Issue 30 | March 26, 2018

Issue 30 | March 26, 2018

Join Our Discussion on US-China Relations in Boston
The 996 Podcast is coming to the East Coast! Join us for a live session for the podcast at MIT on the evening of Saturday, April 7 where we interview Yasheng Huang, Professor of Global Economics and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, a renowned economist and thought leader on US-China relations. We will also be joined by a special guest, our producer Kaiser Kuo, the host of The Sinica Podcast and former director of international communications for Baidu.

This event will be free and open to all. Seats are limited; reserve yours by registering now.

Two Wars: Tencent vs. Bytedance and Didi vs. Meituan-Dianping

Last week, Chinese social media was awash with rumors that Tencent’s WeChat has started to block content from Bytedance (a.k.a. Toutiao) on Moments, WeChat’s version of the Newsfeed.

Though Tencent denied these rumors, it has long competed with Bytedance for Chinese users’ screen share. Bytedance owns some of China’s top short video apps, including Douyin (a.k.a. Tik Tok), which reportedly has 60 million daily active users. Tencent is a major investor in Kuaishou, China’s most popular short video app and Douyin’s biggest competitor.

Meanwhile, the $30 billion “super app” Meituan-Dianping continues its foray into ride-hailing, Didi Chuxing’s core business. In a recent speech, Meituan CEO Wang Xing said Meituan already has a third of the ride-hailing market in Shanghai and Nanjing.  Didi has reportedly formed an internal group called “打美办” (“the committee for fighting with Meituan”). Tweet this

Note: Bytedance and Didi Chuxing are GGV portfolio companies. GGV Managing Partner Hans Tung was a personal investor in Dianping.

A Big Deal: Naspers Sells Tencent Shares

Shares of Tencent slumped in Hong Kong after its biggest shareholder—the South African media conglomerate Naspers—announced the sale of part of its stake, wiping $23 billion off Tencent’s market value.

Naspers said last week it would sell around $10 billion worth of Tencent stock, trimming its share from 33.2% to 31.2%.

In 2001, Koos Bekker, then CEO of Naspers, made a brilliant investment of $32 million in a little-known Chinese technology firm called Tencent. Today, Nasper’s stake in Tencent (around $160 billion) is worth more than Nasper’s entire market capitalization (around $120 billion).

Source: The Economist
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The news offset Tencent’s strong fourth-quarter earnings report that saw revenue jump 51% and net profit surge 98% compared with the previous year.

A Number:
164: the number of unicorns—private companies valued at more than $1 billion—in China, according to a new report issued by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology this week.

Beijing is home to 70 unicorns, followed by Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Shenzhen, with 36, 17 and 14, respectively.

Thanks for joining us for our first live podcast
We had a great time interviewing Airbnb’s co-founder and China chairman Nathan Blecharczyk at 996’s first live podcast.

Nate Airbnb with 996

Nate shared many valuable insights on Airbnb’s China strategy. For the recording of the event, follow the 996 Podcast on iTunes, Spotify (new!), Overcast,  SoundCloud, or XimalayaFM (search “GGV996”).