Commentary

Hot Peppers, Sour Investments & Stinky Music

Tech Market WatchBy Perry Wu
The singer formerly known as Prince once sang that we're going to party like it's 1999, and some VC firms are doing that with pre-bubble bursting investments into an unlaunched product in China.

Chinese online video sharing website Yoqoo.com has completed a US$12 million round of private equity funding from Sutter Hill Ventures, Farallon Capital and Chengwei Ventures. The website isn't even launched fully yet, but the VCs are still plowing money into a social website sector that, as Internet guru Alan Meckler often says, is doomed to failure. To think that children are dying in Africa for lack of food, and VCs feel that their money is better spent on these useless websites goes beyond me.

Time Magazine also just made user-content sites as its 'Person of Year', adding flames to the furious fire of mass delusion. Flames that burn brightest burn quickest, so good luck to those who have thrown their money away. I'm a fan of online video sites, and I think they will make lots of money when they get sold and integrated into larger companies, but the only people that make money in those situations are the founders and investors.

Hola Amigo! When local Chinese people are surprised that I can eat spicy Sichuan food, I often tell them it's nothing compared to a real Mexican jalapeno pepper. And now China's CDC Corporation is taking its money south of the Rio Grande to test if Mexican software firms are like the jalepeno pepper–full of life! CDC announced its investment in Business Intelligence Consulting de Mexico, which has been a successful partner representing CDC Software (a subsidiary of CDC Corporation, but not to be mistaken for the Centers for Disease Control in the United States) in Mexico and Central America.

China's Ministry of Culture has just released a new measure to strengthen the management of online music, regulate the import of online music and promote the healthy development of China's online culture industry. The new measure, which is called "Several Opinions on Network Music Development and Management of the Ministry of Culture", stipulates that all music products must be approved for import or registration by MC before being promoted in mainland China. This puts a major bottleneck in the online aspirations for the dozens of foreign companies hoping to enter China to do their music biz. While the boardrooms of these companies must now be filled with sound and fury, Chinese users will ultimately suffer if they can't get their Kanye West fix.

Finally, Hao Ruiqiang, president and CEO of Siemens China, says that Siemens China will add CNY10 billion mid-term investment to the China market in order to double its sales revenue in the country by 2010. Hao says that Siemens China will spend the funds mainly on resources and medical projects in China and increase its office number in China to 100. It's always good to see more Siemens in China.

About the author:
Perry Wu is a writer and correspondent for ChinaTechNews.com and can be reached here at the site. Perry Wu does not hold any positions, long or short, on any of the Chinese or American company securities mentioned in this article.

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