Sinica on China and Bin Laden and More

For those interested, I was honored to join the Sinica podcast again this week to talk about China’s reaction to Bin Laden’s death. In Kaiser’s absence, this week’s show is hosted by Jeremy Goldkorn and also features Gady Epstein, Will Moss, and Jeremiah Jenne.

Interested parties can check out the podcast here, if you’re not already subscribed to it (and why wouldn’t you be?)

Hope you enjoy. Also, hope I didn’t say anything too dumb — I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet….

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0 thoughts on “Sinica on China and Bin Laden and More”

  1. Good Podcast. But I strongly disagree that an internet bubble would be happening in China, at least in that kind of magnitude. In general, there were 2 kinds of .com companies out there, ones with a long term business plan (generating money, but losing money), and ones with no long term business plan (trying to create market share, but no concentrating on making money.)

    Companies like Amazon, Ebay, Yahoo, and others were losing money for years before becoming profitable and stable. The others have no business plan and not even generating any real revenue, thus the reason why they collapse. I know, I worked in a .com company for several months in 2000 before I saw the signs and quit. In the so called ‘China’s .com bubble,’ I think that perhaps there will be some consolidation before jumping back.

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  2. “But I strongly disagree that an internet bubble would be happening in China ”

    Except Renren was trading 100x revenues a few days ago. Ridiculous valuation for a company about to ‘experience’ the real deal, when FB launches in China later this year.

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  3. I guess you never heard of a growth company and companies like this will probably never get any earnings for the first few years. Instead they will spend money invest in new products in order to gain market share.

    Renren CEO says that 2 things that they are trying to do is to develop an open platform in Asia and develop products into the mobile platform.

    Personally, I don’t know why companies like renren and baidu decided to list in the US stock market because they have the US government asking them to stop censoring, plus the fact that they will have little chance developing any product in the US.

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  4. @ pug_ster: I dunno. Obviously, I’m far from a financial expert — you’ll notice I kept my mouth shut during that portion of the program — but Renren has been around for quite a while already. They have had a massive user base for some time. If their market cap is still 90x their yearly revenue, that doesn’t seem odd to you? Granted, there’s room to grow in China if they can eliminate domestic competitors like Kaixin001, but frankly, I think if anything they’re potentially looking at negative growth in the next few years as Weibo becomes even more robust and people stop using their renren accounts as much. If Facebook does enter China, that could hurt too — long term, I don’t think Facebook has a great chance here but the novelty of it could pull users away from Renren in the short term. Even if they are making money, I don’t see how they’re going to beef up their revenue stream enough to get anywhere near their value…

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  5. C Custer,

    There were many companies in the US like Amazon, Ebay and Yahoo whom have lost money for years but managed to be on the black in the end. I supoosed that Renren is like in this kind of company.

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  6. @pug_ster : Sure. But was Amazon’s market cap that high? I don’t think anyone is saying Renren isnt a valuable company, what they were saying was that it isn’t as valuable as its market cap would indicate at the moment, hence, bubble. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but personally I do think some of these companies — Renren, Youku — are overvalued, but I also think they are good companies that will end up making money eventually. In Youku’s case, I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up getting bought by someone else (just as Google eventually bought Youtube), but either way, I think 5-10 years down the road Renren and Youku will still be around, and they’ll probably be making money, but I think between now and then, at some point, their stocks are going to have to drop significantly…

    But, like I said, I am not a financial expert by any stretch of the imagination, and it’s very possible everything I just said is totally wrong.

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  7. You’v just explained why these internet companies would not be even close to the .com bubble in 1999/2000. In the .com bubble, many internet companies went out of business because they have no business fundamentals at all. Many of these Chinese internet companies have little chance of going belly up because they already have a solid customer/user base. But, like what you said, it might go down in value.

    The .com bubble was nuts, when any internet related companies out there went to ipo, people scooped it up without giving a second thought. Pets.com was one such of those colossal failures.

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  8. @ pug_ster: Did anyone say it was the same as the 1999/2000 .com bubble? I think people were just saying that it was a bubble, but yeah, I agree it’s not the same bc most of the Chinese companies, while overvalued, do have a future and some kind of cohesive plan (or so it seems, anyway…)

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