Filtering by Tag: internet

Life Without Global Internet Unimaginable

Added on by C. Maoxian.
Beijing has ordered state-run telecommunications firms, which include China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, to bar people from using VPNs, services that skirt censorship restrictions by routing web traffic abroad

I lived in Beijing from May 2005 to July 2015. The main reason we left was the deadly air pollution, but a contributing factor, and not an insignificant one, was the tightening grip the State had on the Internet. I first began using a VPN in China after Twitter got blocked in June of 2009? (if memory serves). More and more sites got blocked over the following years making it essential to have a VPN, with Gmail being "the last straw" for the few remaining VPN holdouts when it got blocked in early 2015? (again if memory serves).

I cannot imagine living in China and not being able to access the global internet. I certainly wouldn't consider living there now, or even doing a semester of study abroad there, without unfettered access to the global internet (via a VPN). Maybe that's what Xi wants? 

How Etsy Makes Money

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From their S-1 [MY COMMENTS IN CAPS]:

"We operate a platform for third-party sellers. Our business model is based on shared success [LOL, FIRST TIME I'VE HEARD THIS ONE]: we make money when Etsy sellers make money, and we offer services to help Etsy sellers be more successful. [MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD, DOESN'T IT?] We do not compete with Etsy sellers, hold inventory or sell goods. [NO, WE ARE SIMPLE MIDDLEMEN] Our revenue is diversified, generated from a mix of marketplace activities and the services we provide Etsy sellers to help them create and grow [BUT NOT OUTGROW ETSY!] their businesses.

Our revenue consists of Marketplace revenue, Seller Services revenue and Other revenue. Our revenue is recorded net of actual and expected refunds [WONDER HOW MANY FRAUDULENT SELLERS ARE ON THERE?].

  • Marketplace revenue includes the fee an Etsy seller pays for each completed transaction [SALES COMMISSION] and the listing fee an Etsy seller pays for each item she [HE] lists.
  • Seller Services revenue includes fees an Etsy seller pays for services such as prominent placement in search results via Promoted Listings, payment processing [THE BIGGIE] via Direct Checkout and purchases of shipping labels [IS THIS A MATERIAL AMOUNT?] through our platform via Shipping Labels. 
  • Other revenue includes the fees we receive from a third-party payment processor [PAYPAL? CAN'T NAME NAMES].

Marketplace revenue.  Marketplace revenue consists of the 3.5% fee that an Etsy seller pays for each completed transaction [BAM!] on our platform, exclusive of shipping fees charged. Marketplace revenue also consists of a listing fee of $0.20 per item that she [HE] lists in our marketplace. Although revenue from completed Wholesale transactions is included in Marketplace revenue, revenue from Wholesale enrollment is included in Seller Services revenue. [ODD?] Transaction fees are recognized when the corresponding transaction is made. Listing fees are recognized ratably over a four-month listing period, unless the item is sold or the seller relists it, at which time any remaining listing fee is recognized.

Seller Services revenue.  Seller Services revenue consists of fees an Etsy seller pays us for the Seller Services she [HE] uses, including Promoted Listings, Direct Checkout, Shipping Labels and Wholesale.

• Revenue from Promoted Listings consists of cost-per-click based fees [WHAT ARE THE RATES?] an Etsy seller pays us for prominent placement of her [his] listings in search results generated by Etsy buyers in our marketplace. Revenue is recognized when the Promoted Listing is clicked.

• Revenue from Direct Checkout consists of fees an Etsy seller pays us to process credit, debit and Etsy Gift Card payments. [USE PAYPAL OR] Direct Checkout fees vary between 3–4% [BAM!] of the item’s total sale price plus a flat fee per order [HOW MUCH?], depending on the country in which her [his] bank account is located. Direct Checkout fees are taken from the item’s total sale price, including shipping. [THEY MAKE MORE FROM PROCESSING THE PAYMENT THAN THEY DO ON SALES COMMISSION? ... INCL. SHIPPING IN THE SKIM HELPS ... LOVE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THAT FLAT FEE BASED ON SELLER'S GEOGRAPHY]

• Revenue from Shipping Labels consists of fees an Etsy seller pays us when she [HE] purchases shipping labels through our platform, net of the cost we incur in purchasing those shipping labels. We are able to provide our sellers shipping labels from the United States Postal Service and Canada Post at a discounted price due to the volume of purchases through our platform. [HOW MUCH DOES ETSY MARK THESE UP?]

