About this Blog

The purpose of this blog is for my personal use. It serves as my personal diary as I investigate Chinese internet/gaming companies for investment purpose. If you have any comments or disagreement, please give me feedbacks.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

CNNIC 2007 Search Market Survey

My previous article on search is regard to a search market survey done by CIC. The link is as follows:


CNNIC just release its 2007 Search engine survey. It is their third years where they did this survey. I don’t have all the information yet. But the main summary can be found here:



I compile the data into 3 tables. The first table is the people’s first choice for the search engine in both 2007 and 2006:

1st Choice
























The second table compile the Brand Awareness data for each search engine. Note that I only have 2006 data. If anybody have the 2007 data, please let me know.

Brand Awareness
















For this survey, they break down the cities they surveyed into three tiers. The following table gives the breakdown of Baidu vs. Google for the three tiered cities:

1st Tier Cities

2nd Tier Cities

3rd Tier Cities









If we compare this result with the survey done by CIC, there are some interesting points that can be made:

Baidu – For both surveys, Baidu is getting stronger (69.5% for CIC and 74.5% in CNNIC). The search engine war in China seems to be over.

Google – For the CIC survey, users loss seems to be stabilizing (from 24.1% in 2006 to 23% in 2007). But the CNNIC survey indicated continued major users loss (25.3% in 2006 to 14.3% in 2007). The possible explanation is that CIC survey only pools the 1st tier cities. The user loss may have stabilized for the 1st tier cities, but it accelerated for the 2nd and 3rd tier cities.

Yahoo – Major user loss as indicated by both surveys. For CIC, it went down from 5.2% to 2.3% . For CNNIC, it went down from 4.8% to 2.1%. For the CNNIC, it had went down to the fourth search engine, behind Sogou.

Sogou – Again, there is a discrepancy by both surveys. For CIC, there is a major user loss, it went down from 3.2% to 1.8%. But for CNNIC, the user base has basically stabilized. It went down from 3.2% to 2.8%. A possible explanation is that users in the 1st tier cities has stop using Sogou. But that is countered by more users from the 2nd and 3rd tier cities started using Sogou as their first choice.

Others - Soso and Sina uses Google’s search engine. Ntes’s Yodao may be too little too late.

Summary – It looks like the search engine war is basically over, and Baidu is the winner. It has to be a humiliating defeat for Google. There is always a place for an English search engine in China. But the day for Google to challenge is basically over.

It is basically game over for Yahoo. They have to be the biggest loser for this year’s search engine war.

For Sogou, they don’t seem to be doing that bad. They may have jumped up to the third place. But it is not much of a price considering they are only 2.8%. But I still think they may have one last hurrah left, next summer’s Olympics. If they keeps on putting man powers to develop their search engine technology and build some new features only for the Olympics related search, they may be a good position to grab some users next summer. For example, if they can convince Chinese users that they have a 5 or 10 minutes advantage for Olympics related scoreboard or stories, many Chinese users will give them a shot. Besides, China’s internet is so big, there are places for three search engine to exist.

For others, the game is basically over. It may be too little too late for Ntes and Tencents.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Quick update on XY3 and XYQ

My last article on XY3 and XYQ can be found here:


As I predicted, XYQ’s new expansion pact was released on 9/25/2007. See the following link for the official announcement:


On that date, the number of searches on Baidu went up by more than 100%. However, it was not reflected on the server count the same date. It is to be expected since 9/25/2007 is a Tuesday. Again, this is another demonstration that Baidu's statistics only tell us about the amount of curiosity. It is really the server count that matters.

The upcoming National day holiday would most likely tell us more, but I do expect a nice pickup. The timing is perfect for this release of XYQ expansion pact.

