The listing of Qihoo 360 has given Chinese Internet companies a shot of stimulant.
Companies that have already been listed in the United States have begun to make troubles in the market, hoping to seize better opportunities in stock repurchases; and those that have not yet landed in the United States market have begun to rub their hands and wait for the IPO.
The voice of the market is even more endless. Renren.com, Kaixin.com, LinkedIn, the business social networking site, etc., were once stuffed into the upcoming ferry tickets.
However, if you board a boat, you may not be able to reach the other side. The way of SNS (social networking site) enterprises, even if they themselves, are not clear enough.
SoftBank Group becomes the biggest winner
Following Qihoo 360, Renren.com, a subsidiary of Thousand Oaks, is advancing its listing. It is reported that Renren.com plans to submit an IPO application to the US Securities Regulatory Commission in the near future, and it may be listed in the United States around mid-May.
In recent years, Chen Yizhou, as a veteran of the Internet, has been attracting industry attention when the IPO led by Thousand Oaks Group. In addition to Renren.com, which is famous for its SNS model, Thousand Oaks Group also has well-known services such as Maopu.com and Thousand Oaks Interactive Game Center. However, for many years, no business has conducted an IPO.
An insider of Thousand Oaks Group revealed that Renren.com's IPO is likely to choose NASDAQ. In response, Dong Xu, an analyst at Analysys International, said: "Renren.com's ability to go public in the US proves that the SNS model and the future development trend of the Chinese market are optimistic."
In the current SNS model, Facebook is undoubtedly the boss, but Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly said: "Do not rush to IPO."
In addition, LinkedIn, a US business social networking site invested by Sequoia US Funds, confirmed on January 28, 2011: LinkedIn has submitted an IPO application to the US Securities and Exchange Commission and plans to sell no more than $ 175 million in stock.
The positioning of Renren.com is similar to Facebook, and it takes a comprehensive SNS path, which is completely different from LinkedIn's business social path. Once Renren is listed online, he will be the first Chinese comprehensive SNS to land on the US market.
Looking back at Renren.com, its predecessor was the school intranet established in 2005. It was acquired by Thousand Oaks Group in 2006 and integrated with Thousand Oaks' 5Q campus network to become a large-scale SNS website.
The venture capital behind this website is Sun Zhengyi of the Softbank Group of Japan. In April 2008, Qian Oak announced that it would receive an investment of 40 billion yen or approximately 384 million USD from Soft Bank. After the transaction, Soft Bank held approximately 40 % Of the shares became its largest shareholder.
According to the agreement, Softbank injected 10 billion yen or approximately 96 million US dollars to Qian Oak on April 7, 2008, obtaining a 14% stake. One year later, Softbank can exercise warrants worth 30 billion yen or about 288 million US dollars, increasing its shareholding ratio to 40%. At the same time, Sun Zhengyi entered the board of Thousand Oaks, and the founder of Thousand Oaks, Chen Yizhou, remained the chairman and CEO.
Today, Renren.com has far more users and activity than before. Analysys International data shows that Renren currently has 160 million registered users, while iResearch, which is also a market research company, shows that Renren, which has become the largest SNS website in China, has nearly 100 million monthly active users.
SNS community is springing up
The development of Renren.com to today's scale and the launch of its listing have also benefited from the development of the Chinese SNS market.
In 1999, Zhou Yunfan, Chen Yizhou, and Yang Ning, considered to be the earliest advocates of the SNS concept, co-founded ChinaRen Alumni Records. In September 2000, ChinaRen was acquired by Sohu. In December 2005, several college students from Tsinghua University and Tianjin University, including Wang Xing and Wang Huiwen, founded the intranet (xiaonei.com) and became the earliest campus SNS community in China.
In 2006, Chen Yizhou, who sold ChinaRen, founded Thousand Oaks Group and acquired the intranet in October. The first goal of other SNSs still remains the campus market. However, the school intranet and Zhanzuo network have declared that they will enter the white-collar market. In October 2007, Wang Xing, who founded the school intranet and fanfun.com, launched the real social network Hainet. This is also the earliest business SNS community imitating the world's largest SNS service provider Facebook (founded in 2004).
That is in this year, the Chinese SNS started to run fast.
In May 2008, Kaixin.com was established and popular among white-collar workers. The combination of game and invitation mode is the basis of its rapid development. At the same time, Japan's Softbank invested US $ 340 million in Thousand Oaks Group, while Facebook received huge financing from Microsoft and the Li Ka-shing Foundation, and the international mainstream capital market reached its peak for SNS.
Driven by SNS websites such as Renren.com and Kaixin.com, there has been a climax of "stealing vegetables" on the Chinese Internet. This craze once affected uncles and aunts.
Afterwards, Tencent established a community of friends in a thunderous manner, Sina set up Sina space, NetEase created a dream life, and even outsiders such as China Mobile, China Telecom, and Huawei also stepped in. However, the SNS that sprung up like mushrooms did not achieve the desired effect. This effect is only a commercial gain.
Profit model seeks new ways
For a long time, China â€™s SNS has made a profit with the model of â€œadvertising + value-added business / service paymentâ€, but this model relies on the website â€™s own traffic on the one hand, and on the other hand, it depends on the advertiser â€™s cognition and the user â€™s payment habits for the application China's soil for cultivating such models is not yet mature. Industry analysts said that although leading SNS companies may receive some revenue, many SNS websites are still at the critical point of survival and death.
The profit model of China's SNS is not optimistic. Rather, in the face of the decline in user stickiness and chaotic business models, China's SNS is facing a test of survival.
At the same time, Chinese VCs have shown an ambiguous look at SNS.
According to research data, in 2010, China's online community had disclosed 12 investment incidents, and the total amount of investment has been disclosed was 14.86 million US dollars, which was mainly concentrated in the life information service information social networking site. Compared to e-commerce, online games and other fields, investment events in the SNS field are sporadic, and the investment targets are relatively concentrated.
In 2009, in the face of declining user stickiness and unclear business models, many SNSs began to face development bottlenecks, and even those vertical SNSs without financial support withdrew from the stage.
At the same time, SNS began to find an alternative business model through the combination with e-commerce. In December 2009, Renren.com, along with Taobao.com, JD.com, and Huha.com, launched the "Everyone Loves Buy" platform based on community networks; in 2010, Kaixin.com introduced special ticket inquiry, movie ticket purchases, group purchases and other services. Showed the industry the road of integration and self-expansion of SNS and e-commerce; in March 2011, Sina acquired part of the shares of Macquarie, intending to achieve the organic integration of Weibo and e-commerce.
SNS is developing and continuing in its own way.
In this regard, industry insiders said that China's SNS is struggling to move forward, and it is bound to integrate new concepts while consolidating itself. For example, the introduction of e-commerce will enable SNS to derive profitable methods such as transaction fee commissions and virtual currency issuance through the establishment of models such as online shopping mall platforms.
For this reason, e-commerce, which combines market enthusiasm and high voice of capital, will become the first choice for SNS self-salvation. However, in what way is it most effective to integrate e-commerce to develop the SNS model? At this point, SNS companies are still thinking.
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