Headline Dec 24, 2014/


If Not Heroes Of Innovation '''

SINCE THE EARLY day's of China's web, Internet cafes have been seen as modern-day opium dens where the addicted users, mostly  young males, play online games.

This generally remains true today.

Walk into an Internet cafe outside one of the Chinese factory complexes of Foxconn, an Apple supplier and the country's largest employer, and you will see hordes of assemblers of  iPads and  iPhones on their breaks, playing multiplayer online games.

The one thing that has changed is the games they are playing. Less than a decade ago foreign games, such as South Korea's  '' The Legend of Mir II '', accounted for 70% of China's online gaming market-

Now they make up just one-third. Instead, players are choosing home-produced fare, such as  ''Fantasy Westward Journey''  or  ''Dream of Three Ancient Kingdoms''.

At the same time the market has surged from below  $160 million in 2003 to an estimated $9 billion in 2012,  more than a third of the global total. By 2016 it is expected to be worth $20 billion.

The online gaming industry illustrates two striking things about the Chinese Internet as a place to do business. The first is that the number of consumers and their spending have grown extraordinarily fast.

Far more people are online to shop, play games, search, watch videos and use social media in China than in any other country. Astonishingly, the number of online shopping transactions is expected to surpass America's.

The second is that those consumers are spending almost all of the time and money on Chinese Internet Platforms. The Communist Party has the Internet Industry it wants, a thriving sector served by Chinese led companies that it can trust to be politically reliable-

Rather than by unpalatable foreign ones  -even though on paper many of the Chinese companies are partly foreign-owned through private-equity and venture-capital investors.

Not coincidentally, though, this politically sheltered industry is also devoid of significant technological advances.

The chase for users and revenue means  cut-throat competition and incremental innovation, but no leaps of invention.

Economics has played a big role in creating this walled-off Chinese ecosystem.

Many early founders cloned Western services with the enthusiastic support of foreign    -mostly American-   investors who understood that the market would be large enough to support distinctly Chinese companies.   

So. instead of visiting Internet Portals,  users go to Sina, Sohu, and NetEase. Instead of  eBay they shop at  Taobao and pay not with PayPal but with AliPay, an affiliate of Taobao within the Alibaba group, China's dominant online shopping business.

Instead of  Google, users search on Baidu.

Wang Xing, a talented engineer trained at TsingHua University,  China's Massachusetts Institute of Technology, created  four successive clones in China: of Friendster,  Facebook,  Twitter and Groupon.

Mr Wang's  Twitter  clone,  Fanfou, stumbled when he failed to censor it strictly enough. But he sold the Facebook clone   -which became Renren-  for several million dollars, and his Groupon clone:

Meituan, is now one of the market leaders. Groupon itself failed in China, and its joint venture was swallowed up last year by a clone owned by its own Chinese business partner, Tencent.

Many of the victors are now among China's wealthiest entrepreneurs,  -business heroes if not heroes of innovation.

The creator of Taobao, Jack Ma, a former English teacher, first shot to fortune with Alibaba.com, an  online platform for importers and exporters.

Robin Li,  co-founder and chief executive of Baidu, proudly displays his patent for a search algorithm at his headquarters in Beijing    -which predates, his employees note:

The one awarded to Larry Page, Google's CEO   -though Mr Lee's business was closely modelled on Google.

In 1999  Ma Huateng used a precise copy of  AOL'S   ICQ  instant messaging service to launch  Tencent,  but had to rename it  QQ  after AOL complained.

The Honour and Serving of the  ''operational research''   continues. Thank you for reading and I hope, maybe, learning. Will be reviewing and publishing on this subject, regularly in the future.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of China. See Ya  all  on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Internet '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!