For XY3, I am starting to become confident on the longevity of this game. During this weekend, in preparation for the upcoming National day holiday, XY3 is going to add 7 new servers. They are going to add 3 on the upcoming Friday and 4 on the coming Sunday. It will make the total server counts 138. The official link is as follows:


I had seen the estimate of 50% to 60% retentions rate from open beta to commercial operation for XY3 from quite a few wall street analysts. I never think it is possible. It might be true 2 or 3 years ago. But ever since the flood of free-to-play game in the market in recent years, it will be lucky for a paying game to achieve a retention rate of 20%.

For XY3, my rough estimate is about 30%. It might disappoint a few wall street analysts, but I consider it a good start.

But most importantly, NTES is adding tremendous amount of new content and the game is growing again.

At this point, XY3 has 131 servers. But it is NOT a 131 server game. It is really a 70 (my rough estimate) server game. There are two types of servers, open beta servers and local servers.

There are about 115 open beta servers. These are the servers that are open since open beta. These servers (except for a few) are dying. These servers have enough players that they could be consolidated into roughly 50 healthy servers.

Then, there are the local servers. Most of these servers are opened after the commercial launch. There are 16 in total. They are basically full most of the date and NTES can’t add enough local servers fast enough to meet demand.

The 7 new servers NTES planned to add this weekend are of course the local servers.

Therefore, at this point XY3 is a solid 70 to 80 servers game. Just for comparison sake, XY2 has 273 servers and XYQ has 430 servers.

But XY3 is growing. Most importantly, it has a major ace in its sleeve, the conversion from XY2 to XY3 hasn’t started yet.

XY2 is a game with 273 servers. It is a game with a PCU of 592k. It is an old game (> 5 years). For every one current player, there are at least 10 older players who no longer play the game. The amount of players who had played XY2 is tremendous.

Every one of these players, older or current players, have play characters in XY2. They can all be converted into XY3 and becoming high level players instantly in XY3.

At this point, the design team in XY3 is adding tremendous amount of content every week so XY3 is complete enough and with good play balance so the conversion can take place.

It will probably be one to two months before the conversion can take place. But when that happens, we may be talking about a quantum jump of double or triple in size.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sina starts pay book club

Recently Sina had started to charge fees for services that are free for most Chinese websites. They are going to start putting advertising on their blogs. They are starting to charge for European soccers. They are starting to monetize for legal music download. Now, on 9/21/2007, they are going to start charging people for viewing e-books and e-novels. See the following link:


The link to Sina books is as follows:


On the top part, there are two links, one goes to the free books and another one goes to the books that requires fee. If one clicks the link that goes to the free books section, one would get the following:

As you can see, there are 33419 books that are free to be viewed. Another interesting point can be drawn is that most of the most popular books in this section are the erotic books. The most popular free book has 171.992900 million clicks.

If one click on the link that goes to the books requires fee, one would get the following:

There are 178 books that only paying members can read. At this point, since Sina just started this service, there aren’t large numbers of title yet. Most of the titles in this section are Chinese KuFu novels. The most popular title has 4.848329 million clicks.

At this point, I don’t think Sina will make much out of this service.

It is interesting to see that Sina is going against the common perceptions. E-books, Songs, and videos (European Soccers) are easily pirated product. Sina seems to make a calculated decision that the time is right to go against the established trend.

If China does get serious in combating piracy, Sina will be in a great position to be in the dominating position. Or maybe Sina will find a way to make money by using modified form of e-commerce. Either way, I am sure Sohu and Ntes are watching carefully.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

China’s Internet Market Survey

On 9/17/2007 – China IntelliConsulting Corp (CIC) published the survey results based on users in three of China’s most important cities, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzong. The result speaks well for Sina and of course, Sina is all over this news.

The link is as follows:


The result is more clearly shown in the following link:


For the search market,

9/2006 9/2007


















For the portals:


















The following article gives the name recognition of the search engine


Search Engine Name Recognition






























First, the result gives a snapshot of the users preference for the three cities in the east coast. There maybe difference between the cities in the east coast and west coast. But more importantly, this survey doesn’t take into account of rural population.

In addition, some “independent” survey is not very independent at all. But I don’t know CIC and therefore can’t verify whether it is biased or not.

