Friday, May 31, 10:11 AM
Vodafone (VOD -1.1%) and China Mobile (CHL -2%) have abandoned plans to make a joint bid for a mobile license in Myanmar, arguing conditions are unfavorable. Both carriers have been on the lookout for emerging markets growth opportunities. Separately, CHL is getting ready to launch Jego, a mobile VoIP/messaging platform aimed at international users with Chinese friends/family, and planning to revive Fetion, a mobile/PC IM app. Both will face tough competition from Tencent's (TCEHY.PK) popular and traffic-hogging WeChat, as well as international platforms such as WhatsApp, Skype, and Viber.
Friday, May 10, 9:48 AMAn upgrade to Buy from Goldman's Piyush Mubayi helps Sina (SINA +2.6%) open higher. Mubayi expects the Alibaba deal to "enable Alibaba to direct [e-commerce] demand to Weibo," thereby improving monetization. Talking more broadly about the Chinese Web services space, he declares Alibaba, Baidu (BIDU), and Tencent (TCEHY.PK) to be in a 3-way leadership battle that "will likely shape the industry landscape over the next 5-10 years." Other recent deals (I, II) also seem to bear that out. Will Baidu make a deal or two to strengthen its social networking hand in this battle? (Jefferies Sina upgrade)
Comment![Tech, On the Move]
Wednesday, May 8, 1:10 PM
A recent Chinese government proposal to allow local investors to buy stocks traded elsewhere could give a lift to "companies familiar to them," argues Stifel. The firm mentions Baidu (BIDU +3.3%), Qihoo (QIHU +2.1%), Youku (YOKU +1.2%), and Tencent (TCEHY.PK - trades in HK) as beneficiaries. All 3 U.S.-traded names are rallying, as are YY (YY +8.9%), Sohu (SOHU +5.1%), Perfect World (PWRD +1.6%), and Changyou (CYOU +3.1%). Youku fell yesterday after Baidu confirmed it's buying video site PPS, and will integrate it with its iQiyi site. Baidu claims PPS/iQiyi will create China's largest Web video platform in terms of mobile users and viewing time.
1 Comment[Tech, On the Move, Quick Ideas]
Tuesday, May 7, 1:37 PM
Sina (SINA -2.5%) gives back yesterday's gains after Tencent (TCEHY.PK) says it has reached "preliminary solutions" with Chinese mobile carriers (CHL, CHU, CHA) regarding its very popular WeChat mobile IM platform, which both generates heavy traffic and eats into text-messaging revenue (China Mobile's text revenue fell 4.8% last year). That's likely raising fears Sina might have to pay carriers for the traffic produced by Weibo, arguably WeChat's top rival. Tencent has said it's unlikely to charge WeChat users.
Comment![Tech, On the Move]
Monday, April 29, 9:24 AM
Sina's (SINA) partnership with Alibaba, long rumored, is aimed at Tencent (TCEHY.PK): the company's WeChat mobile IM platform has become a serious rival to Weibo, and its e-commerce sales rose 49% Y/Y in Q4 to $273M. Last month, Tencent announced plans to merge its QQ Mall and QQ Buy e-commerce sites to better take on Alibaba, and 2 weeks ago, it announced e-commerce integration for WeChat. Tencent has also launched an online payments service that competes with Alibaba's dominant Alipay and Sina's WeiboPay; the latter might now get shuttered. Alibaba's investment gives Yahoo (YHOO) an indirect 4.3% stake in Sina, which promises the deal will produce $380M in revenue over the next 3 years.
Comment![Tech, On the Move]
Monday, April 8, 12:33 PM
After a Chinese government official suggested Tencent (TCEHY.PK) will "have to pay fees" to mobile carriers (CHA, CHL, CHU) for the use of its extremely popular WeChat mobile IM/social networking platform, Tencent tells its users it's unlikely to charge for WeChat. Much like their European peers, Chinese carriers have seen their text messaging revenue pressured by the adoption on Web-based services such as WeChat. Sina (SINA) recently admitted WeChat, which now has 300M+ registered accounts, has been affecting Weibo usage.
Thursday, March 28, 6:49 PM
Even as console game sales tumbled and PC demand slipped, PC game sales grew 8% last year to $20B, estimates research firm DFC - this figure includes money spent on online titles. Demand from China is believed to have risen 9% to $6.8B, and positive growth was also reportedly seen in the U.S. and Japan. Interestingly, industry trade group PCGA argues mobile is helping PC gaming enabling smaller developers to launch cross-platform initiatives.
