Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Alibaba and Sina formally co-announced that Alibaba will acquire 18% share of Sina Weibo in 586 million USD.

Today, Alibaba and Sina formally come to an agreement that Alibaba will invest in Sina Weibo, and Alibaba will acquire 18% share of Sina Weibo.

The press release by Sina said:

The two companies will cooperate in the areas of user account connectivity, data exchange, online payment and online marketing, among other things, and will explore new business models for social commerce based on the interactions of the hundreds of millions of users on Weibo and on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms. The strategic alliance is expected to generate approximately $380 million in advertising and social commerce services revenues in aggregate for Weibo over the next three years.

  Separately, the Company announced that Alibaba, through a wholly owned subsidiary, has invested $586 million to purchase preferred and ordinary shares representing approximately 18% of Weibo on a fully-diluted basis. SINA has also granted an option to Alibaba to enable Alibaba to increase its ownership in Weibo to 30% on a fully-diluted basis at a mutually agreed valuation within a certain period of time in the future.

As I explained before, the rumor of this investment existed from last year. But because Sina Weibo provided their own payment system "Weibo Wallet", and there are some reasons, so it was said that the possibility of this rumor was slowing down.

Let's continue watching their specific action from now on.

Source => Press Release, Sina Tech

Saturday, April 27, 2013

[Graph] The summary of the 3G market in China. 3G user in China was 280 million people in the first quarter.

All of 3 big career in China published their achievement of the first quarter, so I would like to introduce the current status of 3G users in China.

According to their report, the total number of mobile users in China was 1.145 billion people in the first quarter, and the number of 3G users in China was 0.28 billion people in the first quarter.

The following picture is the market share of total user number.

China Mobile has totally 726.31 users, so they dominate 63.34% of the Chinese mobile market. But compared to the last July, their market share decreased 1.87%.

That's one of the reason is related to the increase of the 3G user ratio. The 3G user ratio in the last July was 16.8%, but its ratio was up to 24.5% in the first quarter. The market share of 3G user is more competitive than the market share of total user number as follows.

In China, China Mobile already started LTE test on some places. Will it be happen something change in the era of LTE? We have to keep watching the trend as ever.

Source => CNII, TechWeb-1, TechWeb-2

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Baidu still have the two big problem to be solved for search area.

As you know, Baidu is the biggest search solution provider in China. And actually, they have dominated the search market in China for a long time.

But recently, they are just facing the two big problems to be solved as follows.

1. Moblie Search Market

Chinese mobile search market share in the first quarter

Baidu  37.5%
SOSO   16.7%
easou   15.7%
Yicha   11.2%
Sogou    7.4%
Google China   6.3%
Youdao  2.3%
Roboo     1.8%
iask        1.3%

The above picture is the market share of the Chinese mobile search engine in the first quarter. According to this report, Baidu has 37.5% market share in Chinese mobile search engine market, and they occupy the leading position on there.
But as I explained before, they still don't have the overwhelming strength in the mobile area compared to the PC area.

Baidu has provided the special Smartphone that is adopted their own OS with partner since last year, and they established the LBS specific team in their company to accelerate their mobile solution. But compared the market share of last year, but it seems that their effort is not still rewarded.

2. Rise of the Qihoo 360
The following picture is the market share of the Chinese PC search market in the first quarter.

Baidu                68.32%
Qihoo 360       14.40%
Sogou                  8.35%
SOSO                   4.05%
Google China     3.75%
Bing China          0.64%
Yahoo China       0.32%
Youdao                0.28%
Other                   0.07%

As mentioned before, Baidu have the the overwhelming strength in the PC search market. But compared to the first quarter of 2012, their market share decreased 10.18%. The main reason is the existence of Qihoo 360.

Qihoo 360 started to provide their own search service from last August. They are gradually expanding their market share, and they got the 2nd position in this market in the first quarter.

But Qihoo 360 also have the problem to be solved for mobile search solution. They started to provide their own mobile search service from last November, but they couldn't still get the enough market share at the first quarter.

This report also said that Chinese mobile internet users already exceeded 300 million people in the first quarter.

I think that the fierce battle in the Chinese mobile search market still continues for the time being, and it seems that all of the fighters have a chance to win. We have to keep watching who will come through this fierce battle.

