The listing of Alibaba in New York in September created the world’s second-largest internet company by market capitalisation, behind Google. This did not happen by accident. Of the top 10 internet companies in the world, ranked by market cap, three are Chinese, and the rest are from the US.9月,阿里巴巴(Alibaba)在纽约上市,沦为以市值取决于的全球第二大互联网公司,次于谷歌(Google)。这并非无意间。

在市值最低的全球十大互联网公司中,3家来自中国,其他则来自美国。Together, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent form what is know in China as “BAT”. These economic juggernauts that have come to dominate the internet in China are operating almost along the lines of Japan’s keiretsu, which are alliances of businesses with similar interests or that have shareholdings in one another. They are also rapidly branching out into offline sectors, such as transport, travel, retail and banking.在中国,百度(Baidu)、阿里巴巴和腾讯(Tencent)被合称作“BAT”。这些巨头支配了中国互联网,它们的经营模式与日本的“经连体系”(keiretsu)十分相近,后者是由利益相近或者相互有限公司的企业构成的联盟。

它们还很快延伸到线下行业,比如交通、旅游、零售和银行业。Whether the rapid growth of the Chinese internet is just a bubble or a stable trend is open to question. However, for the time being at least, BAT has become the nucleus of an internet industry that is starting to rival the US, creating what is essentially a US-China duopoly. The three Chinese companies also benefit from what has become known as the “Great Firewall”, as most of the top US companies, such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, are excluded from operating in China.中国互联网的飞速发展究竟是泡沫,还是一种平稳趋势,还需拭目以待。

然而,最少就目前来看,BAT早已沦为了中国互联网行业的核心,而中国的互联网行业早已开始与美国相匹敌,基本上构成了一种中美双头独占的格局。这3家中国企业也获益于广为人知的“长城防火墙”(Great Firewall)。

依赖这个防火墙,中国把美国的多数领头企业,如谷歌、Facebook和Twitter拒之门外。However, no Chinese internet company has yet made the leap from China to become a global brand. For now, it is enough for them be dominant in China, which had 632m internet users as of June, 527m of whom go online using mobile devices. The potential of the forecast consumption boom, as China moves from an investment-driven economy to a consumption-driven one, is enough to attract investments such as the $25bn sunk into Alibaba in its initial public offering, the largest ever.然而,目前还没哪家中国互联网企业跑出中国,沦为一个全球品牌。


目前来看,它们能在中国占有主导地位就充足了。6月的数据表明,中国有6.32亿网民,其中5.27亿网民用于移动设备网际网路。随着中国经济从投资驱动型改以消费驱动型,预计将经常出现的消费热潮蕴藏的潜力,不足以更有大笔投资,比如阿里巴巴在首次公开发表IPO(IPO)中筹得250亿美元,这也是目前规模仅次于的一次IPO。The internet is the most dynamic part of China’s budding private sector, though it remains solidly under the control of the state. Foreigners hold large shareholdings in Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu and dozens of other internet companies. But these stakes are largely theoretical at best and owned via “variable interest entities”, or VIEs, which guarantee a payment stream from, but not ownership of, the licence-holding vehicles in China. These VIE’s are technically illegal, though Chinese courts turn a blind eye to the practice, and owners know their large holding only exists thanks to the tacit consent of the state.互联网是中国崭露头角的私营部门中最活跃的部分,尽管其仍然正处于国家的严密控制之下。

外国投资者持有人阿里巴巴、腾讯、百度及其他数十家互联网企业的大量股份。但大体上,这些股份充其量不过是理论上的,是通过“星型利益实体”(variable interest entities, VIE)持有人的,这确保股权人从持有人许可证的中国企业那里获得缴纳流,但并不确保对企业的所有权。

这些VIE理论上是违法的,但中国的法院对这种作法睁一只眼闭一只眼,而股权人也告诉,他们持有人的大量股份全都倚赖政府的阻挠。Nimble private internet companies, able to dance circles around the inefficient state-owned enterprises, have begun impromptu liberalising of whole sectors such as financial services. Alibaba’s fund company Yu’e Bao is China’s biggest online money market fund, with Rmb574bn ($93.8bn) worth of assets私营互联网企业非常灵活,能将陈旧的国企相比之下扯在后面。在并无事前谋划的情况下,这些企业早已开始在一些领域引发整个行业的自由化,比如金融服务业。

