Since the Spring Festival of 2018, enterprises have concluded their annual meetings, revealing numerous important information. Tinder-equivalent social networking platform Momo attracted attention by gifting each meeting participant an iPhone X. Pony Ma, CEO of Tencent, a Chinese Facebook equivalent, sang a hip hop song at the annual meeting of its Beijing branch. Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, an e-commerce company similar to Amazon or eBay, dressed like a prince and imitated Michael Jackson’s dance moves.
In addition to the fun, heads of the internet giants gave moving speeches at the annual meetings. They reviewed 2017 achievements and set new strategies for 2018.
As spring begins, internet companies will face new trends in 2018.
Alibaba: globalization in 2018
The Alibaba Group 18th Annual Meeting was held on September 8 2017 in Hangzhou Huanglong Sports Center.
Jack Ma said at the annual meeting that Alibaba is the world’s 21st largest economy with a total of 54,421 employees from 70 different countries and offices in 21 countries and regions.
Ma’s annual speech also included his expectations for 2018:
- In the future, Alibaba will be fully committed to actively promoting globalization. “We must look at issues from a global perspective, and we must use global capabilities to integrate the resources of all parties to solve problems of society.”
- Alibaba will invest more in rural development, and is committed to eradicating poverty. At the end of 2017, Alibaba’s 36 partners jointly established the Alibaba Anti-Poverty Fund. Ma said at the annual meeting, “We will try at all costs to invest in the rural development. Technology should not enlarge the gap between the rich and the poor. It is a shared tool for universal benefit. We must allow all mankind to share such technology.”
- Alibaba will further invest in technology and innovation. Ma said, “In the next 5 to 10 years, our aim is not to surpass others or to rank among the world’s top three, but to solve problems for the future, for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), and for future generations.”
Didi’s “Tai Chi” Strategy: Improve both internally and externally. Set foundations on multiple fronts and improve stability.
Cheng Wei, CEO of Didi, a Chinese ride-hailing platform similar to Uber and Lyft, said at the annual meeting that Didi maintained a low-profile in 2017. They intend to “jump up” in 2018.
In 2017, Didi invested huge sums of money and technical resources to build a more complete technology security system. Accident rates fell by 21 percent and Didi made progress in the field of intelligent transportation.
Cheng Wei disclosed Didi’s “Tai Chi” strategy for the future: Improve both internally and externally, and build foundations on multiple fronts and improve stability.
- Didi will create a one-stop travel platform centered on the passenger experience. Didi will eventually become an AI travel assistant and a car-sharing operator. Didi will invest more in intelligent transportation and autonomous driving to become the leader in intelligent transportation technology. Cheng said, “In 2018, we hope that Didi will dominant the competition at home and abroad, and prepare for new missions and visions in the next phase.”
- With a car owner- and passenger-centric focus, Didi will lead the industry in every subdivision.
Didi will enter more markets and expand its services to include car-sharing operations, aiming to push car manufacturers to design cars for sharing.
Xiaomi: Regain market share in China
Early last year, Xiaomi, an electronics and software company similar to Apple, released its mobile phone chip named Surge S1 in its products. In Q3 2017, Xiaomi released the Mi MIX2. In addition, Xiaomi also built the global IoT platform through its large and advanced intelligent hardware eco-chain and cloud service.
More importantly, in October 2017, Xiaomi achieved its annual revenue target of 10 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) ahead of schedule. Xiaomi has entered more than 70 countries and regions, and ranks among the top three in sales in 16 countries. Since Q3 last year, Xiaomi held first place in market share in India.
In 2018, Xiaomi plans to maintain its focus on innovation and quality.
Xiaomi will continue to vigorously explore overseas markets as well as regain the market in China. Xiaomi founder Lei Jun put forth the goals for 2018. He said, “Within 10 quarters, Xiaomi will be back as the first mobile phone brand in China.”
Lei said that Xiaomi will promote in every province, every city, every county and even every community. Xiaomi will fight for each and every inch of the market space.
iFLYTEK: Integrate global technology resources, and enhance talent cultivation.
As the leading artificial intelligence company in China, iFLYTEK has become an important AI player in China. It is one of the four major national AI open innovation platforms, and has contracted the key national laboratory of cognitive intelligence.
At the iFLYTEK 2017-2018 annual meeting on February 12, iFLYTEK chairman Liu Qingfeng said that the company had achieved three major goals set in 2017. He said, “The first goal was for our core technology to maintain the leading role globally. The second was to increase our user base, expand market share, and attract more users. Thirdly, we increased our revenue and gross profit substantially.”
At the same time, Liu also revealed part of the new plan:
- Integration of global technical resources
In 2018, iFLYTEK will globally integrate technological resources. Through appreciation, understanding and application, iFLYTEK will solidify its leading position in AI industry by integrating global technology.
- Talent Training
The number of development teams on iFLYTEK’s open platform has increased by nearly 250,000, with an annual growth rate of 94.9 percent. The increased volume in 2017 is more than the total increased volume from 2011 to 2016. Now, iFLYTEK has 520,000 certified development teams.
Tencent: Comb the internal organization structure, and enhance its B2B capabilities.
Tencent CEO Pony Ma, Executive Director and President Martin Lau, Chief Operating Officer Mark Ren and Senior Executive Vice President and President of Weixin Group Allen Zhang all delivered speeches at the Tencent 2017 annual meeting.
Concerned about management, Ma said that the biggest problem Tencent faces is its internal organizational structure. Now Tencent needs to improve its B2B capacity, and needs to comb its organizational structure from the inside out.
Zhang talked about WeChat’s (a Whatsapp equivalent hugely popular in China) next steps and problems faced by graduates. He felt that graduates need to be less shy at work and WeChat will remain restrained.
Lau talked about how Tencent “empowers” others. In his view, traditional advantageous platforms need to find new ideas, to train teams, and to incubate new businesses.
Ren talked about the popular online game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. He said it was worth postponing game release time out of respect for intellectual property. The most important thing was to cultivate support for making original games.