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The Coming Decade: China's Mobile Internet Cycle

2011-12-08 23:36 1573

Building "Noah's Ark" for the Traditional Media Industry


HANGZHOU, China, Dec. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- As Europe is caught up in the debt crisis and the United States is troubled with high unemployment, China's Internet companies are battling for talents. "Come back home and everything goes well!" some Chinese companies write in recruitment posters.


The First New Media Incubator - Media Dreamworks

It is a very interesting phenomenon: On the evening of November 23, Nokia Siemens announced a plan to cut 17,000 employees before the end of 2013, with a rumored 4,000 of those cuts coming from China. While earlier, Ding Lei, CEO of Netease, one of the biggest Internet companies in China, announced the recruiting of more than 800 people across the country. Another two well-known internet companies are fighting a war for workers, as reported by a Chinese business newspaper.

Today, China's Internet industry yearns for talent. In this context, constantly eroded by internet companies, traditional media groups have announced their entry into new territory. Recently, Zhejiang Daily Press Group announced its own global recruitment drive, inviting TMT prospects to join them. These traditional media groups are now reaching out for overseas talent, as well as their counterparts such as Li-led Baidu and Ma-led Alibaba.

A famous Chinese investor believes that China's overseas students will return to join China's golden age of mobile internet development in the next decade.

Returning Students Reached Record High in 2011

According to a report, since 1978, the number of students and scholars studying abroad totaled 1,920,000, of which only 630,000 chose to return back. Overall this return rate is less than 1/3, but the return rate of high-quality PHD graduates majoring in science and engineering in the US is only 8%.

However, after all these years, the trend has changed gradually and the Chinese government has attached great importance to an overseas worker strategy.

From November 7th to 9th of this year, a conference entitled "International Exchange and Cooperation of Personnel" was held in Hangzhou, a city in the Yangtze River Delta region in southeastern China. It attracted 480 overseas students from 25 countries and regions. The Hangzhou municipal government signed 78 startup projects headed by returning students, an increased of nearly 70% from last year.

Hangzhou, the provincial capital of Zhejiang Province, has held the conference for 3 years, which fully demonstrates the government's interest in high-level overseas talent. It is also true for the higher level government; they have attached even more importance to the overseas talent strategy.

At the end of 2008, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, which is responsible for the appointment of senior officials in the country, created the "Thousand Person Plan", with the aim of introducing high-level overseas talent to China. It announced that the country would attract 2,000 technology and innovation leaders nationally in 5 to 10 years. Apparently this effort has paid off, as by 2010, the rate of Chinese students' return increased 134%, a record jump.

China's new talent policy also included the "Young People Plan" at the beginning of 2011, and the forthcoming "Thousand Foreign Experts Plan" will be added, along with a series of international talent policy initiatives. China also launched the "Talents Zone Plan". Beijing's Zhongguancun district, often called the "Silicon Valley of China", is building a "Talents Zone". So far 12,000 returnees have founded more than 5,000 high-tech enterprises in the Zhongguancun area, which is 20 times the rate of ten years ago.

Ling Zhijun, who wrote the book "The New Revolution in China", predicted that China would be a world of "the returned" and that outstanding figures from all walks would be "returnees". He has studied the case of Robin Li, Zhang Chaoyang and other returnee entrepreneurs.

Perhaps his opinion is biased, but it is undeniable now: China is moving towards the new information revolution, which is brought by the mobile internet.

The Coming Decade: China's Mobile Internet Cycle

In recent years, Millet Mobile Phone, Youku.com, Tudou.com and other Internet platforms and products, are creating their own legend, which is attracting young people to join the mobile internet industry.

In China, many young people dream to be the next Steve Jobs. Jobs and the products and information revolution that he created have become very fashionable. While creating the next famous social networking websites such as Sina or Tencent are active and exciting, Apple's products and the "biography of Jobs" would be the best prize for any young person. Young people will see the latest iPhone 4S as the best gift. When Jobs passed on, people began to ask, "When will China's Steve Jobs be born?"

Ni Zhengdong, a Well-known VC investor in China, said in an interview, China's Mobile Internet business would enjoy a golden age for the next decade.

