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.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Who won the Olympics?

My last Olympics related post can be found here:

Now that Olympics is over, so who won?

Certainly, there are independent survey organizations in China that will survey the popularity of China’s portals. Yes, there are.

But there is too much information, it is virtually impossible to make anything out of it. In addition, every portal would use part of these surveys to justify why they are number 1.

The following two independent articles give pretty good summaries of the confusion involved:

For qq.com (or Tencent), it quoted Alexa and Nelson rating to justify that they are the winner on China’s internet war during the Olympics. For Sina, it quotes Chinarank and CTR to say that it won. For Sohu, it quoted 8 different organizations’ (CNNIC, DCCI, iResearch, Analysys Internation, Tsinghai University, etc.) survey to justify that Sohu is the winner.

The following are articles from each portal to justify why she is the winner.

From Sina:

From Sohu:

From Ntes

From Tencents:

It is so confusing that it is virtually impossible to say for certain who won. I went though these articles a couples of times each and still having trouble making much sense.

But if I have to make a judgment, I would have to give the following impression.

Tencent has the dominant instant messaging service, qq. It uses qq to push the Olympics news to its users regardless whether its users want it or not. If you include the information that is delivered to the users (whether it is solicited or not), QQ would definitely be the number 1.

But if you only count the web traffic that is initiated by the users themselves, then it seems Sohu has the upper hand. Most of the survey results seem to give a slight upper hand to Sohu with Sina be the number 2.

In addition, the top two (Sohu and Sina) have traffics that are significantly greater than the next two (qq.com and Ntes).

While I think the biggest winner is Sohu, Sina definitely benefited greatly from the Olympics as well.

Tencent is an up and coming threat. It is able to leverage its dominant position on the instant messaging service to push into the portals. Every Chinese netizen has a qq IM on his/her desktop. When a text bubble with interesting Olympics news comes up, it is so tempting for the user to click on it. When they do, they would go into Tencent’s portal.

Having a stand alone desktop application gives the company so much leverage, it is also the reason Sohu is sparing no expense in its next secret weapon, Sogou Chinese Pinyin Input system. (But that is another story for future date).

While Sohu, Sina, and QQ.com have similar look and feel for their portals, Ntes’ portal is very distinct. Much like McIntosh in the US, Ntes’ portal has a very loyal following. In addition, while Ntes portal used to cater to the second and third tier companies, during the Olympics, I noticed that there are a lot of ads from 1st tier multi-national corporations on Ntes portal.

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