Tag Archives: SNS

latest breaking news of Chinese social media by Doug Young, former Reuters Chief editor and expert about Chinese Market

INTERNET: Weibo Takes New Shot at E-Commerce

Bottom line: Weibo’s new micro-showcasing e-commerce initiative looks well-conceived and could stand a good chance of success, but the company needs to move faster if it wants to compete over the longer term with more aggressive rivals.

Weibo & E-Commerce in China

Weibo launches new e-commerce initiative

After posting profits in the last 2 quarters, early social networking (SNS) leader Weibo (Nasdaq: WB) is aiming to bolster its longer-term residence in the black with a new drive into the lucrative but also highly competitive e-commerce space. The move looks a bit late, since many were hoping for quicker moves into e-commerce for Weibo 2 years ago after its landmark tie-up with sector gorilla Alibaba (NYSE: BABA).

But the cautious Weibo was never one to move too quickly, and in this case its newest initiative actually looks quite well conceived and customized to fit the usage patterns of its subscribers. That means it could have a good chance of success, perhaps helping to lift the company’s sagging stock. But that said, Weibo will still have to vie with similar services from a faster-moving Tencent (HKEx: 700), which is aggressively rolling out e-commerce services tied to its popular WeChat social networking (SNS) platform. Read Full Post…

INTERNET: E-House, Leju Profits Shrivel, Renren Shrinks

Bottom line: Shares of E-House and Leju are likely to trade flat to downward over the next year due to continuing pressure on China’s real estate market, while Renren is likely to get bought out over that period.

Property downturn puts pressure on Leju, E-House

The latest earnings from 2 of China’s 3 top listed online real estate firms reflect the challenges facing the sector, with soaring costs undermining profits at both E-House (NYSE: EJ) and its affiliated Leju (Nasdaq: LEJU). Meantime, a separate earnings report from fast-fading social networking site Renren (NYSE: RENN) shows the former Internet superstar is fast becoming worthless as it sells off assets and its core SNS business shrinks. I expect the end will come soon for Renren, probably in the next 12 months, since the company’s largest asset now is its big cash pot that could attract a buyer who simply wants the money. Read Full Post…

INTERNET: Alibaba Eyes “Snap” Deals In US SNS, India E-commerce

Bottom line: Alibaba’s 2 latest big investments in Snapchat and Snapdeal look like good bets for strong financial returns, but are unlikely to produce any major strategic benefit.

Alibaba in talks for Snapdeal stake

I was a bit confused on my first reading of the headlines today, after seeing articles saying e-commerce leader Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) was in talks to invest in 2 companies whose “snappy” names sounded quite similar. But a closer reading made it clear that these were 2 very different deals, one involving the popular US social networking service (SNS) Snapchat, and the other involving a popular Indian e-commerce site called Snapdeal.

Despite their big geographic and product differences, these 2 deals seem to represent a growing trend for Alibaba, which is no longer acquiring companies but instead only buying small strategic stakes. The strategy looks mostly advantageous to the investment targets. That’s because it’s helping to push up the valuations of names like Snapchat and Snapdeal to frothy levels, much the way Alibaba used similar investments to pump up its own valuation in the run-up to its IPO last year. Read Full Post…

IPOs: Scandal Pressures Momo’s Shrinking IPO

Bottom line: Dwindling investor appetite will result in a weak debut for Momo’s upcoming IPO, which may also get negative publicity as it gets caught in a minor scandal in its home China market.

Momo pares back IPO target

Mobile social networking service (SNS) provider and IPO candidate Momo Inc has become a regular feature in the Chinese headlines these last few days, but for all the wrong reasons. The company was in the news late last week when it slashed the size of its planned New York listing, and is now back with a fresh set of headlines on a scandal involving crooked business dealings. This certainly isn’t the kind of publicity a company wants on the eve of its IPO, which was set to price and debut either this week or next. There’s really not much room for Momo to delay the plan without falling into the Christmas holiday lull, meaning its debut could fizzle due to the stream of bad news. Read Full Post…

INTERNET: SNS Wars Heat Up As Weibo Freezes Out WeChat

Bottom line: Weibo’s latest moves to stop users from defecting to WeChat reflect the company’s concerns over its fading momentum, and send a negative signal that will put pressure on its stock.

