Sina, Sohu or Netease?

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”?


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.

Portal content

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, 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.

New IKEA Store Opens in Shanghai

IKEA will move to the new store on April 16, 2003.

The new store is much bigger than the old one – 33,000 sqm while the old one is 8,000 sqm. Meanwhile, the seats in the dinning area increases from 50+ to 500. It is the largest IKEA stores in Asia.

I am very happy that the new store is only within 20 minutes’ walking distance from my house. It is also the half way from the place I work in Xujiahui and my house. It is the most beautiful building in the area with the bright yellow and bright blue colors.

The even better news is, a new road alone the big IKEA new store will be completed tomorrow. The road offers me closer path to walk home and I don’t need to go alone the noisy and dusty Caoxi Road.

IKEA – from very expensive to cheap store

When I first came to IKEA, everything looks so expensive – about 200% more than my expection. However, I was really impressived by the simple and colorful design. At that time, the store is almost empty, with only a few customers. A big portion of the customers at that time are expats to Shanghai.

When I graduated from the university, I used the first month salary to buy a IKEA Billy Bookcase. It is the only and funiture in my rented apartment in Meilong. I love IKEA funiture so much even though it costs me 887 RMB at that time.

Now five years have past. As the frequent IKEA shopper (or most of the time as window shopper), IKEA changed its image. It is no longer expensive for me now.

One of the reason is the changing finacial condition of myself – from a just-graduate student to a manager with my own house. It is reason I always attribute to.

The other reason is the real price drop of the articles themselve. I found the IKEA Billy Bookcase is still there, but the price become something like 400 RMB. According to Shanghai Star, it is become of the localization of production.

Pictures of new IKEA


© Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang

Bill Gates Murdered by Media in China

This morning, my wife received a phone call from her friend that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was murdered in Los Angeles.

What? The whole world goes crazy!

Her friend continued to tell the bad news. She was on a taxi and the radio repeatedly reported the news – “Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was murdered in Los Angeles when he was attending a charity ceremony“. The reporter used very sorrow voice and interrupted the regular news. The news came from China International Radio Station, he reported.

I was completely shocked, as much as I heard the news of Sept 11 one and a half years ago. I went to, the largest and most popular website in China, and they had put it in red font on the home page: ““Bill Gates Murdered in Los Angeles“. The same piece of news appeared on and Yahoo! China too. Here are some screen shot of the news.

"CNN: Microsoft President Bill Gates Murdered in Los Angeles" 11:28

AM, March 29, 2003 on

"CNN: Microsoft President Bill Gates Murdered in Los Angeles" 11:12

AM, March 29, 2003 on Yahoo! China

The words spread quickly. I got 3 phone calls and 4 MSN Messenger queries in just half hour (from 11:30 to 12:00). People are spreading the news as quick as they did when the first plane hit the NYWTC. Thanks to the morden technilogy – via SMS, mobile, and MSN Messenger. You know what, the first reaction for a lot of my friends is, forward the news to his/her friends.

On the web, it causes stronger reaction – 190 comments were posted on under the news entry.

On the contrary,, MSNBC, Yahoo! are just as usual – the news cannot be found there.

After about one hour, the rumor ended. Sohu released an announcement that the

news is fake. Sina did the same 1.5 hours later. This event raises everyone’s attention to the media in China again – who is responsible for this?

Sohu IT News, March 29

Sina’s clarification of the fake news, March 29

Big names in this game

Big names in the traditional media industry in China is involved in this game. Besides Sina and Sohu, the following agencies also reported the news:

CCTV 4 (according to posts in BBS)

China International Radio (according to my friends who heard it)

Oriental TV (according to BBS)

What people are saying at hearing the news

There are 190 posts under’s entry. They reflect the real reaction of people when hearing the news. I digits some of them. They are all posted within 1 hour after the news is release.

He should be fine, from IP:210.21.107.*

What on earth is it? Is it true of false? May God Bless Bill Gates. IP:211.91.134.*

Oh, my god. It cann’t be true. Why not murder Bush? Bill is a good guy! IP:218.68.239.*

Don’t fool us! People who love to donote to charity will be fine. IP:202.110.116.*

It is really on China Daily. I don’t know whether it is true or not. I hope it will be false. IP:61.236.192.*

Updated Source of the fake news March 31, 2003

All the media pointed out that China Daily is the source of the fake news. According to an announcement later, China Daily said:

America news website CNN ( reported on March 28, 2003 (Morning of March 29, 2003 Beijing time), that “Bill Gates was murdered in LA”. The news appeared on CNN’s web site for about half an hour before it was removed. Till now, other news media and agencies didn’t report the news.

After China Daily translated and reported the news, Sina and Sohu quoted the news and spread the news via SMS. At 12:20 AM, March 29, 2003 Beijing time, Microsoft cooperation called China Daily and told us that the news is released in April 1, 2002. It appeared on CNN for unknown reason.

No SARS Case Found in Shanghai

It is REPORTED that there is no SARS case in Shanghai in the popular Shanghai Morning Post today.

According to the speakman of Shanghai Health Administration up to now, there is no case found yet. He also mentioned some foreign media’s report on infection in Shanghai is not true.

It is normal that if there is any bad news, the official will clarify the truth. I hope the report or the news I heard from my friends are just rumor. Please also treat all the information on SARS on this web site as rumor too.

P.S. I had the physical examination for driver’s license today. There are many very interesting tests. I am not sure of the name in English yet.

Update April 1, 2003

Although SARS is not reported to breakout in Shanghai, concerns of SARS do breakout. Check this article for updates.


SARS Symptons

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Case Definitions

Case definitions and related recommendations are subject to revision as further epidemiological/laboratory information becomes available.

Suspect Case:

A person presenting with:

Fever (over 38 degrees Celsius)


One or more respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing


One or more of the following:

  • Close contact* within 10 days of onset of symptoms with a probable case

  • History of travel within 10 days to WHO reported “affected areas?in Asia (see below)


No other known cause of current illness

*Close contact means having cared for, lived with or had face-to-face (within 1 metre) contact with, or having had direct contact with respiratory secretions and/or body fluids of a person with SARS.

Source: Health Canada © Health Canada. 2003. Reproduce with permission.


Inside II

I wrote Inside in Oct 2002. It is more on the operational side – the venders I am using and the architectes of the domains and websites. Recently, I reviewed some very good articles on site building. I’d like to share my experience with this site – anyway, it is a PageRank 5 website now, according to Google.

Content of the site

home.w…com: 133 pages

www.w…com: 207 pages

Data source: visit log at Feb 28, 2003

Average number of hits per visitor (HpV)

Oct 2002: 3.885

Nov 2002: 3.933

Dec 2002: 5.304

Jan 2003: 3.669

Feb 2003: 3.212

Nov 2003: 2.820

Dec 2003: 3.077

Jan 2004: 3.083

Top visited page

Oct 2002: 14.26% 669 5.58% 262

Nov 2002: 4.87% 839 4.56% 786 3.90% 671

Dec 2002: 3.92% 880 3.39% 763 2.87% 645

Jan 2003 4.90% 1294 4.84% 1279 4.11% 1086

Feb 2003 7.86% 2144 3.92% 1068 3.73% 1017

Nov 2003 7.59% 5569 6.06% 4446 4.51% 3309

December 2003 6.91% 5411 6.61% 5179 2.99% 2340

Top referring domain

Oct 2002 33.66% 413 16.14% 198 7.17% 88

Nov 2002 41.11% 2134 15.43% 801 5.18% 269

Dec 2002: 40.04% 1985 17.27% 856 9.24% 458

Jan 2003 43.41% 3702 14.18% 1209 5.12% 437

Feb 2003 43.86% 4305 14.72% 1445 4.48% 440

Page hits

Hits in Oct, Nov, Dec in 2002 and Jan, Feb in 2003 are actual number while the others are forecasted

===== 2002 =====

Oct 4K

Nov 17K

Dec 23K

===== 2003 =====

Jan 27K

Feb 28K

Mar 40K 31K

Apr 85K (85301) 35k

May 50K

June 80K

July 100K

Aug 120K

Sep 150K

Oct 78K (77,888)

Nov 78K (78,341)

Dec 84K (83,847)

===== 2004 =====

Jan 88K (88,030)

The website in one hits year (Oct 1 to Sept 30): 665K

Brett stated in his Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone

I guarantee you that in ones years time you will call your site a success. It will be drawing between 500 and 2000 referrals a day from search engines. If you build a good site with an average of 4 to 5 pages per user, you should be in the 10-15k page views per day range in one years time.

He called 10K hits per day a “successful website”. I hope I can get half success at the end of hit year 2003 (HY2003) with 5K page view per day.

Updated: April 22, 2003

Page hits of March 2003 turned out to be 40K, 29% more than forecasted.

Updated: May 3, 2003

Page hits of April 2003 is 85K (85301), 114% more than forecast.

Update: January 1, 2004

November 2003: 78341

December 2003: 83847

== October 2003 ==

October 1, 2003	2607

October 2, 2003	3096

October 3, 2003	2248

October 4, 2003	2289

October 5, 2003	1894

October 6, 2003	2811

October 7, 2003	2553

October 8, 2003	2569

October 9, 2003	2996

October 10, 2003	3013

October 11, 2003	2301

October 12, 2003	1856

October 13, 2003	2578

October 14, 2003	3316

October 15, 2003	2986

October 16, 2003	3362

October 17, 2003	2843

October 18, 2003	2424

October 19, 2003	2287

October 20, 2003	2606

October 21, 2003	3091

October 22, 2003	2984

October 23, 2003	2653

October 24, 2003	2656

October 25, 2003	2021

October 26, 2003	1844

October 27, 2003	1513

October 28, 2003	2567

October 29, 2003	2033

October 30, 2003	1958

October 31, 2003	1933

== November 2003 ==

November 1, 2003	1942

November 2, 2003	2795

November 3, 2003	2472

November 4, 2003	2410

November 5, 2003	2845

November 6, 2003	2389

November 7, 2003	1922

November 8, 2003	1705

November 9, 2003	2104

November 10, 2003	3245

November 11, 2003	2660

November 12, 2003	2680

November 13, 2003	2671

November 14, 2003	2480

November 15, 2003	2401

November 16, 2003	3057

November 17, 2003	3036

November 18, 2003	3171

November 19, 2003	3310

November 20, 2003	3142

November 21, 2003	1960

November 22, 2003	1912

November 23, 2003	2764

November 24, 2003	3468

November 25, 2003	3129

November 26, 2003	3418

November 27, 2003	2306

November 28, 2003	2166

November 29, 2003	2782

November 30, 2003	3286

=== December 2003 ===

December 1, 2003	3209

December 2, 2003	3313

December 3, 2003	3306

December 4, 2003	2971

December 5, 2003	2150

December 6, 2003	2200

December 7, 2003	3002

December 8, 2003	3499

December 9, 2003	3310

December 10, 2003	3210

December 11, 2003	3205

December 12, 2003	2559

December 13, 2003	2144

December 14, 2003	2277

December 15, 2003	3386

December 16, 2003	3075

December 17, 2003	3152

December 18, 2003	2872

December 19, 2003	2067

December 20, 2003	1883

December 21, 2003	2440

December 22, 2003	2784

December 23, 2003	2825

December 24, 2003	2301

December 25, 2003	2032

December 26, 2003	2108

December 27, 2003	2248

December 28, 2003	2324

December 29, 2003	2431

December 30, 2003	2278

=== January 2004 ===

January 1    1.62% 1709

January 2    1.89% 1988

January 3    2.07% 2176

January 4    2.19% 2307

January 5    2.61% 2747

January 6    2.90% 3048

January 7    2.43% 2554

January 8    3.54% 3731

January 9    4.12% 4337

January 10   2.73% 2873

January 11   2.03% 2138

January 12   2.87% 3022

January 13   2.80% 2942

January 14   2.71% 2849

January 15   3.06% 3219

January 16   3.10% 3261

January 17   2.00% 2109

January 18   2.71% 2856

January 19   4.05% 4265

January 20   3.25% 3417

January 21   2.66% 2802

January 22   2.46% 2586

January 23   2.59% 2721

January 24   2.68% 2824

January 25   2.14% 2254

January 26   2.41% 2533

January 27   2.79% 2936

January 28   2.76% 2909

January 29   2.74% 2883

January 30   2.85% 3002

January 31   2.88% 3032

Wedding Anniversary

By chances, I visited Kayne’s Pleasing to Remember. He was celebrating his four year wedding anniversary. Congratulations to Kayne and his wife (since I am not a native English speaker and not very sure whether Kayne is a man’s or woman’s name. Sorry if I made a mistake here). How sweet it is to look back to write a brief review of what they’ve accomplished and where they’ve been. Read the orginal blog entry for details.

I happened to get married one week before – today is the one week wedding memorial day for me and Wendy. It is nice. After my four year wedding anniversary, we also should been together for ten years, too.

A brief review of what we’ve accomplished and where we’ve been: (as Kayne did)

  • Trip to Longmen in Luoyang, which is our first trip together

  • Trip to Putuo Island which the best trip ever
  • Trip to Beijing before we graduated
  • Trip to Daocheng and took great photos there.
  • Vacation to Xi’an
  • Bought the house together
  • Been together for almost 365 days a year for 6 years.

We are looking forward to our first wedding anniversary next year. It would definetely wonderful. I hope at that time, we should accomplish the following:

  • Trip to California, AZ and Washington DC for the honeymoon.

  • Trip to Hainan again in this winter.

SARS Outbreak – How Bad Is It?

This page contains unconfirmed information and please take as rumor only.

SARS has been popular on the web. I have seen reports of bloggers here and there.

Today, one of my friends, who is visiting Shanghai next week, asked me about SARS on MSN Messenger.

HI, am just concerned with SARS outbreak. Is it bad in Shanghai?

Well. Is it bad? Actually, I didn’t heard of the term SARS before. Soon I realized, via Google, that it is linked to the Pneumonia-type virus outbreakin Guangzhou two months before. Now it got a new name and moved the new location.

HONGKONG — The worldwide outbreak of a mystery pneumonia is believed to have been triggered by a sick doctor from southern China who infected six other people at a Hongkong hotel, health officials said.

Source: SARS outbreak traced to HK hotel

It is bad. But how bad?

I am living in Shanghai. To be honest, I have never heard of any relationship between SARS and the city until I saw it in MSN Messenger. For bad news like this in China, you can never count on media to tell you the news – the main news source is still emails and Internet. But they are more like rumor than the truth. Sometimes the bad news is magnified and become worse.

The pneumonia-type virus breakout in Guangzhou two months ago was bad – really bad. People are rushing to stores to buy medicines. Most people are wearing medical masks on the streets which strengthened the anxiousness.

The following photos were taken in Guangzhou in mid-Feb this year.

Note: In the photos, masks were improperly used! Check out the instructions. Thanks Mainlander for pointing it out.





Policemen in Guangzhou are wearing masks. Source:

In Shanghai, so far so good

In Shanghai, however, only one person died in Changzheng (Long March) Hospital (as far as I know) in Feb.

Disclaimer: This may not be the truth since I am not sure whether the email I got is true or not. The only confirmed fact is, I received an email stating one person died for this virus in Shanghai. Please do take this as rumor.

Update March 27, 2003

The city newspaper reported no case of SARS was found in Shanghai on March 27, 2003 as headline news.

SARS Symptoms

Fever (over 38 degrees Celsius)

- AND -

One or more respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing

Refer to another blog entry for more details.

See also:

Thanks for Mainlander’s contribution. Here are some sites in Chinese about the prevention of SARS.