is looking stranger every day.

After the Internet and telecom bubble burst in 2001, no one wanted PCCW. Shares of the company collapsed, wiping out billions of dollars in value and making one the biggest corporate takeovers ever in Asia - PCCW's $28 billion acquisition of Cable & Wireless HKT in 2000 - into a penny stock corporation.

But now, for reasons unknown even to the analysts who cover the telecom business in Asia, everyone wants to acquire key PCCW telecom assets, which include its fixed telephone lines in Hong Kong. Last Friday, Macquarie Bank of Australia made an unsolicited bid. Then on Tuesday, TPG-Newbridge, an affiliate of Texas Pacific Group private equity firm in the United States, placed a counterbid that some insiders say was as high as $7 billion"

Google Sells Stake in Rival Baidu

From Reuters:

"Google Inc. has sold its roughly 2 percent stake in rival Baidu.com Inc., the market leader in China's Internet Web search market, according to a U.S. regulatory filing.

A form 144 insider stock sale registration was filed late on Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by Google detailing the sale of 749,625 Baidu Class A ordinary shares."

Find Startup Capital
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

China's Q1 Search Engine Market Reached $38 Million

From ChinaTechNews:

"Research firm Analysys says in its recently released report ''China Search Engine Market Quarterly Tracker Q1 2006'', that China's search engine market reached RMB303 million ($38 Million) in the first quarter of 2006, among which 91.42% was brought by search engine portals and 8.58% was brought by affiliate websites from search engine alliances."

"In terms of search engine providers' market share, Baidu occupied a dominant market share of 43.9% in China, followed by Yahoo! China 21.1%, Google 13.2% and Sohu 9.2%."

Alibaba and the eBay Thieves

From washingtonpost.com:

"Two rivals of eBay came to Las Vegas to do guerilla marketing during eBay's user convention, but only one got real up close and personal with eBay.

That was Alibaba.com Corp., the parent of eBay's main auction rival in China, Taobao.
Alibaba set up shop inside a restaurant at the Mandalay Bay resort, where the eBay convention was held, and offered free lunch to eBay sellers who stopped by to learn about Alibaba's products.

Several eBay employees entered the restaurant and tried to persuade the manager to kick out the Alibaba team, offering to pay the restaurant more than Alibaba, according to Alibaba employees and a bystander who witnessed the conversation.
While the restaurant did not take eBay up on the offer, the hotel insisted that Alibaba take down its signs beside the restaurant entrance inviting eBay sellers to come inside, said Alibaba Vice President Porter Erisman."

Friday, June 16, 2006

Yahoo Bows Lowest to China

From The Register:

"Yahoo! restricts access to more websites than any other search engine in China. Lobby group Reporters without Borders tested Yahoo!, Google, MSN and baidu.com. It found that Yahoo! censors its results even more strictly than local portal baidu.com.

The research also found that Microsoft, which claims not to censor its results, returns very similar results to Google, which admits to filtering its content. A search using a subversive word returns 83 per cent pro-government websites on google.cn versus 78 per cent on msn.com. Perform the same search on google.com and only 28 per cent of the results will be pro-Beijing websites."

Full results of the tests carried out by Reporters Without Borders

China's C2C Market Reached RMB 5.39 Billion in Q1 2006

From Analysys International:

"Analysys International, a leading Internet based provider of business information about technology, media and telecom (TMT) industries in China, says in its recently released
report ''China C2C Market Quarterly Tracker Q1 2006'', that China's customer-to- customer (C2C) e-commerce trading value reached RMB 5.39 billion ($ 674 million) in the first quarter of 2006. Total transaction volume reached 24.52 million commodities.

According to the report, Taobao.com's trading value was RMB 3.08 billion in the first quarter of 2006, accounting for 57% of the total C2C market in China; eBay China's transaction value was RMB 1.51 billion, accounting for 28% of the total market; Paipai.com's trading value also grew rapidly and occupied a market share of 14%. In the first quarter of 2006, 1Pai.com.cn quit the market."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sohu Closes its E-Commerce Service

From ShanghaiDaily:

"Sohu.com will shut down its e-commerce service on Tuesday and replace it with online retailer Joyo.com, the Website said earlier this week in a filing with New York's NASDAQ."

"The performance of e-commerce services offered by Internet portals has been lackluster because of competition from specialized Websites like eBay.com and Taobao.com, which are also currently engaged in fierce competition to gain market share."

China Mobile Gains over 10mn Mobile Wallet Service Users

From TMCnet:

"China Mobile, a top mobile telecom operator in the country, has gained over 10 million Mobile Wallet service subscribers, and the user base is expected to reach 15 million people by the end of the year, sources familiar with the matter unveiled."

