Uber Won’t Surrender to Its Chinese Rival in the World’s Ride-Hailing Market Battle

Uber app in ChineseSan Francisco-based Uber had already established itself as a leader in the U.S. market when Chinese-owned Didi Dache first released its own mobile application for on-demand taxis in June 2012 in China. Yet since Uber quietly moved into the country in late 2013 with a soft launchin expat-friendly Shanghai, the American company’s imminent failure at the hands of its Chinese competitor has become central to the story.

 

Continue reading

Lessons from Alibaba’s World

Jack-Ma-Alibaba-IPOThe last few years have seen Alibaba, the Chinese tech and e-commerce juggernaut, go from being a shaky, unknown start-up to something of a household name from Detroit to Delhi. At some point along its path to success, the company has also become one of the world’s favourite success stories. It’s a rags-to-riches tale of sorts, and it doesn’t hurt that the lead character in the story, CEO Jack Ma, is widely considered “one of China’s most unlikely tech founders”. After all, everyone loves an underdog.  Continue reading

Alibaba and the elephant in the room

Alibaba peopleAlibaba, Alibaba: it’s a word that’s increasingly on people’s lips. Certainly, it’s a pleasing name: playful to pronounce and universally recognisable, evoking something at once known and foreign.

But, beyond talking about the Chinese e-commerce giant’s IPO (which claimed the title of largest global IPO ever) and how successful the start-up from southern China has been, we hear far less said about why. Continue reading

Flipkart and Tencent – The jewels in Naspers’ crown

Flipkart and Tencent became household names several years ago in two of the world’s fastest growing economies, India and China. But more recently, their staggering growth rates and innovation in the mobile sphere have forced the rest of the world to sit up and pay attention. Some say that their strength in the market is a direct offshoot of their robust parentage – which, similarly, has only become widespread knowledge since the two firms’ growth began gaining a global audience. The South Africa-based media and tech juggernaut, Naspers, is a major shareholder in Flipkart – India’s Amazon – and Tencent, which owns China’s gamified Whatsapp-Facebook hybrid, WeChat. Naspers, which is one of the largest companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, recently began garnering plenty of attention of its own when the value of its stocks reached a record high earlier this month, taking its market capitalisation to R709.7 billion ($60.4 billion).  Continue reading

How WeChat is creatively turning online users into online consumers

WeChat screenTencent’s announcement last month that its popular mobile social network, WeChat, has reached a milestone of 500 million monthly active users didn’t only grab people’s attention because of the four-year-old app’s impressive growth figures. Within both emerging and developed markets, WeChat has become a symbol of a mobile social network’s ability to monetise by providing a space where users and brands can connect.  Continue reading

Naspers’ winning lottery ticket, Tencent

Tencent HQThe Cape Town headquartered multinational media company, Naspers, has spent the last decade and a half establishing operations in fast-growing regions such as China, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. But it was perhaps only last month (when the value of the group’s shares reached a record high following the announcement of Tencent Holdings’ financial results) that the extent of its success in emerging markets – and China in particular – hit home.

When Naspers acquired a 46.5 percent interest in the mostly loss-making, Chinese-owned Tencent Holdings in 2001, it seemed like a gamble, to say the least. Fast-forward to the present, and Tencent is reporting fourth quarter profits of $973 million.  Continue reading

Tencent, Naspers’ biggest holding, is valued at approximately half of South Africa’s annual GDP

Media 24 Tencent imageNaspers, the multinational media giant with operations in internet services, pay-TV and print media, has been making headlines since the value of its shares shot up earlier this month. Headquartered in Cape Town and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), it has grown to become one of South Africa’s largest companies, with a market capitalization of R709.7 billion ($60.4 billion). Founded in 1915, the group is best known locally as one of the country’s oldest media companies, and for running Africa’s biggest pay-TV business, Multichoice. But it is Naspers’ interests in China’s biggest internet firm, Tencent Holdings, which transformed the company into a must-have in fund managers’ portfolios. Continue reading