Tag Archives: SNS

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

Facebook Eyes Beijing Office In Slow Move To China

Facebook eyes Beijing sales office

After years of lurking around the periphery of China and visits by its top executives to the country, social networking (SNS) giant Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) is preparing to dip its toe into the massive market with plans to open a sales office in Beijing. That move raises the bigger question of whether the world’s biggest SNS company is planning to open a China-based service anytime soon, which has always been part of its long-term strategy. The answer is that Facebook will almost certainly use the new Beijing office to work towards a formal China site, though such an effort could take at least a year to yield results. Read Full Post…

Japan’s Line, Microsoft Xbox Move Into China

Line partners with Wandoujia

After years of hovering at the edge of China’s gadget and app markets, Japanese mobile instant messaging giant Line and Microsoft’s (Nasdaq: MSFT) Xbox gaming console are both reportedly preparing to enter the market. Line’s plan looks the most exciting to me, as the product has quickly gained a major following in Asia and could find a receptive audience in China with its new partnership. Meantime, I’m less optimistic about Xbox, as its China entry comes after its consoles have been available on the local gray market for years, and it will face competition from a new group of homegrown products. Its choice of the struggling Shanghai Media Group (SMG) as its partner also doesn’t look too exciting to me. Read Full Post…

Sina Weibo: Social Media Or News Source?

Study highlights Weibo’s news-provider status

An interesting report has just emerged on the nature of traffic on Sina’s (Nasdaq: SINA) Weibo microblogging service, casting a spotlight on how people use the platform just a week before it gets set to make a major New York IPO. The timing of this latest report looks a bit suspicious, aimed perhaps at further cooling sentiment towards an IPO that was already losing momentum. But from my perspective, this latest finding that a very small number of Weibo users are responsible for most of the site’s original postings isn’t necessarily a bad thing. To the contrary, this kind of revelation could even help Weibo by differentiating it from rival service WeChat, which is growing much faster.  Read Full Post…

Yingli, Renren Swim In Sea Of Red Ink

Renren sinks deeper into red

Solar panel maker Yingli (NYSE: YGE) and social networking site Renren (NYSE: RENN) don’t normally have too much in common, other than the fact that both are based in China and come from the tech sector. But on this particular day, both are joined by the unflattering fact that their latest earnings reveal companies deeply mired in the red, sparking sharp drops in their share prices. Yingli’s situation certainly isn’t encouraging, though its issues look more temporary. Renren is a different story, and its latest numbers show the company won’t be able to survive on its own over the longer term and it would be well advised to start looking for a strategic partner. Read Full Post…

Sina Weibo IPO Plan Fails To Excite

Sina hires investment banks for Weibo IPO

Leading web portal Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) is rushing ahead with plans to separately list its Weibo microblogging unit, with word that it’s taken the first major step towards a New York IPO by formally hiring investment banks for the deal. I’ve previously said Sina was likely to accelerate its listing plan, amid growing signs that Weibo’s growth was slowing and users were abandoning the service in favor of Tencent’s (HKEx: 700) more mobile-friendly WeChat. The latest quarterly earnings report just out from Sina adds further reason for pessimism about the upcoming IPO, showing Weibo remains highly dependent on advertising for most of its revenue. Read Full Post…

Microblogging Fades, Adding Urgency For Sina Weibo IPO

New industry data adds urgency for Sina Weibo IPO

New data is highlighting an online trend that I wrote about last year, namely that microblogs have peaked in popularity and are starting to decline, in a bad sign for leading web portal Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) as it rushes monetize and list its popular Weibo service. Frankly speaking, I’m not too optimistic anymore about the prospects for Sina Weibo, which is really just a copy of US social media pioneer Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) and hasn’t shown much ability to innovate in the rapidly changing social networking (SNS) space. All that said, I imagine this latest report from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) is prompting new urgency for Sina to separately list its Weibo unit, and that such an IPO could come later this year. Read Full Post…

Renren Downsizes Games, Ripe For Picking?

Renren downsizes game division

Former social networking (SNS) superstar Renren (NYSE: RENN) is reportedly downsizing its online game division, formerly its most promising unit, leading me to wonder if earlier rumors that the company’s days as an independent entity may be numbered. The story behind Renren’s rapid rise and now apparent fall is simple: The company was once considered China’s equivalent of Facebook (Nasdaq: FB), and used that comparison to launch a successful IPO back in 2011. But since then it has been overtaken by other social networking services, most notably Sina’s (Nasdaq: SINA) Weibo microblogging service and Tencent’s (HKEx: 700) WeChat, putting the company’s future in jeopardy as it looks for a competitive advantage. Read Full Post…

Alibaba Sees Sudden Urgency In SNS

Alibaba in major Laiwang push

I’ve been watching with interest this week as e-commerce leader Alibaba has discovered a sudden urgency to grow its business in the social networking (SNS) space, with founder Jack Ma leading the charge. In the last few days, media have reported that Alibaba has made a major new acquisition in the sector, and Ma is also trumpeting the importance of the company’s recently launched Laiwang instant messaging service that will compete with Tencent’s (HKEx: 700) hugely popular WeChat service. All this comes after Alibaba earlier this year signed a landmark agreement to buy a major stake in Sina’s (Nasdaq: SINA) Weibo service, often called the Twitter of China. Read Full Post…