Source => Sootoo-1, Sootoo-2

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Two-thirds people login to a social media everyday in China, but there are only 3% people who are truly in difficulties that if they can't use any social media.

Chinese portal site "Sootoo" provided a interesting report as follows.

Q1. How often do you login to a social media service?

Several times a day     : 51.95%
        Once a day             : 15.06%
Several times a week  : 20.26%
       Once a week           : 3.90%
Less than once a week: 8.83%

This report said that about two-thirds people in China login to an any social media everyday. According to the latest report by CNNIC, many people use a any social media in China. So it can be said that this report followed up the credibility.

Q2. How long times use a social media in a day?

Less than one hour : 39.74%

1 to 2 hours: 40.00%

2 to 4 hours: 17.92%

More than 4 hours : 2.34%

This report said that almost 80% people use a social media less than 2 hours in a day.

Q3. Which social media services do you usually use?

Qzone  : 80.86%
Sina Weibo :  78.72%
Renren : 71.43%
Tencent Weibo :  60.45%
WeChat :  51.83%
Pengyou : 11.45%
Douban :  10.04%
Facebook :  5.45%
Kaixin :  4.96%
Other :  4.05%

This result is very interesting. I thought that the ranking of WeChat is higher than Tencent Weibo, but the result was different at this time.
And other unexpected thing is that the utilization rate of Renren was higher than my expect. Actually, Renren is the biggest SNS provider in China, but the interests of Chinese people is moving from SNS to Weibo or WeChat in few years. So its result is unexpected, and the big difference of RenRen and Kaixin's utilization rate was also unexpected.

4. Which purpose do you use a social media?
To contact with friends : 74.03%
To watch the video or post : 72.99%
To kill time :  63.12%
For hobby :  59.22%
To watch the hot topic :  54.55%
To post own mind :  45.06%
To expand personal connections :  38.70%
To enjoy games :  22.75%
To enjoy apps : 21.56%
To send a gift :  20.38%
For business :  15.58%
To join a event :  10.90%
Other :  0.95%

The answer of enjoying games or apps was lower than my expect. Sina Weibo have provided many games on their platform for a long time, and WeChat also have a plan to provide games on their platform as same as LINE...

Q5. Which devices do you usually use when you login a social media?

Mobile phone :  81.18%

PC :  69.35%

Tablet :  25.81%

Other :  11.83%

As I reported before, mobile devices is already the most popular method to access the internet in China. As a result, it follows that this fact also apply to in case of social media.

Q6. Why did you start using a social media?

Own thoughts :  23.65%
By the recommendation of friends : 26.35%
Many friend already use it :  45.95%
Can contact easily with friends :  43.92%
To expand personal connections :  8.11%
To get the information :  18.24%

Other :  4%

This result said that the almost half people started a social media by the reason related with friends.

Q7. If you weren't able to use a social media, how will you feel?

It's very inconvenient and unacceptable :  3%
Feeling not good, but acceptable : 51%
Feeling nothing at first, but feeling inconvenient not good later :  23%
Already not using it for a long time, so feeling nothing :  18%
Other :  5%

As mentioned in the introduction, two-thirds people use a social media everyday in China. But there are only 3% people who will be truly in trouble with not to use a social media. It's also an unexpected result.

Well, I'm very interested in this result, and furthermore I also would like to look the result in other countries :)

Source : Sootoo

Monday, April 22, 2013

All number of the Chinese mobile SMS was 0.5% growth in the first quarter, but 1-to-1 SMS was 10.9% negative growth.

I reported "Chinese mobile SMS was substantially negative growth in 2012" before, but MIIT published the new report about it a few days ago.

According to the report, the total number of Chinese SMS was 232.14 billion cases in the first quarter, and it was 0.5% growth compared to last year. But the number of 1-to-1 SMS was 124.74 billion cases, and it was 10.9% negative growth compared to last year.

In China, there are two main use pattern of SMS. One of them is used as the marketing tool by a company, and they send the marketing information to many people via SMS. And another one is used as the method of 1-to-1 communication, many people send their update information via SMS to friend, family and so forth.

As a result, it can be said that mainly 1-to-1 SMS was affected by WeChat or other similar services at this time. But 1-to-N SMS may be also possibly affected as same as 1-to-1 SMS in near future, because Tencent is providing the marketing tool of WeChat, and its marketing method is becoming popular day by day in China.

