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Head-to-head Competition for Access to Mobile Internet
The 4th CEIBS-Chrysler Dialogue with Entrepreneurs Held Successfully

On March 18, 2014, the 4th CEIBS-Chrysler Dialogue with Entrepreneurs was held successfully at CEIBS Shanghai Campus. Organized by the CEIBS Centre for Entrepreneurship and Investment (CCEI), the event focused on disruptive innovation and provided a platform for entrepreneurs to share ideas and experiences with top domestic investors and investment institutions.

The mobile Internet world is witnessing a wave of merger and acquisition mania. Facebook sealed its massive purchase of WhatsApp for US$ 19 billion; Dianping and JD.com were integrated into WeChat; Baidu acquired app store 91 Wireless for around US$1.9 billion…Corporate giants are gambling at high stakes for a position in the mobile Internet arena. With a theme of “Battle for Access to Mobile Internet”, the 4th CEIBS-Chrysler Dialogue with Entrepreneurs featured an in-depth dialogue between Partner of Qiming Ventures Ms. Helen Wong and two entrepreneurs---UUCUN (China’s leading provider of internet advertising platforms) Founder Zhang Zhendong and Diting Technology Founder Li Cheng. Ms. Wong also shared with the participants Qiming’s investment philosophy in the era of mobile Internet. CEIBS Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship Gong Yan gave a brief introduction to the mobile Internet access and made an in-depth analysis of the Netflix case (how did the biggest streaming media service provider overturn its own business models twice).

The event started with an elaboration on WeChat’s success by rrlt.com Founder Wang Yuhao. He probed into the contingency and necessary factors contributing to WeChat’s success---from version 4.0 to 5.2, WeChat updated rapidly and became a mobile Internet-based replacement for traditional PC-based social networking application. Wang wrapped up his speech by emphasizing that to run a mobile Internet product well, you’d better dismiss all PC things from your mind.

At the beginning of his speech, Prof. Gong cited WIRED magazine editor Kevin Kelly’s words, “The ultimate network may be a form of artificial intelligence, which is complicated enough, has enough hierarchies, and possesses the power of thinking”. He noted that smart phones, household appliances, automobiles and even people themselves can be inlets to the mobile Internet. Nowadays, the boundaries between these inlets are becoming ambiguous and overlapping. He then shared the Netflix case and said that “Netflix’s success should give the credit to three major strategies it employed in the access competition: interaction, i.e. the significant interactive activities between information sending and receiving sides; intelligence, including the efforts to imitate the human brains; finally, the integration, standardization and platform development of hardware and software, as well as the ‘hooked’ profit model.”

Ms. Wong explained the investment priorities of Qiming in the mobile Internet times, namely, location, voice and image (LoVi). Following this investment philosophy, Qiming has successively invested in a string of leading mobile Internet enterprises such as Dianping, Meitu, Unisound and etc.

Both Zhang Zhendong and Li Cheng are leading entrepreneurs in the mobile Internet times. Mr. Zhang elaborated on the profit model of UUCUN as a third-party App Store solutions provider, and shared some specific cases with the participants. Mr. Li is known for his Xiaoyun smart router system, the only private cloud app in China that focuses on reverse P2P technology, and makes radical innovations from production chain, distribution channel, software and hardware integration to after-sale service. In face of the ravening rivals, Xiaoyun chooses not to directly compete with but enter into alliance with traditional tycoons (e.g. Xunlei, Lenovo) so as to give full play to its own advantages.

This event concluded with a roundtable on “Battle for Access to Mobile Internet” between Prof. Gong, Ms. Wong, Mr. Wang and the two entrepreneurs. They also discussed the long-term vision of the partnership between UUCUN and Baidu. According to Zhang Zhendong, UUCUN established its presence by cooperating with second-tier and third-tier smart phone brands, and in the future it will be engaged in intense competition with international smart phone brands. The participants also gave advice and suggestions on “how should Xiaoyun leverage its alliance with Xunlei to compete with Xiaomi”. The animated and lively discussion turned out to be a much rewarding experience for every participant.