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With International Women’s Day at the beginning of the month, our post about the top 6 self-made women billionaires in China was the most popular this week. While the authors of the Hurun report are quite optimistic about what their findings mean, whether all of these are “self-made” is in question: 3 out of the 6 women on the list are there in part because of their husband or brother. Certainly, we do not want to downplay any of their achievements, but it does show that being a “self-made billionaire” is not as easy as the report would like us to believe. Indeed, a post we published on International Women’s Day highlights the many challenges that women are still facing in China’s job market, before and after recruitment into a company.
Baidu has always been an interesting company: ostensibly the “Google of China,” they chose to go into O2O with their purchase of group-buying site Nuomi in 2013 and doubled down when they started their delivery service. However, this defocused them from what (I think) should be their core competency: data. Over the past few years, Baidu has lost quite a bit of ground to fellow giants Alibaba and Tencent as those two capitalize on their e-commerce and social gains. However, recent moves in artificial intelligence, machine learning applications, as well as smart home and electric car technologies seem to be putting them back on track to lead China’s technology into the next stage of growth.
China’s content business has really taken off. After the success of Papi Jiang and the Luogic Show, investors are piling on the investment. Most recently, a WeChat official account focusing on art was valued at more than RMB 200 million after their series A of RMB 20 million. That’s almost US$ 3 million for a company that publishes on WeChat. More and more, paid content is proving to be possible and lucrative. Douban, an interest-based social network, has announced their own paid content offering, Douban Time. Tencent has also confirmed that WeChat will offer paid content services for official accounts. The time of free content in China has officially ended.