On March 9, 2007, China’s first job search engine meijob.com was officially launched. In addition to the search function, the site also allows users to upload their resume and apply to jobs without registering with the job listing sites. The website’s beta was launched in October 2006. By February 2007, the site has accumulated 35,000 registered users and 170,000 job listings from more than 20 job sites.
By March 9th 2007, there are 128,000 IPTV users in Shanghai and more than 20,000 users have registered for the service. China Telecom launched its IPTV service in Shanghai in September 2006 and the company has been improving the network infrastructure and Internet bandwidth to promote IPTV. By February 2007 there are 58 live channels and more than 5,000 hours of video on demand available on IPTV in Shanghai.
On March 1st, the Ministry of Information Industry issued the development plan for information industry in the next five years, the plan points out that the number of Chinese cell phone users will increase by 42 million each year and reach 600 million in 2010. Number of internet users will reach 200 million by 2010, representing 15% of the population. The plan also predicts that in 2010, the total revenue of information industry will reach 10 trillion RMB ($1.3 trillion) and contribute to 10% of the nation’s GDP. Although the plan indicates that the ministry will “continue to promote TD-SCDMA and 3G technology”, it did not mention issuing 3G license in China.
On February 25th, 14 departments and ministries including Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Public Security issued a “Notice on Strengthening Regulation of Internet Cafes and Online Games”. Under the notice, no Internet Café license can be issued in 2007 and government agencies will continue cracking down on unlicensed Internet cafes. In addition, the notice encourages merger and acquisitions among Internet cafes to form chained operations. Furthermore, the notice explicitly banned gambling with virtual currencies as well as exchanging virtual currencies for material goods and money. Local sources believe the rule will affect some online casual game operators (such as Tencent and Lianzhong) with games allowing players bet with virtual currencies.
Focus Media (Nadaq: FMCN) announced on February 28th 2007 that it will acquire Allyes, provider of the internet ad service program Adforward, for $70 million in cash and $155 million in stock. The transaction is expected to close in March. Furthermore, Allyes will also receive $75 million in stock if the company meets certain earnings target in the 12 months following the transaction. Focus Media operates LCD ad displays in China and is the third largest Chinese advertising company by ad revenue.
9You announced that its music casual game Audition had over 780,000 peak concurrent users on Chinese New Year (February 18th 2007). 9You’s other music casual game Super Dancer Online had 121,000 peak concurrent users on the same day. Super Dancer was in-house developed and has now been licensed to more than 40 countries.
On February 28th 2007, tom.com reports that mod chips for Nintendo’s latest console Wii are now available in mom-and-pop stores in China. An all-region mod chip costs approximately 400RMB ($50) and will allow users to play pirated games. Pirated Wii games are also available in stores selling for $2.5-$4. Although Wii is not officially launched in China, players can purchase the console smuggled from neighboring countries. A Wii console with mod chip installed costs approximately 3000RMB ($380).