Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It's good to see the strategy change for China Mobile

First, I didn't know if it is true or not that China Mobile is behind U.K. private equity group Terra Firma on buying the music company EMI. But at least, it shows that China Mobile is having some new thoughts on buying into the content side, instead of the old thoughts of only buying mobile carriers. That's a good thing for the mobile conglomarate, holding at least 10 billion U.S. dollars in hand, to start thinking the expansion out of mobile network.

I have argued for long that China Mobile will not have the same high profit margin as it used to be on voice usage. The central government has been pressing it to lower the calling fee, cancel the called fee and reduce the profitable roaming fee. So what will be the next profit source for China Mobile, as well as the next big good news to the stock market? Of course, it will be good to see the giant turning itself into a content producer who will connect its wide network to distribute the content. Since China Mobile doesn't own any celebrity now, it is perfect to buy a music company owning a lot of celebrities and music copyrights. We may soon expect China Mobile to stop using celebrity from other companies, and instead, using the one from EMI. (at least saving some costs)

Financing Terra Firma, a private equity, will be a smart decision since Terra knew EMI with the same country origine, and it is already a familiar idea to Chinese regulator after the country's foreign reserve firm buying into Blackstone, a U.S. private equity.

But the problem beyond this is if China Mobile is able to handle an international company since it hasn't run any worldwide business before. Also, music business is very different from the monopoly mobile business. China Mobile needs more talents to support this strategy advance.

But all in all, we expect a smooth and enjoyable music downloading process when using China mobile service.

Another Disney is needed in China

Sorry for not posting frequently these days. A friend was visiting Hong Kong last days and I am her full tour guide.

Hong Kong Disneyland is one of the must-to-visit for many mainland tourists, including my friend. Frankly speaking, you couldn't expect much in a hot summer like these days. More terrible, it is a summer holiday season for many kids who do like Mickey and Minnie. Though the world's smallest Disney theme park, it is tidy, cute and fun. The size is not a problem, but the cultural differences are more important. Most of the staffs are Hong Kong native of course, and they could speak definitely good Cantonese and English. Mandarin, to them, is not strange, but definitely not as good as their mother tongue. Especially, the programs are very different from the one we grew up since the childhood. The cartoon Donald Duck looks similar, but we are more familiar with the Chinese voice of Li Yang, instead of the English one or Cantonese one. Especially, for some interactive program, languages become a huge problem and I don't think my friend, who couldn't understand Cantonese, could enjoy the program as it is supposed to be. I remember I went to another theme park in Shenzhen, where my friends and I could enjoy the conversation from staffs and learn the culture from the Mandarin tour guide. But in Disney, I feel nothing.

So maybe there should be another Disney in Mandarin version if Warner Brother really wants to expand in China. At least it will help Mandarin-speaking people understand more, and reduce the language load of Hong Kong Disneyland.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Do you need a video resume?

How many times you have sent your word or pdf resume to the potential employers? Now you have another tool, making a video resume.

Yahoo put it as the headline today and it sounds very interesting. The video resume, created by the website workblast.com, in fact will show a much more vivid way of the applicants, instead of several lines of your past working experiences and education. Now, you have the chance to speak for yourself, not just write for yourself.

But will employers want to use this to sort out thousands of application? probably not. Employers tell the right candidates(at least the one who will pass the first round interview) by a five-second look through on the paper resume, not a ten-minute video watching on each one.

So my suggestion is that employers could use video resume for the second-round interview before meeting the candidates in person. It will save the effort to judge if the candidates have the fluent speaking ability, and in some extent, their character.

Anyway, fun to make a video resume now, especially if you want to apply a job to some online video companies:)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Will this be the trend?

Just found an very interesting new media project named Assignment Zero started by a vetaran journalism professor Jay Rosen and Wired News. The inniative is to allow citizen and non-trained journalists to contibute their stories, non 100 percent perfect, and the professionals to be responsbile in editting them. The former journalists will act more like an editor on the stories from various resources submitted by the grassroots. Take a look at the website, and it seems to be really easy to be a journalist. Have five minutes? Or five hours? Like to research, write, or conduct interviews? Do you have prior journalism experience or none at all? Any way you dice it, we can use your help.