China Mobile and China Telecom already started each countermeasure, but after seeing this results, they must also start the other countermeasure that is including "charge the special fee for WeChat".

We have to continue watching the action from both side.

Source => TechWeb, MIIT

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Alibaba released the new smartphones that was adopted their customized OS with Chinese mobile vendors. They will accelerate the cooperation with Apps developer in this year.

Aliyun(It's a group company of Alibaba) has provided own customize mobile OS since September 2011, but they released the new smartphones that was adopted its OS with Chinese mobile vendor yesterday.

The vendor who provide these smartphones at this time are: Zopo, AMOI, GFIVE, KONKA, XLJ. And a part of these new smartphones are already introduced at corporate page of Aliyun.

The price zone of these smartphones are 799 to 1399 RMB(= 128 to 224 USD). And all of smartphones adopted quad-core CPU and 1GB RAM, so it can be said that the cost performance of these smartphones are very high.

And in the event, they said that they will accelerate the cooperation with apps developer in this year. Specifically, they will invest 1 billion RMB(= 160 million USD) for the cooperation with apps developer in this year. And they also said that they will pay 1 RMB per 1 units as the incentive to the mobile vendor who will adopt the Yun OS.

Yun OS is generally recognized as the Android based customize OS, but Alibaba said that it's not true. They said that Yun OS is the Linux based customize OS, and it is compatible with Android (apps). And according to the some resources, the apps that was developed on Android can run on Yun OS, but the apps that was developed on Yun OS can't run on Android.

Anyway, we have to continue watching their actions as ever.

Source => Sohu IT, WEST-E,  SXdaily

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tencent updated the login page of WeChat public platform and the case studies.

As I explained before, WeChat have a management platform(PPoW) for the official accounts, but recently its login page was updated as follows.

Last time, I explained that the oversea users of WeChat already exceeded 40 million people, but the image of this login page looks like to suggest that Tencent will accelerate overseas advance.

There is no update in the page of after login at this time. But there are some new features compared to my last explanation, so I would like to explain them.

As the above picture, the feature of "Advanced Settings" was added the right end of menu. And on the "Advanced Settings", users can manage auto reply feature and customize the menu of display screen of WeChat. And users can also demand to become its developer to refer the APIs of WeChat PPoW.

And at the same time, the case studies on this page was also updated.

They introduce 5 case studies on there, and China Southern Airline leverages WeChat to reply automatically the flight information, the weather in the each place and so forth to their users.

And Evernote is also leveraging WeChat, they makes WeChat user easily share the information in WeChat to each Evernote accounts.

Recently, the official account on WeChat is more and more increasing, but I would like to continue introducing the interesting case studies as ever.

Source => Public Platform of WeChat(PPoW)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Oversea users of WeChat already exceeded 40 million people. They also published the translation page to accelerate localization to each languages.

WeChat already started to make inroads into foreign markets. And as I explained before, a lot of countries started to use their WeChat.

And recently, they announced that oversea users of WeChat already exceeded 40 million people. According to the news, the whole number of WeChat users were 312 million people, so it follows that the rate of oversea users are about 13%.

According to the news, their rival, LINE, have over 60 million users in foreign country, so it can be said that WeChat lags behind to LINE at the moment.

But they also published the translation page to accelerate localization to each languages.

Actually, this is a volunteer based efforts by frenetic their fans. WeChat team said:

WeChat is looking for help from our users around the world to improve localization in the app. You can help us with your expertise in Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, or one of many more languages we support.

Volunteers can login to this page by Facebook or Google account. And after login, we can find the English sentence that WeChat team would like us to translate.

I tried to translate from English to Japanese :)

Each services or products should have many frenetic fans, so I think this is very interesting efforts. Would you try this?

Well, I think that we have to keep watching the two things about WeChat as ever. One of them is "WeChat will be changed to the paid service?", and another one is this "overseas deployment". Let's keep watching.

Source => TechWeb

Monday, April 8, 2013

Chinese mobile EC users will be estimated to increase to 353 million people in the end of 2015.

iiMedia recently published the summary report of mobile EC market in China.
According to this report, they estimated that the number of mobile EC user will increase to 352 million people in the end of 2015 in China.