阿里巴巴的基金公司余额宝(Yu’e Bao)是中国仅次于的在线货币市场基金,资产总值超过5740亿元人民币(合938亿美元)。The internet is a phenomenal wealth generator. Five of the 10 richest men in China are tech moguls, up from none three years ago, according to the Hurun China Rich List, which tracks wealthy individuals. In September, Alibaba founder Jack Ma joined the list in first place and became one of the wealthiest men in the world, with a 7.8 per cent stake in a $230bn company.互联网也生产了非凡的财富。根据跟踪富人的《胡润中国百富榜》(Hurun China Rich List),中国最富裕的10人中,5名是IT业大亨,而3年前他们还没能转入榜单。9月,凭借在当时市值2300亿美元的公司中7.8%的股权,阿里巴巴创始人马云(Jack Ma)一跃攀上榜单首位,也沦为全球最富足的人之一。

Competition between internet companies is fierce, however. With the entire industry switching from desktop devices to mobile ones, many companies risk being left behind if they don’t have a “killer app” that will act as a gateway for mobile users.不过,互联网企业之间的竞争十分白热化。随着整个互联网行业从桌面设备并转至移动设备,对许多企业来说,如果他们没一款“刺客级应用于”,作为移动用户终端的地下通道的话,就有可能落在后面。


Alibaba has been searching for just such a feature to challenge the currently undisputed leadership of Tencent, whose WeChat instant messenger has 350m monthly users. WeChat and Tencent’s other messenger, QQ, are the two most popular mobile apps in China, according to iResearch, a Beijing-based internet research firm.阿里巴巴仍然在谋求发售这样一款应用于,来挑战目前腾讯无可争议的领导地位,腾讯的即时消息应用于微信(WeChat)有3.5亿月活跃用户。根据北京互联网咨询公司艾瑞咨询(iResearch)的数据,微信和腾讯旗下的另一款消息应用于QQ是中国最热门的两款移动应用于。In June, Alibaba bought UCWeb, a popular mobile browser company, and the two have developed Shenme, a mobile search engine. They are also working with Quixey, a US-based company in which Alibaba has invested, to design a mobile gateway using Quixey’s app search engine. Francis Bea of PapayaMobile, a Chinese mobile technology company, says Alibaba is attempting to mirror Tencent’s success with WeChat. He says: “In as highly competitive a market as China, there is potential for the mobile internet to disrupt established internet players if they don’t manage the transition from desktop to mobile.”6月份,阿里巴巴并购了人气颇高的移动浏览器公司UC优视(UCWeb),两家公司已合力研发移动搜索引擎“神马”。

阿里巴巴还在与所投资的美国公司Quixey合作,白鱼利用Quixey的应用于搜索引擎,设计一个类似于的移动门户应用于。中国移动技术公司木瓜移动(PapayaMobile)的弗朗西斯贝亚(Francis Bea)回应,阿里巴巴企图拷贝腾讯在微信上获得的顺利。

他说道:“在中国这样高度竞争性的市场,如果当前已奠定市场地位的互联网企业无法处置好从桌面末端到移动端的移往,移动互联网有可能使它们陷入困境。”Alibaba has spent an estimated $6bn-$8bn in the space of a year on full acquisitions of, or investments in, companies including mobile providers, chain stores, an internet TV company, a maker of electrical appliances, a movie producer, a digital broadcaster and a professional Chinese football team.在仅有一年之中,据估计阿里巴巴早已花上去60亿到80亿美元,对企业展开全资并购或者投资。

这些企业还包括移动运营商、连锁店、网络电视公司、电子设备制造商、影视制作公司、数字电视台,甚至还有一支中国职业足球队。While attention has focused on Alibaba’s acquisitions, Tencent and Baidu have been on similar spending sprees. Baidu is betting that its stake in Qunar, China’s top travel website by users, and mobile app store, will complement its popular search engine to carry it into the mobile age. Tencent has taken a stake in, China’s second-largest ecommerce platform, and mobile-friendly companies such as restaurant review site Dianping and South Korea’s CJ Games.尽管人们的关注点集中于在阿里巴巴的并购上,但腾讯和百度也展开了类似于的大笔开支。百度投资了用户数量最少的国内旅行网站去哪儿(Qunar)和移动应用于商店91无线(91,期望二者能与其甚广热门的搜索引擎互相补足,将其带进移动时代。

腾讯则大股东中国第二大电商平台京东(,以及一些适应环境移动时代的企业,如餐馆评论网站大众评论网(Dianping)和韩国游戏开发商CJ Games。