This article is from WeChat official account:AppSo (ID: appsolution), author: Lee extraordinary, from the title figure:” half Ze Naoki 2 “

After 7 years, the drama “Naoki Hansawa”, which set the highest ratings record in Japan in the Heisei period, has finally returned.

It is still a familiar taste, and Douban’s 9.4 score is even higher than the first season. The story tells that Naoki Hansawa was “distributed” by the bank to the subsidiary Tokyo Chuo Securities and completed a series of impossible tasks under the obstruction of the bank.

Seven years have passed, and the plot has advanced with the times, and Naoki Hansawa’s battlefield has also extended to the Internet field. However, the most fascinating plot emerged: Japan’s top three IT companies hope to acquire Japan’s number one search engine and become the third Internet company in Asia.

How unreasonable is this plot? To know the total market value of all listed Internet companies in Japan, it is not as good as Tencent.

However, this drama may also speak out the ambitions of the Japanese Internet. Once upon a time, Japan was also a pioneer in the Internet field.

The acquisition in the play, the old yellow calendar in the era of Chinese portals

In the play, the Computer Acrobatics Group, a leading Japanese technology company, commissioned Tokyo Chuo Securities, where Naoki Hansawa is located, to pay 150 billion yen (approximately RMB 99 100 million) to acquire Spiral, Japan’s largest search engine company. Although the 150 billion yen acquisition case is larger than the 500 million yen case at the beginning of the first quarter, it may not be able to splash much in today’s Internet field.

Japan’s number one search engine, with a market value of less than RMB 10 billion, has just entered the threshold of a unicorn, about 3% of Baidu’s.

* Editor’s note: Unicorn refers to technology startups that have been established less than 10 years but are valued at more than US$1 billion and are not listed on the stock market.

According to Snowball’s data, there are at least 30 Internet companies in China with a market value of over or close to 10 billion U.S. dollars, and there are more than 100 unicorn companies.

When an Internet practitioner sees that an Internet company hopes to pass a $10 billion acquisition, it will become one of the top three Internet companies in Asia, and he will probably think that time has gone back.

Back to 2013, Tencent and 360 launched the “3Q war” shortly after Baidu announced the US$1.9 billion acquisition of 91 Wireless, 360 eagerly wanted to seize the mobile Internet search portal through the acquisition of Sogou. It is reported that the price once reached 1 billion US dollars, but in the end Sogou or Tencent came together.

Regardless of the purpose and amount of the acquisition, 360’s Sogou acquisition is similar to the computer acrobatics company in “Naoki Hansawa 2.”

However, the Internet field is no longer what it used to be. Search engines are no longer the entrance to the mobile Internet era. Even Baidu is also “All in AI”.

In recent years, capital’s pursuit of the Internet industry has also blown up more “artificial outlets”. In addition to LeEco, which raised tens of billions, the hottest shared bicycles two or three years ago, Mobike and Ofo can be as high as one round of financing. One billion U.S. dollars, burning money endlessly, the result is the bursting of the bubble.

Even if you refer to Japan in reality, the current market value of Yahoo Japan, the largest search engine, is only 28 billion U.S. dollars, with only a fraction of Tencent and Ali, and it is not in the top ten in China.

As for the other two in “Japan BAT”, Lotte Group and LINE, both have a market value of less than US$20 billion. Among them, “Japanese WeChat” LINE actually belongs to Naver Co., Ltd., a Korean company.

Yahoo Japan and LINEWill be merged this year, and the combined market value is estimated to exceed 30 billion U.S. dollars. Picture from: Pinterest

The computer acrobatics group in the play quietly acquired 30% of Spiral’s shares through an over-the-counter transaction, and Spiral plans to sell shares to the “white knight” by issuing additional shares to dilute the shares of the computer acrobatics group.

* Editor’s note: The white knight refers to a friendly person or company of the target company as a third party to rescue the target company and expel the hostile acquisition when a hostile merger occurs By.