• Revenue from Wholesale consists of fees an Etsy seller pays us when she [HE] is approved to enroll in our Wholesale program. The one-time Wholesale enrollment fee is recognized ratably over the estimated customer life. [WHAT'S ADVANTAGE OF BEING IN WHOLESALE PROGRAM? LOWER FEES? HOW MUCH IS THE ONE-TIME FEE?]

Other revenue.  Other revenue includes the fees we receive from a third-party payment processor [PAYPAL? GRUDGING SINGLE MENTION BY NAME IN PROSPECTUS]. Other revenue is recognized as the transactions are processed by the third-party payment processor."

Of interest: How Etsy Alienated Its Crafters and Lost Its SoulCAN ETSY GO PRO WITHOUT LOSING ITS SOUL?

Blocked in China

Added on by C. Maoxian.

I'll have to make this a running list ... you can see how impossible it is to live here (without a VPN).

Oh, I see there's a wikipedia entry on this.  Anyway these are the ones I use:

  • All Google services (Gmail, Search, Analytics, Maps, etc.)
  • YouTube
  • The New York Times
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Bloomberg
  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • All Blogspot blogs
  • All WordPress blogs
  • Dropbox
  • OneDrive

If I've missed anything let me know and I'll add it.

China's Mobile Shoppers

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From Deutsche Bank:

iResearch recently published a report profiling mobile shoppers in China. 61% of mobile shoppers under 30 years old. Female users accounted for 60% of the total population. Some 70.3% of China's mobile shoppers use Android phones, followed by the iPhone (18%) and Windows Phone (3.7%). Approximately 56% of users transacted on a mobile more than 10 times in 2013, as compared to 46.8% in 2012. In addition, 57.6% of users paid for products and services through third-party payment channels such as Tenpay, and 18.7% of the total made the payment using mobile banking connections.
Mobile shopping market volumes reached RMB64.2b (+140.8% YoY) in 1Q2014, with mobile shopping penetration (mobile shopping as a percentage of total online shopping) increasing from 11.1% in 4Q2013 to 14.1% in 1Q2014 alone. Mobile Taobao and Tmall combined accounted for 76.4% of the total GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume) of the market [ed. WHO'S YOUR DADDY? BABA, THAT'S WHO] , followed by Mobile JD (6.9%) and Mobile Vipshop (2%). 
In 1Q2014, Vipshop’s mobile revenue accounted for 36% of total revenue, compared with 8% in 1Q2013. For Jumei approximately 49% of its total GMV was generated through its mobile platform in 1Q2014. Approximately 18% of JD’s fulfilled orders were placed through mobile in Mar 2014, as compared to 15% in Dec 2013.

Messaging App Usage in East Asia

Added on by C. Maoxian.

I don't have a smartphone and still send text messages, which the youngsters think is quaint.  Would be nice to do an end-run on my telco and use an app to text people "for free."  You can see each market has one dominant player.  Not sure why WeChat's numbers are so low for Hong Kong?

Certain Unhealthy and Indecent Content

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Late to this, but SINA Announces Receipt of Government Notices (May 2, 2014)

SINA ... received two notices from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television stating that the Company’s Internet Publication License and License for Online Transmission of Audio-Visual Programs would be revoked due to certain unhealthy and indecent content from third-parties or by users on its portal, i.e., on its online reading channel book.sina.com.cn and on its website www.sina.com.cn.

(Emphasis mine.) They were also fined over $800,000 by the deliciously named Beijing Municipal Cultural Market Administrative Law Enforcement Unit. Hands up, I'm from the BMCMALEU!

The analyst at JPMorgan whose note I read estimated that online video generates 10-20% of portal revenue (5-10% of total revenue).  I can't tell from his mealymouthed language, but I guess he thinks it isn't a permanent revocation, only temporary.  He also has a $92 price target on the stock, so his guess is as good as the next guy's.

Unresponsive Screen Testing

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Quirktools has a really cool thing called Screenfly to test how your website looks on different devices with different screen sizes.  In the old days when I did maoxian.com myself with my extensive knowledge of HTML (this is a joke), it always looked like hell on everything except my own screen... thus limiting the audience to a dozen hard-core lunatics.  Now with this slick new design I expect my following to at least double to 24. 

DNS Propagation Check

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Jumped the gun linking to the site ... DNS not yet fully "propagated" it appears ... should be the 198 address ... the 208 is a NetSol placeholder, I believe.  Handy tool.