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Mobile Oracle 2012: Weixin Will Make Tencent China’s 4th Largest Carrier

For our final set of predictions we bring you thoughts from some of our members.

These predictions were handled differently than our previous prediction requests.  Our members were asked two questions, one retrospective, one gazing forward.  Hopefully, you will find it as insightful as we did.   Comparing these predictions to our previous one, which were primarily made by foreigners, gives you a feel of what is important to local Chinese.  If you missed the previous posts, you can find them here, here, and here.

Tencent’s Weixin and Xiaomi’s MI-ONE phones were the popular choices when speaking of 2011 and 2012.

These were translated from the original Chinese submissions.  Enjoy!

What impressed you most in the past year of 2011?

1. The power of branding. Mobile Internet companies need to establish their brands, the same approach as fast moving consumer goods companies but with different cornerstones: good user experience, great products and technological breakthroughs.
2. How do mobile Internet companies win: 1, with the first-mover advantages; 2, difference is also a first-mover advantage; 3, maintain a three-month lead over competitors at any time.
- Xiong Zhiqiang,General Manager at Meuu

What impressed me most was the fast development: from hardware, to software, to the value-added services. Our company boasted a 300 percent growth in the mobile advertising business. Our revenue is reaching 100 million and we received the IDG investment this year.
- Shu Yi, General Manager at iMedia-Asia, Beijing

In 2011, iOs and Android dominated the market.
Looking forward to WINDOWS mobile 8,IPHONE 5, Samsung Galaxy III.
- Su Zhiyi, President at xhlx.cn

With the popularity of 3G and iPhone / Android / iPad / Apps, mobile Internet innovation finally ushered in the spring and began to boom.
- Xu Jiarong, Co-Founder at Chinese Founders Fund

Last year witnessed an over-all upgrade of the mobile Internet industry: LBS, mobile e-commerce, O2O … … these new businesses granted large-minded entrepreneurs the opportunities that could nor be matched in the traditional Internet era. However every entrepreneur knows that “Those who succeed must bear loneliness.” In 2011 Vpon enjoyed a rapid growth. Our team grew from less than ten people in the beginning to nearly 80. By the end of November this year, the “Vpon LBS mobile advertising platform” we launched has been able to provide services to 20 million unique users. 80 VS 20 ,000,000 – this brings us an unbelievable sense of accomplishment. Fortunately, our efforts have been recognized and rewarded by the public. But we firmly believe that every company should focus on the quality, rather than mere speed, of its development. Just like sailing, you have to pay attention to the temperature, wind direction, air pressure and other factors. Start-ups need to keep an eye on the competitors and adjust their own pace, which is better than simply being “fast”.
- Shanghai Vpon

What impressed me most was growing number of mobile Internet applications. It was bluffing in the beginning but is booming now. The driving force of Weibo, Weixin etc. will continue growing in the future;
- Zhu Zhengyu, CEO at Shenzhen Jiankun Telecommunications

2011 has witnessed the largest number of Internet start-ups in China and the most serious product homogeneity ever.
- Lu Gang, CEO at TechNode

The most impressive figure is Lei Jun, for he was the industry’s first to realize the value of mobile Internet and the first to take actions.
- Xue Manzi, Angel Investor

The launch of Xiaomi phone.
- Shen Yin, Founder at NTA Creative Communications Agency

Popularity of smart phones, the speed of which has been beyond anyone’s expectation.
- Yu Yang, President at Eguan.cn

What do you think will be the industry events for 2012? Name 1 to 3 of them and briefly explain your choices.

