How do you make a company profitable? This is the key question for CEO Yu Yongfu of UCWeb, China’s largest mobile internet app.
On the GMIC stage early this morning, Mr. Yongfu explained some of his company’s impressive marketshare achievements, and gave the audience a sense of how his company hopes to “serve the web quickly and conveniently.”
UCWeb now sports 300 million users worldwide, yet there are many pros and cons related to their current expansion plans in China, India, and the US. In other words, for Mr. Yongfu, the importance of these markets is almost as considerable as their challenges.
In order to follow a mindset that is globalized but locallyinformed, he gave his assessment of each market over the coming years.
In China, he explained that Android users will exceed 200 million this year, however he believes that the tech environment is very different. In Mr. Yongfu’s assessment – also in line with Pony Ma’s thoughts earlier today and others from GMIC’s VIP Dinner yesterday evening – security is limited in China and competition from copycats is ruthless. Additionally, bandwidth is low, inputs are restricted, and battery life-cycles are limited.
In the US of course, he sees the greatest amount of innovation and investment opportunities, referring particularly to Instagram’s most recent acquisition by Facebook. Nevertheless, he believes that the life cycle of investment is regrettably short.
This he contrasts with India, which is growing rapidly and is predicted to have the largest population in the world by 2050. Still, he believes that application and software development in India is still in a rudimentary stage that will take some time to progress and distribute.
UCWeb plans to continue innovating and combating what Mr. Yongfu described as a type of triad in the tech sector both in China and the US, namely the “Baidu-Alibaba-Tencent” and “Google-Apple-Microsoft” effect. The competition should be fierce, so he believes that partnerships will be critical.