In the end of 2012, the number of mobile EC user was 149 million people. And this was increasing 62.0% compared to 2011. And they estimate that the number of mobile EC users will become over 300 million people in the end of 2014 in China.

Next is a graph of the market scale from 2009 to 2015.

In 2009, this market scale was 790 million RMB(= 126.08 million USD). But this market was rapidly growing in a few years, this market scale became 47.86 billion RMB(= 7.64 billion USD) in 2012.
And they also estimate this market scale will be growing to 253.65 billion RMB(= 40.48 billion USD) in 2015.

Next is the market share of service provider in mobile EC.

The king of EC market in China, Taobao, have 62.7% market share in 2012. And next position is 360buy.com (now they already changed the name to "JD.com"), and they have 16.7% market share. And third position is the QQbuy that is provided by Tencent, and they have 4.5% market share.

Next is the market share by each mobile OS.

According to the report by CNNIC, the selling share of Android smartphone in China was 86.2% in 2012. Android smartphone is the most popular device in China, and it also have 62.5% share in this market.
And next position is iOS(iPhone/iPad), and they it have 37.7% market share.

Last is the usage graph by time zone.

The utilization rate start to increase after 19 o'clock, and it peak time is from 23 to 24 o'clock.

Mobile EC is the hottest market in Chinese mobile internet area, and Sina Weibo and other new faces also joined to this market. We also have to keep watching the movement in this market as before.

Source => Moobuu

Sunday, April 7, 2013

China Mobile also started to provide "Public Platform" for the Feixin corporate accounts.

Few days ago, I explained the new action of China Telecom challenging to WeChat.
And at this time, China Mobile also started the new action. It is that they started to provide "Public Platform" for the Feixin(It's their SMS service.) corporate accounts.

The name of this platform is as same as Weixin's, and the UI of this platform is also almost same.

The feature of this platform providing is also almost same as Weixin's, but there is a one interesting feature. It is a questionnaire survey feature.

Another difference is the method of applying "Verified Account". As I explained before, you have to get 500+ followers to become a verified account  on WeChat, but about Feixin, you have to get 100+ followers. But about feixin, you also have to submit the operating license in China to become a verified account on there.
*It seems that they don't target to the foreign companies at this time.

China Telecom started to provide the similar apps to WeChat, and China Mobile started to provide the similar platform to WeChat. Well, how about China Unicom?

We have to keep watching their next actions.

Source => LeiPhone, Public Platform of Feixin

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

China Telecom will change the name and upgrade their chat tool. They will challenge to WeChat with Netease together.

The topic that "WeChat will be changed to the paid service?" is still ongoing.

Tencent CEO Ma recently denied this rumor again, but the general manager of MIIT Mr. Miao said in a event that it's make sense that careers will charge special fee to WeChat.

In this situation, there was a little bit related action. According to the some source, China Telecom will change the name and upgrade their chat tool "Yi Liao", and they will challenge to WeChat with Netease.

Both companies still does not formally announce about this rumor, but the picture of new chat tool "Yi Xin" is already laid bare.

At this time, it's not so important whether China Telecom can defeat WeChat or not, I think. Important things is that China Telecom will re-release their chat tool that is similar to WeChat. I think this is the evidence that China Telecom decided to confront with WeChat.

Actually, their new chat tool is not a OTT product, but is a SMS based product. And the user account is related with their mobile phone number. But it's not so big impact for users, because there is not so difference between the feature of both products.

So I think the possibility that China Telecom will charge special fee to WeChat is increasing. Well, how about China Mobile or China Unicom? They also each have their own chat tool.

We have to keep attention to what will become this answer.

Source => TechWeb, 365jia

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

CIC published "China Social Media Landscape 2013".

CIC published also "China Social Media Landscape 2012" last February, but its new version is available now!

This picture categorized Chinese social media service in 24 items, and in the inside circle, it is set the typical social media service in the worldwide. So this picture is much helpful to understand the summary of Chinese social media market.

This version was 4 new items were added. Those categories are "Mobile Social", "Photo Sharing", "Social TV" and "Social Search".
About "Mobile Social", WeChat and Wangxin(Taobao) are categorized in it. And about "Photo Sharing", Tuitu and Lomokr are categorized in it.

CIC also published the history from 2008 to 2012 of this picture as follows.


It's also fun to watch the change in Chinese social media market :)

Source => CIC