1.  Mobile gaming, with the most clear business model in the mobile Internet industry, will usher in a new round of capital feast in 2012. At least three companies will have more than 30 million U.S. dollars in a single round of financing.
2.  Huawei will inroad into the mobile Internet industry, or as a wholly-owned new company. Huawei Mobile sets its 2012 goal at 30 million units, and it has user promotional channels; Huawei Dbank, officially launched on December 8, 2011, is part of its “personal cloud” layout, and Huawei has the natural advantage in cloud services; Hicloud is Huawei’s primary mobile application and has the potential to be an App Store ecosystem, judging from the company’s brand, strength and industry influence.
- Xiong Zhiqiang,General Manager at Meuu

1.  Smart phones, or in particular, the low-end Android phones from Chinese manufactures, will cover a major part of the Chinese market.
2.  Whether users’ application will move from basic apps and games to commercial and consumer apps. The future of O2O market.
3. The growth rate of mobile advertising, as well as the increase of media coverage and customer acceptance.
- Shu Yi, General Manager at iMedia-Asia, Beijing

Whether the Xiaomi phone will dominate the low-end mobile phone market.
There will be 2 brand new, ass-kicking apps installed on all of our phones.
At least 2 to 3 Chinese mobile Internet companies will be listed.
- Su Zhiyi, President at xhlx.cn

1.  Mobile payment issues are expected to partly solved in early 2012, which will greatly enhance the profitability of mobile apps, especially mobile e-commerce apps and O2O apps, and there will be significantly more innovative projects in this field. Online publishing and sales, promoted by Dangdang and Jingdong, are expected to be launched in scale next year.
2.  The popularity of Pads will provide new opportunities mobile game developers.
3.  On the basis of Android system, China’s domestic mobile phone brands (i.e. Xiaomi phone) will have the chanve to compete with foreign brands. The dominance of foreign brands in the customization martket will be challenged.
- Xu Jiarong, Co-Founder at Chinese Founders Fund

According to many mobile Internet reports in 2011, there is no doubt that, with the increasing number of users, the mobile Internet will be the next blue ocean of opportunity. And as more online traffic is led off-line or to off-line consumption, there will be more opportunities for mobile e-commerce and local services. Why? We know that in this online-to-offline transition, it is necessary to emphasize on the matching between the advertised information and the time, location or past behavior of the user. This is a whole new advertising model. We can try to refine this model to match a specific situation. For example, at breakfast time we can push some McDonald coupons to the white-collars, show them the where the nearest McDonald is, or even include an order link in this ad; if an offline customer sees a favorite product, he can go back online to actually purchase it; moreover, we can track the user’s behaviors in the past to infer the right ads for him, for example, we can push milk powder ads to those who have bought diapers … We want to push to the users what they really need and “predict” their needs through a variety of technical means in order to find the information that meets customer needs.
- Shanghai Vpon

1.  The rise of Tencent Weixin will probably chanllenge the dominance of Sina Weibo;
2.  There will be 1 to 2 new uprising games; PvZ, Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja will gradually take a back seat;
3.  Customers will pay more attention to the peripherals of smart phones for longer battery life and protection purposes.
- Zhu Zhengyu, CEO at Shenzhen Jiankun Telecommunications

The development of Microblog will become more rational. Microblog is now being exaggerated. From media in the beginning to a social networking platform later, microblog has been overheated. As the market cools down in 2012, coupled with the external environment and policy constraints, the development of microblog will become more rational. Hopefully entrepreneurs and investors will also be more rational in 2012.
- Lu Gang, CEO at TechNode

In 2012 one of the greatest opportunities for the mobile Internet will be Siri-like voice input-driven products and business models.
- Xue Manzi, Angel Investor

Weixin users in 2012 will exceed 200 million. Weixin will allow Tencent to be a hundred-billion company. It is not just a QQ2.0, but will set off a whole new revolution in how we communicate. Phone + text messages over the past decade finally fell into decline; inexpensive voice + video + photo + text + LBS anywhere will be the future. Tencent has the opportunity to become China’s fourth largest carrier, or at least it can profit with the Skype model.
- Shen Yin, Founder at NTA Creative Communications Agency

I’m looking forward to a good profit model in the mobile Internet industry in 2012.
- Yu Yang, President at Eguan.cn

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About this author:

Calvin is the managing editor of mobiSights and serves as the International Public Relations Director for GWC. A former attorney who returned to his Techie roots to pursue a more fulfilling life, he has left his home in the West to begin a new life in the East. Calvin earned his bachelor's from Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology), his Juris Doctor and Master's of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi. He currently lives in Beijing, China. He enjoys good food, traveling to exotic places, snow skiing, and pretending to be a philosopher.

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