A quick summary:

For the search market:

Baidu is doing really well. Google went down from last year but went up from 6 months ago. All the smaller search engines are getting smaller.

For Sogou, it may have an extremely small market share (1.8%), but it does have a very large name recognition (27%). It may not be the 1st choice for many users, but it is probably the 2nd or 3rd choice for a lot of users.

It strikes me that Baidu is really running away from the field. Google is a very distant second. Yahoo and Sohu’s Sogou may have a fighting chance to survive if the top two stumbles.

For the portals:

The result shows that Sina is increasing its distance from Sohu. The numbers for Sohu’s other properties (such as 17173, Focus, Chinaren, etc.) are included in Sohu’s number.

It is a little surprising in that Sohu had been pretty hot recently. Again, if rural population and west coast cities were included, Sohu won’t be fairing this badly. Sina had a reputation for users with higher education levels. Thus, it will have an inherent advantage for this survey.

But the trend is confusing as well. A possible reason could be that Sina had its blog, youtube, TV stations ready a good 6 to 9 months earlier than Sohu. Sohu just started these services and it hasn’t catch up to Sina’s head start yet. In addition, the effect of the Olympics hasn’t been felt yet.

In summary, Sina and Baidu have to be declared the winner at this point. Google is making a small comeback. But Google is not able to take market share away from Baidu. For Yahoo, it has to be disappointing in both Search engine and portal. For Sogou, it needs to keep on updating its technology and user friendliness. It still has an ace in his hand, the Olympics. For all other search engines, it maybe too late for them. Netease’s new search engine is still not out yet, but it may be a few years too late.

For the portals, Sina is sitting pretty. Its head start in coming out with blog, youtube, and TV stations, give it a competitive advantage. But Sohu has all of these now. In addition, Sohu seems to have an inside track on the Olympics. The game is not over by any means. Netease got to develop these web2.0 and video functions if its still want to stay in the game. China can support three major portals. Both Sina and Sohu are here to stay, if Netease screws up, then another will take its place.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sohu – Video – TV stations opened

In April this year, I did a 6-part articles on the state of video development for China’s major portals. That article is here:


On 9/6/2007, Sohu started Sohu TV:


The link to Sohu TV is at:


Again, I am not able to capture the moving video in the screen capture. But the one being circled are the TV stations. If you click on one of them, you would get the following:

The left hand side has the TV stations, the middle is the TV program, and the right hand side is the schedule for the particular TV channels one is picking.

At this point, Sohu had signed up 49 TV stations. Most of these TV stations are also present for the similar service provided by Sina.

It seems to me that Sohu has more TV channels.

The good thing about these TV channels are that because they uses P2P technology, there are virtually no overhead.

Unlike these embedded video that requires lots of servers and bandwidths, P2P technology uses users’ PCs and phone lines.

For very little money, Sohu is getting a lot out of these TV channels. At this point, there is no ads present. It will be easy for Sina or Sohu to put some text ads on top or bottom of the video window. But to be real effective, Sina and Sohu had to figure out a way to take out the original TV ads and insert their own ads. (I am sure the TV stations will be fine with that as long as they got a cut of the revenue). But that is probably a year or two from now.

At this point, as far as the number of video products are concerned, I would say Sohu is now on par with Sina (if not more). But I am sure Sina is busying adding more contents, it will probably a two headed race.

Both of them have full function blogs. The blogs are anchored by a you-tube like service. The combination of blogs and you-tube videos give both Sina and Sohu a competitive advantage to China’s blog companies and China’s you-tube companies.

Sohu and Sina’s TV channels will take a large byte out of programs like PPstream or PPlive. If Sina and Sohu can keep on signing up more domestic TV channels (especially the big one), they will probably dominate the video aggregator business.

This development further confirmed my belief that both Sina and Sohu will start to mutate into a fundamentally different type of companies.

I can foresee that after the Olympics, both companies will mutate from a text based companies into a video based companies. It means the cost of entry will be so high, it will be extremely difficult for other competitor to get in.

