MySpace China loses CEO

First heard over at Paul Denlinger’s excellent China Vortex 2 days ago, MySpace China Loses Out To Local Competition, David Barboza at the NYT notes that Luo Chuan is leaving the CEO position at MySpace China after a bit more than a year. MySpace China Says Its Chief Will Resign. Paul posits:

My conclusion: The problem does not lie with China, but instead lies with the reluctance of western social networking sites to empower their local management to do whatever they need to win users and market share. By trying to force common features, standards and branding too early from their headquarters way before the market is mature, they cripple their local companies’ chances of success, and cede the market to the local competitors.

That is why the successful local competitors get such high
valuations; they make ideal acquisition candidates and give their
founders a good exit strategy.

Ask Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay.

And all that after even having Rupert Murdoch’s Chinese wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, on the board of MySpace China: Danwei, FinancialTimes, AsiaMedia.

China Internet Japan Korea

the tyranny of QWERTY

I have a longer discussion about whether the iPhone will do well in Japan planned for when I have more than a moment to blog, but I wanted to point folks to an article on alternative interfaces to computers which Jeff Yang recently wrote in SFGate: ASIAN POP / Off key
My quote is:

“To a certain extent, Asia is a slave to the alpha keyboard,”

I’m pretty sure I said qwerty keyboard, but I’ll let Jeff slide 😉

“Many input methods for languages like Chinese and Japanese require knowledge of the Roman alphabet to use, which is crazy when you think of it. Imagine if the PC was developed in China and everyone in the rest of the world needed to know Chinese before inputting their own alphabet. Well, that’s the case for a lot of PC users in China and Japan.”

My blog’s comments are still broken and I haven’t had time to fix them, so I’ll close comments. Once I have time to fix the comments, I’ll re-open comments and inform you here. Apologies!

China Internet

more than 25% of Skype users are in China

As amazing as this data might seem, it’s also important to recognize that the data comes from Skype’s China partner, Tom Online, and that the folks over at QQ probably would refute this. Getting independent data on IM market in China would be also interesting.

Chinese Skype Users Exceed 25% Of Global Total []

China Japan News

Fallows compares China to Japan

Writer and author James Fallows (and his wife Deborah) have been living in China recently (I assume Fallows is working on a book on China) and he’s writing for The Atlantic. Fallows has a great, long, article on China that’s worth reading in it’s entirety but I wanted to highlight the part where he compares China to Japan:

One other aspect of China’s development to date has helped American companies in their dealings with it. This is the fact that China, so far, has been different in crucial ways from America’s previous great Asian challenger: Japan. Americans have come to view the Japanese economy as a kind of joke, mainly because the Tokyo Stock Exchange has been in a slump for nearly 20 years. Nonetheless, Japan remains the world’s second-largest economy. Toyota has overtaken General Motors to become the largest automaker; Japan’s exporters have continually increased their sales of electronics and other high-value goods; and the long-standing logic of the Japanese system, in which consumers and investors suffer so that producers may thrive, remains intact.

China’s economy, technically still socialist, has also been strangely more open than Japan’s. Through its first four decades of growth after World War II, Japan was essentially closed to foreign ownership and investment. (Texas Instruments and IBM were two highly publicized exceptions to the rule.) China’s industrial boom, by contrast, is occurring during the age of the World Trade Organization, to which it was admitted in 2001. Under WTO rules, China is obliged to open itself to foreign investment and ownership at a much earlier stage of its development than Japan did. Its export boom has been led by foreign firms. China is rife with intellectual piracy, hidden trade barriers, and other impediments. But overall it is harder for foreign economies or foreign companies to claim damage from China’s trade policies than from Japan’s.

When I was living in Japan through its boom of the late ’80s, I argued in this magazine that its behavior illustrated some great historic truths that economic models cannot easily include. Sometimes societies pursue goals other than the one economists consider rational: the greatest possible growth of consumer well-being. This has been true of America mainly during wartime, but also when it has pursued martial-toned projects thought to be in the nation’s interest: building interstate highways, sending men into space, perhaps someday developing alternative energy supplies. In a more consistent way, over decades, this has been true of Japan.

The Atlantic Online | July/August 2007 | China Makes, The World Takes | James Fallows


Google China

Looks quite a bit different than the Google that you may be used to.
Google – 谷歌