Betting on e-commerce, games, and social networking, can major manufacturers tell new stories about going overseas?

Tech Planet (WeChat ID: tech618)

Text | Chen Qiaohui

For major Internet companies in 2022, “cost reduction and efficiency increase” will become the main theme, and expenditures such as marketing and promotion will be greatly reduced compared with previous years. In addition, according to Tech Planet’s public statistics, the products of major manufacturers such as Tencent, Ali, and Byte have been removed from shelves and new data show that new businesses are also shrinking.

For example, Tencent announced that nearly 40 products (including games) will be removed from the shelves in 2022, with an average of 5 products removed from the shelves every month. In stark contrast, there are only a handful of new products launched by Tencent this year, and sometimes it is difficult to see a new product go online in a month.

Like Tencent, the same is true for Byte as an APP factory. Especially in the second half of last year, there were basically no new domestic products, and the products that were removed from the shelves and discontinued included the grass-growing product “Kosong” and the social product “Party Island”. “, reading tool “knowledge zone” and so on.

However, compared with the contraction of domestic new business of major Internet companies, their overseas business is a different picture. Tech Planet has combed through public information and found that the layout of most major Internet companies’ overseas new business and products last year exceeded the sum of their domestic new business and products, covering social networking, entertainment, e-commerce, tools, games, etc.

For example, e-commerce has taken the most action. Ali’s ALLYLIKE, Pinduoduo’s TEMU, Byte’s Demonstudio, ifooou and other businesses have emerged; in terms of social entertainment, Byte and Tencent have new layouts, such as karaoke, close friend social networking, etc. Products are launched in Southeast Asia and other regions.

Domestic Internet traffic has gradually peaked, and many fields and tracks have entered stock competition. There are various indications that overseas markets and going overseas are becoming the focus of attention and competition of major Internet companies. The Central Economic Work Conference held not long ago proposed to vigorously develop the digital economy and “support platform companies to show their talents in international competition.” It will become the general trend for major Internet companies to “sail out to sea” and compete for overseas markets.

Intensive layout of overseas markets

Although major Internet companies have been exploring overseas business for a long time, the progress and layout of new businesses in 2022 are particularly prominent.

Tech Planet integrated DATA.AI and public information. According to incomplete statistics, from January to December 2022, there will be more than 30 non-game products launched overseas by major Internet companies.

Legend: Overseas business and product layout of major Internet companies in 2022.

Among them, Ali will launch the most new overseas business products in 2022, reaching more than 20, followed by Byte, with 6 new overseas products, followed by Netease, Kuaishou, Station B, etc.

The fields and tracks involved include social networking, entertainment, e-commerce, tools, local life, short videos, office, etc. Among them, tool products and entertainment products have become the focus of each company’s layout.

It is worth noting that TUDOO under Ali launched more than 10 products last year, which are more like products made for some overseas companies and individuals, similar to outsourcing. It is reported that TUDOO is a platform that provides solutions such as app building and order transactions for overseas catering merchants.

According to people familiar with the matter, TUDOO has launched so many products. On the one hand, it hopes to use its advantages in the global supply chain and brand to open up the market for overseas online catering service providers. On the other hand, it can open online catering services for domestic and overseas Platforms provide services and thus become part of their own business growth.

But in terms of importance, Pinduoduo’s TEMU and Byte’s TikTok Now will become the key development businesses of each company. Among them, TEMU and TikTok Now have repeatedly topped the rankings of major overseas applications. It can be seen that these overseas products have great potential.

A person close to Byte revealed to Tech Planet: “Byte’s overseas social business is as important as domestic ones, and internally hopes that overseas social can become a link between other overseas products.”

And this is only non-game business. If game products are counted, the game products of Tencent, Ali, Byte, Baidu, and NetEase all increased significantly last year. Ali launched 4 new games overseas, while Tencent and NetEase More.

According to the “November 2022 Game Industry Report” released by Gamma Data, in November 2022, the actual sales revenue of the Chinese game market was 19.168 billion yuan, a month-on-month decrease of 3.04% and a year-on-year decrease of 19.23%. , the actual sales revenue of China’s self-developed games in overseas markets was 1.361 billion US dollars, a slight increase of 0.51% from the previous month. This is due to the deepening understanding of overseas markets by game manufacturers, which has enabled Chinese game manufacturers to achieve good results in overseas markets.

In addition, in November 2022, the top 5 products in the overseas market for sales growth are “Yuan Shen”, “Tomorrow’s Ark”, “Sparrow Soul”, “Infinite Lost” and “Marvel Snap”. The first four games are all products launched in and before 2021, while “Marvel Snap” is a new product in 2022. This product is distributed by Nuverse, an overseas distribution brand owned by Byte. Compared with the domestic game business, Byte’s overseas game business has been smoother, and the results have been even more astonishing.

Going to sea to find “cash cows”

“When there are not many new stories to tell in China, we can only go to sea. If we don’t go to sea, we will starve to death,” said an overseas product operator.

Going overseas has become a key area of ​​focus for major manufacturers, and in 2022, each company will have more frequent personnel changes for overseas business.

