The Hot Zone
China's newly announced air defense identification zone over the East China Sea aims to shore up national security
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Cover Stories Series 2013> WeChat's Overseas Plan> Archive
UPDATED: August 5, 2013 Web Exclusive
Connecting Globally
There are vast changes underway in the mobile Web industry that could reshape the world
By Chen Ran

The fifth Global Mobile Internet Conference was held at the National Convention Center in Beijing on May 7-8 (COURTESY OF GMIC)

The rising adoption of smartphones worldwide has made mobile Internet a booming industry in recent years. South Korea, China and Australia have the highest smartphone penetration rates worldwide at 67 percent, 66 percent and 65 percent, respectively, according to Nielsen. In China, smartphone adoption grew 401 percent over the last year. Revenue in the mobile Internet hit 54.97 billion yuan ($8.7 billion), with a year-on-year growth rate of 96.4 percent.

How will Internet companies get a bigger share of this growing business? Tech professionals shared their thoughts at the fifth Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing on May 7-8. Excerpt follows:

Pony Ma Huateng, Core Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tencent:

Crossover Allows for Opportunities

The booming mobile Internet industry creates a gold opportunity for Asian countries to shine. For the first time, we are at the same starting point and even take a minor leading position over some of the American giants such as Facebook. It remains a challenge for Internet companies to cope with PC clients while shifting to the mobile arena.

I found that the biggest opportunity came from industries crossing over. For instance, I was in communications some 20 years ago, and quite familiar with the Internet at the same time. So we did something that combined both areas. That was why instant messaging and online communities were Tencent's trump cards in the early years.

To be honest, we had setbacks as well, such as in e-commerce and the search engine market. I think crossover still works today. Some of the popular products in the United States feature communications. Internet companies in Asia, however, are moving beyond communications--they make communications, social networks and platforms into one. Tencent's WeChat, which has more than 300 million users, is the first of its kind in the world. I personally have 50 percent confidence in its globalization.

Internet companies, big or small, have to be aware of the industry's transformation and cautious about every step in the wake of the mobile Internet era. We are lucky that we experienced a smooth shift from traditional Internet to the mobile one, and we still have space for improvement. We should create a win-win solution from multiple aspects involving developers, platforms, and partnerships.

The industry is on the rise and its beauty lies in its uncertainty, but we are passionate and interested in exploring the unknown.

Yu Yongfu, Chief Executive Officer of UCWeb:

Keeping Momentum

Big Internet names in both China and the United States make people bored. Various third-party applications from startup companies contribute to a more colorful mobile Internet world.

I think three variables, namely technology, development models and companies, could change the industry.

Web browsers that focus on layout design rather than technology would hit a dead end. Taking UCWeb as an example. We were the first in the world that managed to use Cloud computing in the browser's structure. As a result, the penetration of our browser into smartphones, both in Android and iOS systems, reached 71.2 percent. The figure for 360.com, the country's biggest PC web browser, was only 4.3 percent.

In the past, most Chinese companies did not take overseas markets into consideration. Today, that's the case for American Internet companies when it comes to mobile Internet. Not surprisingly, business here in Asia started booming earlier than in the United States. For instance, Japan witnessed rapid growth in its mobile Internet sector beginning in 2001, and China since 2004. The United States did not reach this new chapter until the advent of the iPhone by Apple in 2007. Asia will continue to succeed as long as we keep the momentum.

We were one of the few Chinese companies with global ambitions early on. Emerging markets in Brazil, Russia and India were within our strategy.

As for the last variable, 99 percent of Internet companies in the world are small- and medium-sized ones. As startups, we could bring vitality and variety to the industry.

1   2   Next  

Top Story
-Protecting Ocean Rights
-Partners in Defense
-Fighting HIV+'s Stigma
-HIV: Privacy VS. Protection
-Setting the Tone
Related Stories
-Cybercafes in Decline (CHINESE VERSION)
-A Debate on the WeChat Fee
-A Telecom Dilemma
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved