I received an email from my dear reader today. Per his/her permission, I posted the questions here and I’d like to share my answers with you.
I am a small volume amateur stock investor. You seem to be very
knowledgeable on issues regarding SMS and the internet. I own a few shares of SINA. Please tell me what your opinion is on which portal is better.
For SMS: SINA, SOHU, or Netease?
For Games: SINA, SOHU, or Netease?
For Portal Content: SINA, SOHU, or Netease?
For online shopping: SINA, SOHU, or Netease?
Who do you think will be the next “Yahoo”?
DISCLAIMER: THE OPPINION EXPRESSED HERE IS, AND SHOULD ONLY BE TREATED AS, PERSONAL OPPINION. THERE IS NO POSSIBILITY FOR ME TO HOLD ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE RESULT OF THE STOCK BUYING AND SELLING CAUSED BY THIS ARTICLE.
Sina is the best
As a common netizen here, I will, with most of my friends will choose Sina as the best portal, the best SMS provider and the best news source in China. There is no doubt if there is only one web site here in China that is valuable, it is Sina. It is strong in most all areas – because it is so strong as a news portal, this brings so much traffic to the site and make it possible for other sub sites (health, finance, SMS, game) to succeed.
For SMS, the biggest movement of Sina is an add-in for Microsoft Outlook XP to allow users to drag and drop emails, notes, and calendar items to the plug in and send them via SMS. This has not been popular yet, but it is unique enough to differentiate Sina from other SMS providers. Sohu and Netease don’t have such cooperation with Microsoft in China.
Also, as I know, Sina also offers $5 package for 80 SMS messages to overseas users. Check out David’s comments on this. It is very cool.
Besides these innovative applications, Sina’s traditional SMS business runs very profitable. It offers tune and screen saver downloading, SMS package that allow users to pay less and send more, news headlines via SMS and even mobile pets that requires you to send SMS to sina to feed them, taking care of them. All these services generate huge amount of traffic of SMS messages. Sina will share the SMS revenue with the mobile operator.
For netease and sohu, personally, I don’t use their service. So does most of my friends. However, do not take my perspective as general ideas. I do know someone who loves Sohu better than Sina, but it is relatively rare.
Definitely Sina. In the break time in office, people use to browse Sina for the latest news. Most of my friends’ first reaction for breaking news is to go and check Sina, just as CNN or MSNBC for Americans.
However, something really happened two days before that made Sina look really bad – it falsely reported that “Bill Gates was murdered in LA” as the headline news. I don’t know whether CNN or Bill Gates will sue Sina for this. If it is the case, this will impact the stock of SINA – according to Raymond.
Anyway, Sina offers better news and quicker news than any other media here in China. In one word, I love Sina.
Online game and online shopping
For online game, none of the three portal you gave enjoys high reputation. The legend from Korea occupy the market. I am not a online game player and don’t know too much about it.
For online shopping, I don’t go to Sina, or netease or sohu. For online shopping only limits to book and CD. I will buy my stuff at www.joyo.com, www.cnforyou.com. These are smaller website and didn’t IPO. But they are the best sites for books and CD. Till now, I never heard of anybody who has bought via Sina, Sohu or Netease. But it is common for me to buy via the two sites I mentioned – one every two months.
Who will be the next Yahoo!
You have got my answer: sina – if there were any Yahoo! again in China.
Please note I am a young man in the IT industry. People in other industry with different background or age may have completely different preference.
Thanks for the good topic for me, G.
P.S. My site received 2496 hits on the day of March 31, which is the highest in the history of this site. Meanwhile, the month of March closes with 40K hits, while I forecasted to be 32K 10 days before. Thanks for all the readers who supported me.