Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year from Hong Kong with a few interesting links I've picked up in the past few days browsing.

B2B social networking with Chinese characteristics
The engaging China Law Blog points to 9spaces, a B2B networking site linking US and China business. Its home page focues on relationships, research and referrals. As I've said before, I remain sceptical about social networking as a business tool but wish this venture well.

The GAPP shuffle
Meanwhile, back in the old world of China publishing, Danwei informs us that there has been some reshuffling at the top of GAPP, the government organisation with which every publisher has to grapple one way or the other as they juggle the regulatory challenges.

Mobile search
I've also suggested before that I think this could be a very big year for mobile content. I was gratified to pick up today, then, a Christmas Day story on Forbes about Google and China Mobile planning to launch a mobile search service. It notes that this followed a similar deal the week before with Chunghwa Telecom in Taiwan (who I trust continue to be very busy repairing cables broken in the earthquake).

Pay for Alipay
And, finally, I see that is launching itself into the new year with another effort to get customers to pay for some of its erstwhile free services. CNN Money runs a Reuters report suggesting that Alibaba, "China's largest e-commerce company, will soon start charging some users of its free Alipay online payments service as it seeks new sources of revenue". It goes on to quote Jack Ma saying "that he hoped Taobao-related services would contribute 30 percent of revenue by around 2010 or 2011". It suggests that "Alibaba's revenue in the first half of 2006 was about $100 million, matching the figure for all of last year, and the firm expects total revenue to hit $1.25 billion by 2009".

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