As a video company, it will attract ads from more types of companies.

As they become the content providers, they will hold tremendous leverage in the upcoming 3G mobile phone contest. China Mobile might want to be a monopoly and kill off all the middle men, but it doesn’t generate contents.

Both Sina and Sohu had a lot of unpleasant experience in being a Wireless Value Added Service (WVAS) provider. It will be extremely difficult for WVAS players to survive, but as original content providers, and with the start of 3G in China next year, Sina and Sohu can re-enter this field with a bang!

In addition, by combining both the blog and you-tube like services, as well as other services such as photo album, music boxes, etc, both Sina and Sohu will probably starts to kill off all the blogs companies and you-tube companies in China.

These will eventually represents two new areas (blog and you-tube) of growing revenue sources.

As Sohu TV and Sina’s TV channels start to fill up, both will start to act like TV/Video aggregators. A user in Shanghai can watch Shangdong TV or Guangdong TV through Sina or Sohu. Eventually, the ads for traditional TV’s will start to go to both companies. Again, another new growing revenue source.

Finally, for the S and V channels for Sohu and SinaTV, these self-generating TV channels gives both Sohu and Sina the ability to generate TV program contents themselves. They are starting the movie and TV production studio. If some of the shows are successful, they might even be able to sell these shows to the traditional TV companies.

As both companies starts to mutate, it needs a grand entrance to show off all the new capabilities. What can be grander than the 2008 Beijing Olympics?

2008 will be a great year for both companies because of Beijing Olympics. But I think the Beijing Olympics will serves as the showcase for both companies. As more companies (through Olympics) start to realize that both Sina and Sohu had become truly multimedia companies, the real exponential growth will start in 2009.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Battle of the Olympics, part4 - Conclusion

This is the final part of a 4 part report, the previous part, part 3, is here:


Sina will have 15 reporters while Sohu will have 300 reporters inside the Olympics. Sohu claims it is the only internet company that is allowed inside the Olympics village. It may be half true. Sina probably is not allowed to go directly. But she will get 15 reporters in, probably though indirect channel (such as be part of a team from a traditional TV).

At this point, it is clear that Sohu has the upper hand for the Olympics. Beijing Olympics Committee is on their side. In addition, as long as there are confusion regards to whether companies can use Olympics logos or slogans on Sina, Ntes, or Tencents’ web site, it is to be Sohu’s advantage.

Frankly, I don’t think companies like Dell, GM, Toyota could care less about who is the official sponsor. But if they can put ads on Sohu without any string attached while there may be many hidden restrictions to put ads on Sina, Ntes, and others, it is pretty clear which internet company they will pick.

The longer this confusion lasts, the better it is for Sohu.

Now it is clear that Beijing Olympics Committee is on Sohu’s side, will that be the final nail on the coffin as far as Sina and Ntes are concerned? Not by a long shot.

First, Sina and Ntes will benefit from the Olympics indirectly just by be the 1st and 3rd largest portal in China.

In addition, both of them have powerful friends in the government also. It is one thing that Beijing Olympics Committee gives verbal prohibition, it is quite another matter for the above agency to actually stop what Sina or Ntes will do.

More importantly, if Sina is successful to make the alliance permanent as well as able to share advertisement, Sina will create an entity that is virtually invincible.

Sina (and Ntes) might take its licks from Sohu prior and during the Olympics. But what is Sohu going to do afterward. Sohu definitely can’t compete with a real alliance like the one Sina is proposing.

In a nutshell, I think Sohu is going to win the Olympics battle, but will she lose China’s internet war? Only time will tell.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Battle of the Olympics, part3 - Sohu

This is part 3 of a 4 part report. The previous, part 2, is here:


Now that Sina announced its Olympics strategy, not to be outdone, Sohu announced its Olympic strategy the next working date (9/10/2007):

See the following article for more details,


Back to this particular news conference, there are a lot of articles on this. I will give a short summary for each of them.

