Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘china

Big Commerce In China

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China's Taobao is just one of thousands of Chinese-based e-commerce properties helping propel China into the world's single largest digital marketplace. So far in 2012, Alibaba (Taobao's parent company) has generated over $157 billion U.S. in gross merchandise volume, making it the largest e-commerce property in the world.

China’s Taobao is just one of thousands of Chinese-based e-commerce properties helping propel China into the world’s single largest digital marketplace. So far in 2012, Alibaba (Taobao’s parent company) has generated over $157 billion U.S. in gross merchandise volume, making it the largest e-commerce property in the world.

You read in my last post about last Monday’s “Cyber Monday” tidings according to the IBM Digital Benchmark.

Well, TechCrunch is reporting from comScore data that the holiday shopping juggernaut continues well beyond Cyber Monday.

comScore’s data found that e-commerce spending for the first 30 days of this November-December 2012 holiday season has amounted to a respectable $20.4 billion, a 15 percent increase over the same time period last year.

During the past week alone, comScore reported three individual days surpassing $1 billion in spending, according to the TechCrunch post by Leena Rao, with the peak, of course, coming on Cyber Monday at $1.46 billion.

Of course, all that might seem like chump change when you hold it up against some e-commerce numbers coming out of China, via a post on VentureBeat.

China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba alone has sold an estimated $157 billion U.S. in gross merchandise volume this year, which VentureBeat observes surpasses Amazon and eBay combined.

In fact, Alibaba is believed to have garnered a $3 billion single sales day earlier this year.

But the real story here may be Jack Ma’s “Alipay,” Alibaba’s payments processing unit, which now has over 700 million registered users.

According to a recent report from the folks at eMarketer, China’s antiquated banking system and low usage by consumers of credit cards is benefiting the e-commerce industry there.

Alipay, now China’s largest third-party online payment solution, essentially provides escrow payment services that not only facilitate e-commerce transactions in China, but also reduces risk to consumers, because with Alipay, they have the ability to verify whether or not they are satisfied with their purchases before releasing funds to the seller.

And Alipay isn’t just limited to the Chinese marketplace. It now handles transactions in 12 foreign currencies, including in U.S. dollars, Japanese yen, and the euro.

According to the eMarketer report, Alibaba is also upgrading its COD payment infrastructure, investing some $79 million U.S. in a portable device that Alibaba says will consolidate logistics records with credit/debit card payment information in a single terminal.

It’s Alipay’s intent to install thousands such devices across China’s first- and second-tier cities (think Beijing, Shanghai, etc.) by the end of this year, which will help with China’s broader goals of fomenting increased internal consumer consumption.

Of course, if you’re News Corporation, and you’re in the iPad publishing business, no amount of Chinese e-commerce facilitatin’ payment devices are going to help a fledgling business model.

Earlier today, News Corp. finally bifurcated its publishing and entertainment businesses, and seemingly as a minor sidebar, also conceded defeat of its The Daily iPad app effective December 15.

The Daily had been News Corp’s digital pride and joy, a valiant attempt at delivering a daily news publication via the iPad only 100,000 people wanted.

At 99 cents a week, that apparently was not revenue enough even close to maintaining a viable business, so The Daily will now be put to bed.

Ever-reliable media critic website Poynter noted The Daily had two key lessons of failure from which we could all learn.  One, they had no clarity on its intended audience (I thought that was supposed to be iPad users!), and two, one platform, the iPad, just wasn’t enough in a multi-device world.

Perhaps they should have instigated a Chinese edition? Surely they could have drummed up a few more hundred thousand from a population of 1.3 billion!

Written by turbotodd

December 3, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Live @ IBM InterConnect 2012: A Q&A With IBM’s Steve Wilkins On The Asian-Pacific Economic Juggernaut

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Steve Wilkins is the vice president for IBM Software Marketing in its Global Growth Markets organization, where he is responsible for all marketing of the IBM Websphere, Tivoli, Information Management, Rational and Lotus brands, generating leads via advertising, the Web, events and direct marketing in Asia — Korea, China, India, ASEAN and Australia — and with colleagues in other growth markets in central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.

IBM’s vice president for IBM Software Marketing in our Global Growth Markets organization, Steve Wilkins, has a unique perspective on the Asia-Pacific region, and was also instrumental in helping make the IBM InterConnect event a reality here in Singapore.

The last time I saw Steve, we were sharing a cab in Seoul, South Korea, comparing notes about our respective BlackBerry Bolds and various mobile travel applications we had been trying to help us maintain our sanity while on the road.

That was only a short two years ago, and the fact that neither of us continues to carry the Bold says more about just how fast the market is moving, in Asia and beyond, than can I! (We both carry iPhones these days, along with my newfound Nokia 1280 “global” phone acquired here in Singapore this week.)

I sat down with Steve here in Singapore to get the lowdown on the Asia-Pacific market. Steve offered insights ranging from the slowdown and structural shifts we’re witnessing in China (shifts that are creating massive new economic opportunity for individuals and businesses alike) to the ability of Asia-Pacific telecommunications providers to keep pace with the massive growth in mobile computing in the region!

