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Analyse Asia

Oct 27, 2019

James Hull from Hullx and co-host of China Tech Investor podcast joined us in a discussion on whether we should replace Baidu with Bytedance in the BAT China. Starting with the question, James dived deep into the business structures of Baidu and Bytedance and examined whether Baidu has lost their edge as one of the three tech giants of China. In the same conversation, James offered his perspectives on how Bytedance will replace Baidu in the future.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • James Hull (@jameshullx, LinkedIn), Co-host of China Tech Investor podcast and Founder of Hullx [0:21]
    • Since you have last appeared on the podcast, what have you been up to? [0:50]
  • Should we replace Baidu with Bytedance in the BAT? [0:56]
    • BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) & TMD (Toutiao, Meituan-dianping, Didi) 
    • Let’s start with Baidu. How has Baidu performed as a public company for the past decade? [2:08]
    • What are the key businesses of Baidu? (iQiyi is spun off as a separate company)? [3:27]
    • Baidu's advances in AI [4:56] and in the intelligent audio input interface and speaker sector. [5:42]
    • Is Baidu dependent on the advertising business similar to Google in the US? [6:51]
    • Comparison between Baidu and Bytedance in terms of user information feeds [9:30]
    • Bytedance's advantage with user feeds and recommendations through Douyin and Toutiao [11:51]
    • Bytedance has been growing exponentially with a 75B valuation from their recent round with SoftBank, now the most valuable startup in the world followed by Didi. How are they performing as a business? [15:09]
    • What are the key revenue drivers for Bytedance?
    • How are they compared to Alibaba and Tencent? [18:08]
    • What are Baidu’s competitive advantages that you think may allow them to stay competitive within the BAT? [24:30]
    • How Baidu's search engine competes against Google and the rest of Chinese search engines. [28:24]
    • Should we just replace Baidu with Bytedance in the BAT? [31:09]
    • Interesting Chinese answer on the question for this podcast (in Chinese) in Zhihu (similar to Reddit and Quora in the US) which Carol has referenced and mentioned in the discussion. 
  • Closing [37:24]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted and produced by Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin).  Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, "The Beginning" from Red Cliff Soundtrack.