Friday, January 22, 2010

Chinese Opinion - Without Google? It is fine

Google’s bombshell announcement to retreat from China puts the country’s Internet management system in the spotlight. In the west’s eyes, there is no network freedom in China and Chinese netizens are kept silent out of fear, the truth might be another story.

The Internet world is characterized by opening and anarchy. To maintaining a healthy and stable Internet environment, China has its obligation to block any Internet contents relating to national security, pornography and violence.

Moreover, China is not the only one with the management of Internet. In US, after the 9/11 attacks, George. W. Bush enacted the The 2001 USA Patriot Act to censor the Internet and authorize the US government or law enforcing departments to block any on-line content that endangers national security and in Germany, laws also require all the Internet cafes to censor and block anything about racism, terrorism, violence and pornography.

So the Internet world is not absolutely free, but it can develop well by proper management. Under the government’s regulation, China’s Internet society and business are not refrained, but going into their prosperity.

The Chinese Internet society is expanding in terms of volume and power. Internet users hit 384 million by the end of 2009, according to report by China Internet Network Center (CNNIC). It has the largest population of Internet users.

Besides that, Chinese netizens are flexing their muscles. As more and more news is exposed and hyped by Internet instead of traditional media, the Internet has grown to be an independent source of news and a main channel for grass root netizens to express their opinion and participate in the public affairs. Netizen’s supervision has helped improve the governance and achieve judicial justice

It is still clearly remembered that netizens’ scrutiny of a traffic accident, in which a wealthy drag racer killed a pedestrian at a high speed in Hanzhou the capital city of Zhejiang province, forced the police to revise its original arbitrary investigation statement and finally got the driver into jail. The Internet is on its way to promote China to be a more open and democratic society.

China’s Internet industry also shows its energy. The economic scale of China’s Internet industry reached 74.3 billion yuan in 2009, increasing by 30.7% to 2008 and it is estimate to be more than 100 billion yuan in 2010, according to the report by iResearch, a professional organization specializing in in-depth studying of customer behavior in Internet media and e-commerce.

The Internet market is also full of opportunities. Quite a number of Chinese Internet enterprises grow to be a giant from scratch. China’s privately hold the Alibaba Group, has reached Internet users in more than 240 countries and regions and successfully purchased in 2005 and its subsidiary is the global leader in business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce. This has proved to world that Internet companies can succeed in China if they operate in the right way.

Baidu defeats Google in the Chinese market. Compared to Google, Baidu does a better job in the understanding of the local market, understanding of Chinese characters in Mandarin and the relations with advertisers.

China’s flourishing Internet industry and society demonstrates the country's Internet world develops well under its characteristic management. The market will continue its development in its own way, no matter whether there is or not. It is unfair to China that the west puts their finger into China’s Internet regulation.

Source: China Daily

One number. Many ways to sell you stuff.

Google Voice is what Fortune’s Apple 2.0 columnist Philip Elmer-DeWitt has called “the universal telephone number and voice mail system the telcos should have offered us years ago.”

Google Voice (formerly GrandCentral) is a telecommunications service by Google launched on 11 March 2009. The service provides a U.S. phone number, chosen by the user from available numbers in selected area codes, free of charge to each user account. Inbound calls to this number are forwarded to other phone numbers of the subscriber. Outbound calls may be placed to domestic and international destinations by dialing the Google Voice number or from a web-based application. Inbound and outbound calls to US (incl. Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada are free of charge, while international calls are billed according to a schedule posted on the Google Voice website.

The service is configured and maintained by the user in a web-based application, styled after Google's e-mail service, Gmail. Users must have an established U.S. telephone service to activate Google Voice. Users must configure this and optionally, additional phone numbers that ring simultaneously when the Google Voice number receives a call. The user may answer and receive the call on any of the ringing phones. Google Voice provides additional features such as voicemail, call history, conference calling, call screening, blocking of unwanted calls, and voice transcription to text of voicemail messages. Received calls may be moved between configured telephones during a call.

The next best thing to come out of Canada after the Blackberry?

Smart Technologies a new star on the IPO horizon

Canada has a new technology star coming to public markets, with Calgary-based Smart Technologies reportedly preparing for an initial public offering that could value the company at as much as $2-billion (U.S.).

Smart has made its name as a maker of digital whiteboard technologies that have rapidly become popular in classrooms and boardrooms. The firm was quietly involved in one of the biggest tech deals of the last couple years in Canada when the founders sold a stake to private-equity firm Apax Partners, another deal that RBC advised on. Intel Capital and the founders are looking at an IPO of as much as 20 per cent of the company.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Google Stock Down, Earnings, Revenue, Clicks and Price Per Click All Up

Google annouced its results for the 4th quarter beating analyst estimates.

Revenue rose 17% from a year ago on strong ad sales.

Revenue for the quarter ended December 31, excluding traffic acquisition costs, was $4.95 billion, slightly higher than the $4.92 billion analysts were expecting. Including those costs, Google posted total revenue of $6.67 billion.

Earnings were $2.19 billion, or $6.79 a share, higher than the analyst expectations of earnings per share of $6.50, and up from year-ago earnings of $1.62 billion, or $5.10 per share.

Traffic acquisition costs, the portion of revenue shared with Google’s partners, totaled $1.72 billion and represented 27 percent of ad revenue.

Paid clicks rose 13 percent from a year ago and the average cost per click increased 5 percent.

However despite the good news Google shares are down 5% to $554.21 in aftermarket trading.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010