Thanks again to Steve for taking the time to share his wisdoms and insights about this incredibly exciting area of the globe, one that offers massive opportunity but which also requires close attention be paid to the idiosyncratic needs and customs of the various countries that the region constitutes.

You can see our interview here.

IBM SmartCamp Finalist Profile: Palmap — Building Virtual Bridges, Online And Off

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Palmap's Dr. Ronald Zhang explains to the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals audience how Palmap's point of sale and indoor mapping technology will change the way people live and shop, not only in China but around the globe.

Dr. Ronald Zhang left his home city of Beijing to attend the University of Central Florida, and didn’t go back home for eight years.

When he returned, how found there were new buildings and roads and shopping malls, and he almost didn’t recognize the place, never mind couldn’t find his way around.

After catching the American entrepreneurial bug during his time in the States, along with his PhD, Dr. Zhang concluded that what was missing in the GPS, location-based services market was the inside out view.

Google Streetview and Keyhole had captured the outside in view, but Dr. Zhang explains that people spend 90% of their time indoors — at shopping malls, restaurants, and the like.  Where was the data feed for them?

And that’s how Palmap came to be founded, a Shanghai-located company now with offices also in Beijing and Xi’an.

Though American entrepreneurialism may seem to be far removed from the Confucian approach to orderly development in the East, that’s precisely what drew Dr. Zhang to the U.S. “With American entrepreneurs, there are no rules, boundaries, you can just go mad and crazy, and only be limited by your imagination. More and more, that’s what’s happening in China, but here (in the U.S.), there’s a spirit that we want to bring back to China.”

Dr. Zhang went on to explain such people “don’t necessarily make revenue yet” but that “they have services that can change the world and make life better.”

His idea for Palmap started around the time the iPhone was released, and he explained that “the Internet changed everything in China, and those technologies are implemented by people like us. So that’s my dream, to do something with my own mind.”

Zhang’s ultimate vision with Palmap is to bridge the divide between click-n-mortar and brick-n-mortar, or as he explained it, “online to offline.”

Between those two endpoints — and not unlike his transcendence of two very different worlds, the U.S. and China — Dr. Zhang and his team plan on making a lot of people happy…and then, and perhaps only then, will the money follow.

Written by turbotodd

February 2, 2012 at 1:16 am

Live @ Lotusphere 2012: Bill Ives On IBM’s Social Practicing Of What It Preaches

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If you’re fortunate to make it to Lotusphere, or any of the other signature IBM events held around the globe every year, you get the opportunity to meet some of the most interesting people: everyone from fellow bloggers to other IBMers to customers to analysts…the list goes on and on.

Just last evening, I was introduced to a gentleman by the name of Bill Ives, an analyst and blogger with Merced Group who writes about knowledge management and social business, among other topics.  As we got to talking, I discovered that Bill had lived in the town I hail from and grew up in, Denton, Texas, once upon a time when he was a wee lad, and who also shares my passion for golf.

Bill has been producing some of his own fine coverage of Lotusphere 2012 and IBM Connect here in Orlando, and I wanted to share the link below to his post on some of IBM’s own social business endeavors.

Keep in touch, Bill, and keep those posts a comin’:

Lotusphere 2012 Notes: IBM as a Social Business

Written by turbotodd

January 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Go Daddy China

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This has been an interesting week.

I’ve not been blogging much because I’ve been too busy playing work catchup after SXSW.

Hope you’ve been digging the podcast interviews Scott Laningham and I conducted as much as we did producing them.  We talked to some really interesting people here in Austin last week.

Of course, time rolls on, and everything changes, including in the interactive space.  I’ve been watching the Google/China situation with great fascination.

When I was in Beijing, it was before the Olympics and I stayed in the Beijing Hilton, and far as I could tell, I never had any issue with Internet filtering.

But boy have Google and China gone at it this week.  Last one out turn out the Great Firewall.

My own personal take is that while information wants to be free, China wants to keep it locked up, and Google can’t get a high-enough cost-per-click to make it worth their while.

So they reroute their mainland search queries to the “special administrative region” of Hong Kong, forcing the China government-owned mobile companies to rethink their mobile search deal, and in the end Microsoft’s Bing is the beneficiary.

You really can’t make this stuff up.

Even GoDaddy.Com has told the Chinese to take a domain-sales hike, which is really disappointing, for I was looking forward to someday seeing Danica Patrick scream around the corner Chairman Mao’s visage overlooking Tiananmen Square NASCAR style.

Of course, they may, in fact, be fighting the last Internet war — smartphone traffic has taken off like a rocket, up 193% year-over-year, according to AdMob.

The iPhone leads the way in terms of share, at 50% (up from 33% last year), followed by Android (up from 2% to 24%), and Nokia losing share (from 43% down to 18%…ouch!).

This just in time for Microsoft and FourSquare to start cozying up, with Bing now offering up a Foursquare map application that allows Bing map users to see check-ins on FourSquare.

Hey, maybe the Chinese Communist Party can use Bing maps to see Foursquare check-ins of Google sales reps running around Beijing trying to avert the wrath of the Golden Shield?!

Written by turbotodd

March 25, 2010 at 3:31 pm

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