Weibo takes new steps to counter WeChat’s rise

An entertaining war is breaking out in the social networking (SNS) space, with word that the Twitter-like Weibo (Nasdaq: WB) is taking steps to punish people who use the service to promote their parallel accounts on archrival WeChat. I say this particular war is somewhat entertaining, as it seems quite petty and reflects the intense competition between these 2 companies. But at a more serious level, Weibo’s move reflects the very real fact that its service is rapidly losing eyeballs to the trendier WeChat, which is far more versatile and is also optimized for the fast-growing mobile Internet space. Read Full Post…

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Seeks China Entree At Tsinghua

Facebook’s Zuckerberg visits China

I previously wrote that Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) plain-spoken CEO Tim Cook should consider buying a second home in China due to his frequent visits to the country, and the same could be said for Facebook’s (Nasdaq: FB) more brash founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. While Cook’s frequent visits are quite official and include many stops at government and company offices, Zuckerberg has been far more low-key in his equally regular visits due to Facebook’s lack of official presence in the country where its website is formally blocked. But Zuckerberg wants desperately to find a way to enter the market, which explains his latest low-key appearance at an event this week in Beijing at Tsinghua University, China’s equivalent of MIT. Read Full Post…

Weibo Stumbles In Mobile, Inflates Big Vs

Weibo: engaged in follower inflation?

A couple of separate reports are shining a spotlight on some of the shenanigans happening at former social networking (SNS) superstar Weibo (Nasdaq: WB), and also on its dimming prospects as it gets overtaken by more nimble, innovative rivals. The first and more entertaining of those reports details how Weibo routinely inflates the number of followers for some of the most popular people on its service through use of phantom “zombie” accounts. The second details a worrisome trend that says the number of mobile users for Weibo dropped sharply in August, hinting at problems ahead in this high-growth area. Read Full Post…

GUEST POST-WeChat Story Part 6: Getting Paid

The following is Part 6 in a multi-part series about the rise of WeChat, the popular mobile instant messaging service owned by Tencent.

By Lanie Nie

WeChat builds up payment capabilities

WeChat has played a key role in Tencent’s (HKEx: 700) recent efforts to build a “federal republic” on the mobile Internet. That interpretation comes from Cheng Lingfeng, a China tech reporter and former Tencent employee, describing Tencent’s strategy of selling stakes to close partners who promote WeChat Payment, a new service that allows users to link their bank cards to their WeChat accounts to facilitate online transaction payments. Such linkage gives WeChat users easy access to selected paid add-on services like shopping, mobile top up and taxi booking.
Read Full Post…

Facebook Moves Ahead In Beijing, Line Blocked

Facebook rents Beijing office

Two of the world’s biggest social networking service (SNS) operators are in the headlines as the new week begins, starting with word that Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) is moving ahead with its plans to open in China. Meantime, separate reports are saying Japanese-based mobile instant messaging service Line has been disrupted in China, perhaps for carrying sensitive content.

These news bits may look different on the surface, but they’re really quite similar in broader terms. China is extremely wary of offshore-based SNS like Facebook, Line and Twitter (NYSE: TWTR), because they are not subject to the country’s strict self-censorship laws. Thus companies that want to develop a China business must open offices and host their Chinese services on local servers to placate Beijing, which is what Facebook and Line are doing now. Read Full Post…

Kaixin Grows Games, Tencent Buy In Sight?

Kaixin: ripe for purchase by Tencent?

I’ll be a bit whimsical on this final day of the week with a prediction that a sale could be looming for social networking (SNS) site Kaixin, following reports of strong growth for the company’s online gaming business. Anyone reading this is probably puzzled, unsure about the relationship between a growing gaming business and a company getting acquired. I’ll explain all that shortly, but will end the suspense now by saying the potential buyer would be Internet titan Tencent (HKEx: 700), which shares a number of links and other key qualities with the much smaller Kaixin. Read Full Post…

Mobile Games, SNS Not Ready For Prime Time

Sungy Mobile tanks on weak outlook

Techies have been buzzing about the huge potential of the mobile Internet for much of the last 2 years, but the latest headlines from social networking (SNS) giant Tencent (HKEx: 700) and recently listed mobile game developer Sungy Mobile (Nasdaq: GOMO) show the space is still rife with growing pains. Tencent is discovering that its wildly popular WeChat mobile messaging service is attracting not only hundreds of millions of legitimate users, but also masses of spamsters and scam artists and is trying to clean up the platform. Meantime, Sungy has just announced quarterly results that might look good for a company in any other space, but were clearly a disappointment for investors who were looking for meteoric growth. Read Full Post…