First, the CEO of Sohu talks:


Sohu’s Olympics team will consist of 703 reporters. Of which 300 will be reporting inside the Olympics. It is the only internet company that is allowed inside the Olympics village.

Next, the CFO of Sohu talks:


The Executive of Sohu talks:


In addition to sports related, Sohu will have 48 Olympics related products that is not sports-related. It will cover 16 categories. Example includes Olympics spirits, environment protection for the Olympics, technology used by the Olympics, etc.

Next, it is vice CEO of Sohu:


Sohu is like regular army while others have to conduct gorilla warfare. Therefore, Sohu’s reporting will be comprehensive while others can only provide niche reporting. Sohu’s coverage will cover everything Olympics related, not just sports.

Vice Department head for the Sports Department of Sohu:


Some exclusive right:

- Interview with Olympics winners: Only CCTV and Sohu have this right.

- Interview with Olympics athletes: Others might be able to interview certain athletes because they have sponsoring deal with that particular sports. Sohu can interview pretty much any athletes.

- Station in Olympics village. Other reporters stays in the Olympics Reporter village. But as the official Olympics Internet website developer, Sohu is able to station in the Olympics village. It gives Sohu more opportunity to report Olympics Village related news.


The above Sohu article declare that Sohu will not monopolize the reporting of Olympics. An example will be NBC is the official TV for the Olympics. But ABC or CBS won’t accuse NBC as monopolize the TV.

But probably the most important people are not Sohu’s big shots. The most significant speakers are the big shots from government officials. The government big shots in the press conference are the vice-chairman of the Beijing Olympics Committee, the director for the department of marketing and business of the Beijing Olympics Committee, the director of International Business of CCTV, and the director of Internet of CCTV.

It is not even what they said but their presence speaks volumes of which side they are on.

The director for the department of marketing and business of the Beijing Olympics Committee talks:





She said other internet companies have no right to promote Olympics or to conduct Olympics related business. Beijing Olympics Committee will protect Sohu’s right and prohibit other internet companies’ “hidden marketing” of Olympics. Use of any Olympics slogan or signs is prohibited.

For example, Beijing Olympics Committee found Sina conduct an activity called “Olympics Pilot Selection Online Poll” before. It was not allowed.



From the video, many Chinese Olympic officials participated in this announcement. Two heavy hitters from the Beijing Olympics Committee gave speeches.

The vice-chairman of the Beijing Olympics Committee gave a speech:


The director of the department of business and marketing of the Beijing Olympics Committee gave a speech:


Next, I will talk about my thought on this subject.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Quick Update on XY3, XYQ, WOW, and TLBB

The previous article is here:


Sohu’s TLBB is doing fine. Not much to say here except they are going to add 6 new servers going into this weekend.

NCTY’s WOW had clam down a little from last Friday. But the server count is still very strong. The Burning Crusade will definitely create higher PCU records and keep the franchise going for a few more years.

NTES’s XYQ’s new expansion pact will be out on 9/25/2007. It is unofficial yet. But I am certain it will be out around the end of September. It shall give XYQ a boost going into the fall season.

NTES’s XY3 went commercial today. NTES had stop most marketing activities for about two weeks prior to today. The promotion starts again today. NTES’s marketing had always been different, in an undesirable way, than other companies.

They are going to add 2 more servers this weekend.

As far as server count, there is definitely a significant drop in the number of users. But that is to be expected as all the free-loaders went on to other freebies.

For the first three days, the game is basically free for the players. After that, players are basically play for half price through this weekend. We shall expect another big drop on this Saturday with another smaller drop after this week.

But so far, I am not seeing what happened to DT occurring here. It is still early and the next three weeks could determine whether XY3 has legs for the long haul.

Battle of the Olympics, part2 - Sina

This is part 2 of a four part series. Part 1 can be found here:


On 9/7/2007, Sina announced its Olympic strategy:


The following articles summarize what Sina planned to do:


Sina would get at least 15 reporters’ card that enable these reporters to report during the Olympics. Sina would also have a 450 reporters team to report Olympics. These reporters will be able to speak Chinese, English, German, French, Spanish, and Arabic.