His prediction has a data supporting it. Global 3G and more advanced technology users reached 1,026,000,000 by the end of 2010, while mobile Internet users were about 860,000,000. Among mobile phone users, intelligent terminal penetration rate is 19%. By June of 2011, the number of mobile internet users had increased to 318,000,000, which constitutes the development base of the mobile Internet industry.

While these changes were taking place, Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, a well-known high-tech executive, left Google in 2009 and founded Innovation Works, which has invested in the cutting-edge of information technology, especially in mobile Internet, consumer Internet and e-commerce. Dr. Kai-Fu Lee said that Innovation Works was committed to helping young Chinese people create successful start-up companies.

Only two years later, Innovation Works became the country's most fashionable term, and Dr. Kai-Fu Lee appeared frequently on Chinese magazine covers.

Xiong Xiaoge, a founding partner of IDG capital, believes that Mobile Internet technology will lead the next decade. "China is now facing a very exciting time because of mobile Internet technology. Entrepreneurial success is mostly driven by the dominant technology. Today, the most important one is IT and the mobile Internet."

Cao Guowei, Sina (NASDAQ: SINA) CEO, said that the emergence of mobile Internet has greatly changed the traditional media's mode of production; however, it has also given momentum to the transition of the traditional media. China is not only a country with the largest population of Internet users, but also the country that has the largest population of intelligent mobile phone users. China is and will continue to be the largest mobile Internet market in the next decade, VC and entrepreneurs could create more miracles than ever to help people realize their dreams.

Chinese Media Groups are Joining the Battle

Besides the central government and the internet companies, some well-known provincial media groups are also joining the battle competing for overseas talent.

Zhejiang Daily Press Group, originally a traditional newspaper group, now is a rising star in China's media industry. Early in 1999,It has started the exploration of new media by launching zjol.com.cn, which has 10,000,000 visits per day now. The group is a strategic investor of Caixin Media, which was founded by Hu Shuli, a highly respected chief-editor. It also co-launched the magazine Taobao World Weekly with Alibaba Group. Combining print media with e-commerce, the magazine quickly prominent in the Chinese mainland market and soon issued its Hong Kong version. On September 29 of 2011, Zhejiang Daily Media Holding (600633.SH), a holding company of ZDPG, successfully landed on the Shanghai stock exchange.

At present, ZDPG has owned and operated more than 30 newspapers and magazines. Controlling more than 60 corporations and subsidiaries, the media quantity and industrial scale of ZDPG ranks among the top among newspaper groups. In recent years, following the philosophy of "Media maximizes capital, and capital expands media", ZDPG has invested in 8 listed companies and built an investment and financing platform including three social funds. The total value of the funds amounts to 2,000,000,000 RMB. Just in a few years, ZDPG has become one of the most progressive media groups across the country.

In a previous interview, Wang Gang, vice president of ZDPG, proposed that the risk of transition to a modern full-media group could be controlled, while refusing changes under the impact of rapidly developing new media is more risky.

Therefore, ZDPG has launched China's first new media incubator, Media Dream Works (www.mediadreamworks.net), aimed at nurturing a new generation of innovative media teams. Media Dream Works is an investment company focusing on making early-stage media investments, coaching young teams and providing complete services to help start-ups in the media industry. With a history of 60 years, ZDPG is heading for a full-media strategy and forging a path to the future for China's traditional media group.

ZDPG has signed strategic cooperation agreements with 11 well-known Internet companies and investment companies such as Fosun Group and Alibaba Group. Recently, Media Dream Works announced its global recruitment plans. Positions such as deputy general manager and director of investment are listed.

"We really welcome overseas talent to join us," Dr. Jiang Chun, chief engineer of ZDPG and head of Dream Works Media stated. He said that they hoped to find the passionate one with a global vision. "We need the one to endeavor with us and help our dream come true.

"So, he who joins the team must be a determined idealist, a poet and a reformer, full of courage, never fearing authority and challenge, and with an innovative mind," Dr. Jiang said.

Actually, not only ZDPG but also Nanfang Daily Press Group, another provincial prominent newspaper group, is in their exploration of new media development.

Source: Zhejiang Daily Press Group
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