"Subscribers are not only able to pay phone bills and inquire deposit on bank cards, but can buy e-air tickets and shop as well via the service. At the moment, users also can buy movie tickets through the service in Beijing."

China's Mobile Giants Squeezing Smaller Players

From vnunet:

"China's largest mobile telecoms service providers are expanding into new markets and cutting into the business of smaller players such as Tencent, Tom Online and Linktone, according to China-based market watchers.

As subscriber growth in China's mobile market begins to slow, giant firms like China Mobile and China Unicom are no longer content to focus purely on adding mobile users while leaving lucrative niches like wireless messaging to value-added providers.

China Mobile is no longer renewing some contracts with companies that use its network for instant messaging and other services, Interfax reported last week, and is introducing its own IM service.

China Unicom, the country's second largest mobile phone service provider, began to take similar action recently."

Interview with Porter Erisman, VP of International Marketing for Alibaba.com

From AuctionBytes.tv:

Alibaba Vice President of International Marketing Porter Erisman discusses his company, which recently partnered with Yahoo in China and offers sourcing opportunities for eBay PowerSellers. (Run time: 08:48)

Play Video

Thursday, June 08, 2006

China Mobile Buys 19.9% Stake in Phoenix TV From News Corp.

From Bloomberg:

"China Mobile Communications Corp., the world's largest cell-phone company by users, bought a stake in Hong Kong's Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings Ltd. from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to secure content for its phones.

China Mobile, which is preparing for "third generation'' service, bought the 19.9 percent stake to secure television content for the high-speed phones, the three companies said in a joint statement, without providing figures. The purchase makes China Mobile Phoenix's second-largest shareholder."

SAC Capital Controls 19.5% of Baidu

From Pacific Epoch:

"If you're wondering why Baidu's (NASDAQ: BIDU) stock was on such a tear during May, you will be interested to learn that, according to SEC Filings, hedge funds related to Steve Cohen's SAC Capital now own at least 19.5% of Baidu's outstanding shares, currently worth around US$225 million."

China Technology Industry Search Engine Launched

I've just started a China Technology Industry Swicki .

A swicki is a community-powered search engine where a given community contributes to the quality of the search results: it automatically learns from the community's search behaviour.

China Technology Industry Search Engine

Whenever you use this Search Engine you can actively suggest changes (add a new web page, promote/delete a page) and thus contribute to make this tool more and more useful.

If you're a blogger or webmaster you can post the "China Technology Industry" searchbox on your site. This will grow the community and increase the learning effect.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Crazy Baidu Commercial

Ending tag line: "with Baidu, you can 'find' whoever you want to search for"

China's leading search engine seems to compete Google under the motto "Be evil."

Google.com Blocked in China

From Mail&Guardian online:

"Internet users in many major Chinese cities have had difficulty connecting to the uncensored international version of Google for the past week, Reporters sans Frontières said in a statement received on Wednesday. Aside from the Google.com search engine, Reporters sans Frontières said the blocking was being gradually extended to the Google News and Google Mail services."

Google Founder Admits Mistakes in China

From China Herald (weblog):
By Fons Tuinstra

"In a kind of surprise statement Google-founder Sergey Brin admitted yesterday the company had compromised its corporate principles by giving in to the Chinese censorship. Google started last year its news search service in Chinese by only allowing government-approved sources on the service. It then launched another censored search engine www.google.cn although its general search engine www.google.com was mostly available to the Chinese users. According to AP Brin said Google would try to improve its censored version, but might also reverse its course by withdrawing the service. Most customers preferred the non-censored service anyway. Well, that is not really a surprise, is it?"

From AP Associated Press:

"Brin said Google is trying to improve its censored search service, Google.cn, before deciding whether to reverse course. He said virtually all the company's customers in China use the non-censored service.

"It's perfectly reasonable to do something different, to say, 'Look, we're going to stand by the principle against censorship and we won't actually operate there.' That's an alternate path. It's not where we chose to go right now, but I can sort of see how people came to different conclusions about doing the right thing." "

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Huawei Reportedly to Acquire Harbour Networks

From Pacific Epoch:

"Harbour Networks senior vice-president Tang Pengfei admitted that Huawei and Harbour Networks signed a formal contract on June 3 and Huawei will take over Harbour Networks in July, China Business News reports. Harbour Networks spokesperson Li Lin said that the company has not announced the deal to the public and Huawei spokesperson Fu Jun did not comment on the news."

China's Online Games to Beat Korea

From BusinessWeek:

"New research suggests within the year China's online game revenues will overtake Korea's. Leading factors: Internet usage and more gamers

According to new figures from iResearch, the online gaming market in China is expected to grow by 28 percent over the next 12 months, with revenues reaching $970 million. This would put China slightly ahead of Korea's $960 million in online game revenues."