Sina again announced that all websites will have equal access to Olympics news. In addition, all Olympic sponsoring companies can put their Olympic logos on Sina.

Finally, Sina would have three “secret weapons” that are to be announced later.


From the above article, Sina would like to extend the cooperation agreement with Tencent, NTES and others after the Olympic also. They want to make it permanent.

Sina just signed sponsor deal with China’s Tennis Association, China’s Volleyball Association and China’s Watersports Association. They would get first hand news. But Sina promised these news would be shared with its partners (that means Sohu is excluded).

But does this mean if Sina can exclude Sohu from these news, Sohu can also excludes the alliance and Sina, Ntes, and others from the Olympic news since Sohu is the only Olympic internet sponsor?

Sina also talks about the alliance deal. So far, the alliance consists of 40 internet companies, 16 newspapers, and 9 TV stations.

At this point the alliance only relates to the sharing of information. But Sina wants to expand the charter of the alliance to include the sharing of the advertising revenue amoung the core group. Sina also wants to make it a permanent arrangement, well after the Olympics.

Sina may have start this alliance out of its weakness against Sohu. But it seems Sina is going for Sohu’s jugular.

Is Sina trying to form a monopoly?

Sohu needs to be extremely careful. She is in a rock and a hard place. She would not be interested in being part of the alliance before the Olympics. At this point, it seems Sohu is holding all the cards prior to the Olympics. But she can’t be excluded from the alliance after the Olympics. But this alliance was created to fight Sohu for the Olympics, why would the alliance accept Sohu after the Olympics.

In the long term, Sohu is not going to be able to compete with the combine might of Sina, Ntes, and Tencent.

On the other hand, a permanent alliance sounds great on paper. But the devil is in the details. If the alliance is going to share information, and Sina is going to provide a 450 person reporting team, why shall other companies hire more reporters when they can get the report from Sina for free?

If they want to share ad. revenues, Sina probably preferred to break the percentage based on the current ad. revenue for each company right now. Sina is the biggest advertising earner right now. But for a company like Tencent, they want to grow their advertising revenue, why shall they want to lock down their ad. when they feel they can grow faster on their own.

And even if Sina can pull it out and form a real alliance, is that even legal? Is this alliance really a monopoly?

Next I am going to talk about the Sohu press conference.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Battle of the Olympics, part1 - Background

Olympics is probably going to be the biggest driver for earning growth for the portals all the way until next summer. While all the portals will benefit from this once in a lifetime event, not all will benefit the same.

Last year, we have a similar event for the World Cup. Back then, Sohu was the official sponsor for the World Cup in China. Sohu spent a lot of money to be the sponsor. But since World Cup organizers won’t give Sohu much special previledge, it was Sina (because it is the largest portal in China) who get most of the benefit. The money Sohu spent to be the official sponsor were completely wasted.

For 2008, Sohu is again the official sponsor. From the experience of last year’s World Cup, most analysts thought it will be a repeat story again.

But this time, I think Sohu gets smart. She is pushing for special right to be an Olympic sponsor. She is also trying to get other perks though her role as the operator of official Olympics website. Using that role, she hooked up with China Interactive Sports and CCTV to get Sohu’s reporters into the Olympics village.

Sohu is also trying to push Beijing Olympics Committee to exclude other internet companies to do Olympics related activities.

On 8/23/2007, Beijing Olympics Committee officially confirmed Sohu’s right as an Olympic sponsor, see the following article:


In the above article, the vice director of the marketing department of the Beijing Olympics Committee gave two examples of what is not allowed:

The first example is not Sohu specific.

In the second example he gave, there is an ad that said “It is two years from Beijing Olympics, what is your thought?, co-sponsored by Beijing TV and Sina”. In it, it said “will report on Beijing Olympics work that day and other related celebrations”.