Wednesday, March 20, 10:57 AMSolid earnings from Tencent (TCEHY.PK) and a rally in Shanghai help Chinese Internet stocks trade higher. YOKU +3.8%. SINA +2.8%. QIHU +2.5%. SOHU +1.8%. YY +1.8%. NTES +1.5%. PWRD +1.7%. Tencent, which rose 1.5% in Hong Kong, reported a 53% Y/Y increase in Q4 sales to $1.96B, and a 37% increase in net income to $557M. Ad sales were better than expected, and value-added service sales (includes online games) rose 32%. Registered accounts for Tencent's WeChat mobile IM platform, which competes with Sina's Weibo, have topped 300M.
Comment![Tech, On the Move, Earnings]
Wednesday, February 20, 9:27 AM
Sina (SINA) +7.6% as praise pours in for its Q4 beat, which was highlighted by growing Weibo revenue (20% of total). Stifel predicts Weibo, which produced a 2011/2012 surge in R&D spend, will turn an operating profit in Q4. On its earnings call, Sina admitted Tencent's (TCEHY.PK) WeChat mobile messaging platform, which now has 300M registered accounts, contributed to a "slight decrease in average time spent" by Weibo users. But it insisted Weibo and its 500M+ accounts now have a "critical mass," and said it's investing heavily to increase Weibo's mobile reach.
Comment![Tech, Earnings, On the Move]
Wednesday, January 16, 7:02 PM
China's Internet user base rose 10% last year to 564M, according to a government-linked agency. Mobile data adoption has much to do with this growth: the number of Chinese users relying on mobile devices to go online rose 18% to 420M. All that mobile activity is both a growth opportunity and a monetization challenge for the likes of Baidu (BIDU) and Sina (SINA) - Sina recently said it would adopt a "mobile first" strategy in 2013.
Monday, December 31, 2012, 1:24 PM
China Mobile (CHL) is holding revenue-sharing talks with Tencent (TCEHY.PK) over the heavy traffic volumes generates by the latter's apps, claims a Chinese telecom ministry official. Media reports have indicated Tencent accounts for 40% of the data traffic seen by CHL's largest subsidiary, but a much smaller portion of its data revenue. With CHL's ARPU below $11, such revenue-sharing deals could be crucial to the carrier's ability to finance its 3G/4G investments as data traffic soars.
Friday, December 28, 2012, 12:05 PM
Add Sina (SINA +2%) to the list of Web companies making mobile a priority. CEO Charles Chao just sent a company memo (Google translation) in which he says Sina's 2013 strategy will be "mobile first," and that it will restructure into two units. One unit, headed by COO Hong Du, will run Sina's portal ops, and the other, headed by Chao, will run Sina Weibo and the company's wireless tech ops. Bloomberg recently noted Weibo is facing stiff mobile competition from Tencent's (TCEHY.PK) WeChat messaging platform, which now has 200M registered users.
Monday, December 17, 2012, 10:40 AM
Sina (SINA +4.4%) is rallying, apparently on a report the company will announce a partnership next week with Chinese Android OEM Xiaomi. The tie-up is said to possibly involve Sina's Meyou messaging service and Xiaomi's Miliao, with the goal of taking on messaging giant Tencent's (TCEHY.PK) WeChat. Sina took off last month on a rumor about an Alibaba investment, but no deal arrived.
Comment![Tech, On the Move]
Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 8:52 AM
China's YY has priced its 7.8M-share IPO at $10.50, the low end of its range, and will begin trading today. The IPO price translates into a market cap of $558M. YY has been growing revenue rapidly, but its instant messaging/social media platform also faces strong direct competition from Tencent's (TCEHY.PK) QQ, and indirect competition from Sina's Weibo and others. In an IPO preview, SA's Francis Gaskins expressed concerns about YY's offshore incorporation structure. (F-1)
Monday, October 15, 2012, 1:47 PM
Chinese instant messaging/social media platform YY has filed for a $100M U.S. IPO under the symbol YY. YY, which competes most directly with Chinese Web giant Tencent (TCEHY.PK) and its QQ platform, claimed 400.5M registered users as of Sep. 30 (that figure likely includes plenty of duplicate accounts). The company posted 1H revenue of $51.1M (up nearly 3x Y/Y) and net income of $3.3M
Monday, September 17, 2012, 6:53 PM
A Chinese government report claims 54% of the country's mobile Web users have installed startup UCWeb's browser; at least a third use one of Tencent's (TCEHY.PK) browsers; and 47% use their phone's default browser (clearly a lot of users have multiple browsers). The stats demonstrate the value to Baidu (BIDU), which just released its own browser, in acquiring UCWeb, as the company is reportedly interested in doing so, for the sake of strengthening its mobile search hand.