I believe this is a good way to lead to good online journalism. Now we see too much rubbish content on the web now, and you have to stand it. If there will be someone to help them more clear and understandable, that would be great.

But the problem is that how to maintain the diversity of the content by raising their standards. Journalists usually have a certain way to write the stories, but the readers may want more, something funny, something simple and something easy. Could we achieve the quality and the diversity at the same time? That will be a question.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Is the theme of Allen & Co's 25th conference in Sun Valley possible?

"Cooperation, not mutual destruction"

It should be a smart business motto everywhere, not only in media. but is it easy to achieve? In the Allen conference, we hear this theme talked by many ppl, but then we see the case in which Viacom is trying to take down the Youtube and its owner Google by a US$1 billion deal. It is not sure how this will end, but definitely it is a good example of mutual destruction just as Netscape VS Internet Explorer, or the Napster VS several big music production companies years ago. Google is definitely a strong rival for Viacom, at least strong capital backup for Youtube. So it may be a fair competition now, and let's see who will win.

Speaking of destruction, in fact, the deals should also be counted in. The long-time rumor that Microsoft is going to buy at least part of Yahoo will give us a better idea on the deal that act both as cooperation (between Microsoft and Yahoo) and destruction(to Google and other small newcomers)

So let's forget the theme. It is a competitive market and a ruthless world. Cooperation sometimes is destruction, and you have to survive from it with right business strategy and partners, instead of bearing a well-known motto.

my terrible mathmatic skills

I was reviewing my mathmatic skills these days and then suddenly I forgot how to use the derivatives of a function in my statistics course during college. I was once very good at all the mathematics course, but now seems I forgot to calculate the value of the derivatives of ln(x). How terrible it is!!!

It keeps me wondering how much we miss mathematics, one of the best brain exercise. I became lazy since I have calculator and Microsoft excel. But I still remember the chidhood time when I could easily tell the total number of money my mother should pay for a bunch of goods she bought in the supermarket, much faster than the salesman could tell.

When people grow up, it is easily to assume things based on the previous experience or the tools in the hand, instead of really looking into the problem and figuring out themselves.

Market is the same. We all think Hong Kong market is a grown-up or mature market(everyone thinks it is much more advanced than Shanghai market, to my knowledge). But in fact, is it true? Here is just one example happened days ago when several big Chinese telecom carriers, all of which listed in Hong Kong, annouced a reshuffle in the senior management. Some top securities firms issued analyst reports saying this reshuffle showed the sign of a possible 3G license granting very soon. And the market responded positively.

However, if they could do more research on this, the reshuffle is among the senior management who is in charge of due dilligence or anti-corruption, which means it is more of a sign of bureaucratic move before the 17th National People's Congress later this year. So to the market, it is nothing, at least nothing related to 3G.

A short example shows how Hong Kong and mainland stock analysts have different opinions on certain news, which directly decides on different stock price move. Hong Kong, as a grown-up, should practice the basic skills better to have a view of an insider, instead of an outsider.

So let's do our math harder.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Media moguls in the valley

seems all the American media moguls are showing in the silicon valley for the Allen&Co media conference now. And people expect some big deal like Google's acquisition of Youtube will happen after those private giggle chatting. I saw some new but familiar company names such as Facebook, Joost(created by the skype founder), Ning(created by Marc Andreessen, a co-founder of Netscape) and Slingbox. So will there be some big deal? and we will see.

But I have a question: will the small companies always be bought to support the future growth of big companies? If that's true, then we will see no big changes like those brought by Microsoft or Google. See if that day IBM bought Microsoft or Yahoo bought Google, do we still enjoy a colorful and diversified and convenient computer world now? probably not. So in terms of that, I hope those small companies could think big and do something really coloful besides attractive to the big brothers.