Ya’an Quake Adds Responsibility to Frivolous SNS

SNS moves beyond idle chatter in after Ya’an quake

The Ya’an earthquake now already 2 weeks ago has cast an interesting new spotlight on China’s vibrant field of social networking services (SNS), showing a different side to these sites that are largely seen as little more than frivolous, time-wasting toys. As a frequent user of Chinese sites like Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) Weibo, Tencent (HKEx: 700) WeChat and Facebook (Nasdaq: FB), I can personally testify that I mostly use these sites to fill up idle time at home or on the subway, often when I’m trying to procrastinate or am just feeling bored. But these sites are suddenly earning new praise as a critical communication tool during the Ya’an earthquake, arguably the first major global disaster since SNS services began their meteoric rise less than a decade ago. Read Full Post…

Renren Discovers Microblogging Too Late

Leading Chinese social networking site Renren (NYSE: RENN) has finally discovered microblogging, with the launch of a new service, called Xiaozhan, designed to emulate Twitter to complement its traditional SNS site that looks and feels more like Facebook. (company announcement) The only problem is, China already has a company called Weibo, a unit of leading Web portal Sina (Nasdaq: SINA), which looks unstoppable as it signs up millions of new users each month and whose name has become interchangeable with microblogging in China. Rival microblogging sites operated by such big names as NetEase (Nasdaq: NTES) have struggled to compete with Weibo, and Chinese search leader Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) even shuttered its own microblogging site earlier this year, acknowledging it was unable to play in the space. (previous post) In fact, Weibo, whose Chinese name actually means “microblog” in Chinese, launched its own traditional SNS site, called Qing, last month, in a bid to leverage its huge popularity to steal business from Renren and other traditional SNS sites like Kaixin. (previous post) Some  might argue that Renren needs to fight back with its own microblogging service to offer a more complete social networking experience, and that it can leverage its traditional SNS platform to lure many of its subscribers to this new Xiaozhan service. I agree to some extent that Renren needs to find related services to leverage its user base to grow. But unless it can offer something revolutionary in microblogging, which I seriously doubt, I would advise the company to look for other new opportunities and leave this space for Weibo. Barring anything unusual, I would expect this new Xiaozhan service to struggle for its entire existence, and could see Renren quietly shuttering the service in the next 1 to 2 years.

Bottom line: Renren’s newly launched microblogging service is destined for failure in the face of  insurmountable competition from Sina’s Weibo.

Related postings 相关文章:

Renren Results: A Mixed Bag for Everyone 人人网业绩:苦乐参半

Sina Gets Serious on SNS With New “Blogging Light” 新浪推出轻博客 大力进军社交网络业务

New Weibo Makes First M&A Move 新浪微博并购忙

Gaopeng, Kaixin Spotlight China Internet Turmoil 高朋网、开心网凸显中国互联网混乱现状

Signs of turbulence continue in China’s cutthroat and overinflated Internet space, with worrisome news coming from Kaixin, China’s second biggest social networking site (SNS), as well as Gaopeng, the group buying site operated by Groupon and Tencent (HKEx: 700). First Gaopeng. Despite its denials that anything is amiss, Gaopeng has just laid off 400 employees across its various locations, in what looks like the biggest in a steady stream of cuts that have made headlines in the Chinese media in recent weeks. (Chinese article) The company is facing intense competition from at least three major rivals, Lashou, Dianping and 55tuan, which collectively raised $500 million in venture funding earlier this year (previous post) and are clearly engaging in a cutthroat grab for share in this market that is certainly lucrative but lacks the size to support so many major players. I suspect that Groupon started up Gaopeng early this year to give itself a “China story” to please US investors in the run-up to its upcoming IPO. But now that it sees how cutthroat the market is, it could easily shutter Gapeng before the offering in a bid to hide what are undoubtedly some ugly financials from investors from this struggling joint venture. Meantime, Kaixin, which lost a race earlier this year with Renren (NYSE: RENN) to become China’s first publicly listed SNS, has broken a months-long silence to address recent reports of massive subscriber losses. The company’s low-key founder Cheng Binghao held an unusual media briefing in which he said Kaixin’s previous explosive growth rate is slowing to a more realistic level, and added the days of heady growth for China’s Internet may be finished. (Chinese article) Cheng said the company now has 117 million registered users, just behind Renren’s 124 million, though I suspect many of those are inactive, which Cheng hinted is the case. With that kind of a slowing growth story and the current general market turbulence, along with the threat of a new SNS service from Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) (previous post), I wouldn’t look for Kaixin to move ahead with its IPO until it has a better story to tell, which would be next year at the earliest.

Bottom line: Downbeat reports surrounding Gaopeng and Kaixin reflect a China Internet market in turmoil, with consolidation and few new IPOs likely through the rest of the year.



Related postings 相关文章:

Sina, Tencent Pose Threat in SNS, E-Commerce 新浪腾讯攻城掠地

Advertising Squeeze Continues, Slowdown Looms 广告支出初显放缓迹象

Gaopeng Lay-Offs Auger Ad Spending Downturn 1高朋裁员预示网络广告支出或大幅下降