Internet companies flourished during the epidemic season

Tram Ho

CHINA It is unclear how the nCoV crisis ended but it created new winners and losers in an increasingly digital economy.

Millions of Wuhan residents and surrounding areas isolated in their homes to avoid spreading nCoV have turned to online platforms to work remotely or entertain themselves to ease boredom. As a result, technology companies that provide services such as mobile games, online conferencing and online health, have a bumper chance.

“Online games are probably the biggest beneficiary of the disruptions caused by nCoV,” Nomura expert Jialong Shi said. He said most of China’s existing blockbuster titles have seen an increase in game play and purchase time since January 2020, and continue to be fueled by the release of titles. new.

Specifically, Tencent’s “Honor of Kings” led the ranking with daily users surpassing 100 million during the Chinese New Year holiday, compared to the usual 60-70 million, according to Nomura.

“The rise is likely to continue because most Chinese universities have moved back to mid- or late-February,” Shi said. “College students are one of the leading user groups for online games and mobile games,” he said.

Sinolinks Securities also has the same opinion, saying that “game companies are the biggest beneficiaries of the nCoV outbreak”. The unit predicts, “Honor of Kings” will reach 120 million to 150 million daily users, the highest level ever.

Several other Tencent games, such as “Game for Peace”, the Chinese-only version of PUBG Mobile, have earned around 200 million ($ 28.7 million) to 500 million yuan on New Year’s Eve alone. Lunar calendar, according to Sinolinks.

In particular, a mobile game called Plague, with the content to develop a perfect virus that can infect and kill all on the planet, has become the leading paid app in China’s App Store. last month.

The game was released in 2012 by Ndemia Creations (UK). It has witnessed a phenomenal increase in downloads and number of players during the 2014 Ebola outbreak. And now, the situation is similar when nCoV is raging.

A live broadcast on the Douyin app in China. Photo: SCMP

A live broadcast on the Douyin app in China. Photo: SCMP

Short videos, a major source of entertainment for Chinese people, are also growing fast thanks to the millions of free people who are isolated indoors. The Kuaishou short video platform generated 780 million cumulative viewers and 63.9 billion interactions for the digital lucky money campaign in CCTV’s New Year Gala, according to a Jefferies report.

Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok owned by Bytedance, is predicted by Jefferies analyst Thomas Chong to “launch activities to motivate users to participate when they are at home”.

Besides entertainment, remote support platforms also saw a surge in users. Because, Chinese workers are expected to return to work on January 31, after a week of Chinese New Year holidays. But the outbreak of pneumonia forced the authorities to prolong the holiday.

To help prevent the spread, most Chinese companies delay business operations and employees are required to work online at home. That led to an increase in the use of remote office applications such as Alibaba’s DingTalk, Tencent’s WeChat Work, Bytedance’s Slack-like Lark and Huawei’s WeLink.

Employees of more than 10 million companies worked from home on DingTalk yesterday, according to a statement posted on Weibo. The number of users on the app exceeded 200 million that day. According to a report of 36Kr last Wednesday, it has become the country’s top free app.

Analysts say that the largest telecom project in China will push technology-focused technology companies to focus more on meeting the needs of the segment. corporate customers. For example, Tencent announced that it would increase the maximum number of people participating in a video meeting on WeChat Work to 300 people.

Similarly, Internet platforms are being adopted by many schools in China as a way to teach online.

According to iResearch Consulting Group, the health crisis has made China’s online education market stand out. According to them, the previous forecasts of growth in this area need to be adjusted to increase.

“The number of students attending my class has increased by 20%,” said David Wang, who provides math and physics training to high school students. “Some students like to take online classes because they can save time on the go and can replay video after class,” he said.

WeDoctor provided data showing 777,000 online consultations during the 23-30 January period. Photo: SCMP

WeDoctor provided data showing 777,000 online consultations during the 23-30 January period. Photo: SCMP

Also in the context of concerns about nCoV, more and more people use the Internet to get health advice and promote the development of online health services.

A Hangzhou-based WeDoctor spokesman said the platform provided about 777,000 online consultations between January 23 and 30, according to a spokesperson. Counseling services usually cost between 19 and 29 yuan but are currently free of charge if pneumonia is involved.

Another industry that is behind the rise of online platforms during an epidemic is cloud computing. This is the place to store and provide access to remote programs, used by people at home. “That could be a good omen for the ambitions of Chinese cloud service providers like Alicloud and Tencent Cloud,” Shi said.

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Source : Techtalk