It is not allowed because Sina is not an official sponsor.

But still, his example is pretty vague and Sina still insists that she is not affected whatsoever. Sina also bring the World Olympics body to wade in.

But since the World Olympics committee is not involved in this argument, it strikes me as Sina’s attempt to confuse people.

The arguments is not whether Sohu has exclusive right to report in the USA, Russian, etc. The arguments is whether Sohu has certain advantage in reporting Olympics in China. For that, it is the Beijing Olympics committee (and not the world body) that holds all the cards.

On 9/7/2007, Sina had a press conference to brief reporters of her Olympics strategy. Not to be outdone, on 9/10/2007, Sohu had a press conference to do the same.

This is a four part report. This article sets up the background for this Olympiad struggle. In part 2, I will give a briefing on Sina's press conference. In part 3, I will give a briefing on Sohu's press conference. In the final part 4, I will provide my final thought.

Monday, September 10, 2007

NTES – XY3 marketing

Back when NTES starts TX2’s open beta, one thing I criticize NTES the most is its apparent penny pinching on marketing. My last post on TX2 can be found here:


TX2 would have been a minor (but still profitable) game if NTES would be willing to spend some marketing dollars.

I think NTES had learned its lessons. There is definitely much more marketing done for XY3 even before XY3 went open beta.

Its marketing may not be as successful as SOHU’s TLBB, but still they are major improvement over TX2.

The most significant promotional activities is the co-sponsoring deal with a ice cream maker. Buy ice cream cones and get a chance to play XY3 for free. See the following web site:


This deal is definitely not as exciting as the deal NCTY had with McDonald back when NCTY were promoting WOW. But this deal lasts from August this year to August 2008. So NTES is going for the long haul.

NTES’s marketing effort may still not be as good as that of SOHU or NCTY, but they are apparently improving.

In addition, I hope NTES can hires thousands of salesmen all over China to promote its products, much like what Baidu did for its search and Zhengtu did for its game.

Interestingly enough, NTES had stop most major marketing effort the last two weeks.

Considering XY3 is going to commercial operation this week, NTES’s marketing strategy can only be described as confusing.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Quck update on WOW, TLBB, and XY3

This is a busy week. NTES's XY3 just announced they will go in commercial operation. SOHU's TLBB came out with a pretty extensive patch (not an expansion pact by any mean, but still a lot of functions were added this week).

And of course, the biggest thing is NCTY's WOW expansion pact, "The Burning Crusade" had been released in China.

This week is coming back to school week in China, we shall see significant drops in the number of users.

As of China time Friday night, there are 78 lines of users waiting in queue to try to get into WOW to play!!!

I know WOW will have tremendous growth, but for a Friday night on the first week of school night, it is extremely impressive indeed.

For Sohu's TLBB, there is a little pop Friday night from the early week. While TLBB is a little weak this week due to the back to school in China, Friday night had seen a pretty nice pop. Actually, there are more people play this Friday than a week ago. Very impressive indeed.

For NTES's XY3, there are definitely noticeable decrease in the number of users. But the amount of decrease is much less than what I expected. Of course, we won't really see the result until after 1 to 2 months.

WOW's strength is very impressive indeed considering that it is a paying game while China is flooded with free-to-play games.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Netease – XY3 – Official Operation on 9/12/2007

My last post on XY3 is all the way back from March 8th, 2007. It is linked below:

According to the official website, XY3 will go into commercial operation on 9/12/2007. The link:

Considering that right now that the summer vacation is over, NCTY’s WOW’s Burning Crusade just went on-line today (see http://news.17173.com/content/2007-09-06/20070906104528828,1.shtml ), and with all the free-loader leaving, we shall see some significant drop in the number of players in XY3 in the next two to three weeks.

On the other hands, XY3 hadn’t started the XY2 conversion yet, there shall be some significant players pickup when the conversion starts. How much? That is the thousand dollars questions!

Nobody knows how many players playing XY3 right now are the old XY2 players or are completely new players.


A test for now