According to a late Latepost report, in terms of Byte, Chen Xi, the person in charge of Toutiao, transferred to TikTok e-commerce as the head of product and data science, and reported to Kang Zeyu, the person in charge of TikTok e-commerce, an important task for Byte Human Resources person Hua Wei It is to support the progress of TikTok-related organizational construction, including following up the recruitment of key positions in the US and European markets. And Wang Zhikai, the former general manager of the live broadcast center of station B, has been transferred to the main international business department.

Regarding Ali, on January 1, 2022, Jiang Fan will take over the overseas digital business sector. Kuaishou transferred Ma Hongbin, the former head of commercialization business, to the head of internationalization business.

The layout of these personnel changes also reflects from the side the importance each company attaches to overseas business.

Judging from their respective overseas departments, overseas business is also actively expanding. For example, Byte’s overseas business, in addition to the well-known TikTok and Resso, will also focus on the development of overseas social networking, e-commerce and live broadcast services.

An employee of TikTok’s e-commerce business line revealed to Tech Planet, “The development prospect is not bad. TikTok is one of the few products that can challenge Google and Facebook’s traffic monopoly camps in the international market. Many high-level executives will go to Singapore in 2022. (An important stronghold of TikTok) has been, and e-commerce is one of TikTok’s core monetization methods. The battle of Internet giants in the international market will be the competition between Byte, Ali, Tencent and Google, Facebook, and Amazon .”

In addition, Tech Planet also learned that Ali’s overseas e-commerce business Lazada has released some HCs in school recruitment. An employee who resigned from Ali not long ago told Tech Planet, “Lazada’s overall work intensity is average. In the first half of 2022, our department’s work is still relatively easy. After entering the second half of the year, due to more promotions, we often work overtime. But I heard that the data of last year’s big promotion was not bad, and the business growth was relatively rapid.” At the same time, he also mentioned that Lazada will focus on the Southeast Asian market in the future.

In the second half of 2022, Pinduoduo’s new business TEMU launched overseas has also attracted much attention. A source said that Pinduoduo will strengthen its overseas supply chain construction this year, which will help improve its price advantage and attract more overseas users to buy it. .

In addition to Ali, Byte, and Pinduoduo, Tencent and NetEase are heavyweights in overseas game business. Last year, Tencent invested in more than ten game companies overseas, including FromSoftware.

NetEase has also changed its previous style of play. Previously, the Japanese market still accounted for the majority of NetEase’s game overseas revenue, but recently NetEase hopes to explore more overseas markets. In 2022, NetEase will wholly acquire Quantic Dream, a game studio located in France, and establish a first-party job in the United States. and acquired a minority stake in Swedish game developer Liquid Swords. Various actions show that NetEase wants to create a game market similar to Japan in Europe, America and other places.

An industry insider said that due to the limited number of domestic game versions, most game companies are now thinking of going global first. Agency publishing, self-development and self-development are all things to do next. Compared with before, major companies may invest more resources in overseas game business in the future.

How to show your skills and tell new stories about going to sea?

Many overseas products of major Internet companies have become favorite apps of local people. In the United States, two-thirds of American teenagers use TikTok, which has become the second most popular app in the world.

Ali’s Lazada is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the Southeast Asian market. According to Lazada’s data, 12 hours before the “Double 11” sale in 2022, about two-thirds of Lazada’s merchants’ order volume will increase by at least 3 times compared with the same time period on weekdays. increased by up to 40 times. AliExpress, another cross-border e-commerce platform under its umbrella, has become the “international version of Tmall” in the European, American and Russian markets.

The rapid growth of overseas business has made major manufacturers see new prospects. However, the risk of uncertainty in the international situation and the competitive landscape has increased, which has also put the overseas business of platform companies such as major Internet companies under regulatory pressure. Chinese Internet platform companies not only have to compete with overseas companies, but also face the challenge of stricter supervision by the local government, and this trend may continue to exist.

For this reason, many major Internet companies have begun to deploy in Southeast Asia and Africa where the environment is more relaxed. For example, the Southeast Asian market has ushered in the new business of Byte and Bilibili – Byte’s grass-growing product “Lemon8” and Bilibili Viddup, a comic business and editing tool, among which Lemon8 has accumulated over one million downloads. In addition, Dachang has also taken a fancy to the entertainment market in Southeast Asia, including Tencent Reading and Byte, which have launched many novel products, and have long occupied high positions in the rankings of entertainment applications in some Southeast Asian countries.

Of course, many overseas businesses of major manufacturers are gradually recruiting local people, integrating products into local culture, and promoting faster product development.

In the three years of the epidemic, the domestic Internet market has undergone earth-shaking changes, both in terms of business layout and competition pattern. The exploration of new businesses has slowed down, and more is focused on the main business that can and has been profitable. Before the next new outlet is found, the “cost reduction and efficiency increase” of major manufacturers is expected to continue.

With policies encouraging major Internet companies and platform companies to show their talents in international competition, coupled with the vast space of overseas markets, it is expected that major companies will make more overseas deployments. Whether the new story of going overseas can be told well depends on how the big manufacturers “show their talents”.

(Disclaimer: This article only represents the author’s point of view, not the position of

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