This plot can also find its shadow in Chinese Internet history.

On February 19, 2005, Shanda suddenly announced that it had held 19.5% of Sina’s equity and became the largest shareholder. Sina realized that it was facing a hostile takeover.

In order to reverse the takeover, Sina urgently launched the “Poison Pill Plan”, that is, old shareholders can increase their holdings of the company’s shares at half price to a maximum of 10%. If Shanda wants to continue the acquisition, it will have to pay twice the cost and finally give up the acquisition.

An even more bizarre plot appeared in the third episode. Spiral stated that it would cooperate with a little-known e-commerce platform Copernicus to build a world’s number one shopping site, comparable to Amazon. It also announced that it had received 300 million US dollars from a foreign IT giant Investment, the stock price rose instantly.

In reality, it is roughly equivalent to Baidu and China Resources Vanguard teaming up to build an e-commerce platform that is more powerful than Taobao.

These unrealistic plots also contrast sharply with the current situation of the Internet in Japan. Japan has long fallen behind China and the United States in the Internet field, and there have not been giants such as Tencent, Ali, Microsoft, and Amazon.

How is Internet life in Japan different from that in China?

As a long-term top three economy in the world, Japan’s development in the Internet field can be said to be inconsistent with its economic status.

But Japan is still a developed technology powerhouse, and it is also a country that has won Nobel Prizes second only to Europe and the United States. Although the development of the Internet is relatively slow compared to China, it is actually not as “backward” as expected.

Toyota launched the robot mascot for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Image courtesy: Getty Images

How is Internet life in Japan, and how is it different from China?

A Yi, who is studying in Japan, told Ai Fan’er that the software he used in China can basically be replaced in Japan, but the experience may not be as good as in China.

As an example of takeaway software, Yi occasionally uses Uber Eat to order takeaways. Although the choice is no less than Meituan and Are You Hungry, most restaurants are also connected to the takeaway platform, but the high delivery fee makes Yi Stay away.

If you order takeaway like you did at a domestic university, you will probably put yourself down in poverty in Japan. Yi also said that because of Japanese convenience storesIt is widely distributed, and the bento sold is abundant and affordable, which can basically meet the demand for takeout. Therefore, the demand for takeout by the Japanese is not so strong.

In addition, the software commonly used by Ayi is basically not from Japanese Internet companies, except for Google Family Bucket, LINE for chat, Facebook and Instagram for social networking, Uber or Didi for taxis, and online shopping on Amazon. You can watch videos. On YouTube and Netflix.

In addition, Yi mentioned that there are big differences in consumption habits between Japan and China. Japanese people are still accustomed to using cash instead of mobile payment. They often carry a lot of coins to buy things.

Picture from: nippon

According to data from the Japanese research company Net Protections in 2018, 61% of Japanese people use cash payment most often, while electronic payment is only 5%. However, as Chinese tourists enter Japan with mobile payments, and the Japanese government provides up to 5% tax rebates to retailers that use non-cash payments, the utilization rate of mobile payments in Japan has gradually increased.

However, the acceptance of mobile Internet services that many people have become commonplace in Japan is still not high.

JapanAdvertising giant Hakuhodo Group conducted a survey on the Internet product usage habits of users in China, the United States and Japan, and found that Internet products such as takeaway, bike sharing, taxi software, and fresh O2O have reached 50% acceptance in China , And the acceptance in Japan is less than 10%.

After getting used to all kinds of cheap and convenient mobile Internet services, Yi was somewhat unaccustomed after he went to Japan. According to him, many Chinese students still buy things on domestic e-commerce platforms, and then send them to Japan using transshipment warehouses.

How did the Internet pioneers be left behind step by step?

Actually, the Japanese Internet did not lag behind China at the beginning, and it was even at the forefront of the global Internet. The QR code, which Zhang Xiaolong referred to as the “mobile Internet portal”, allows QR code payment to spread to the streets and alleys, covering almost all offline consumption scenarios.

But the QR code was born in Japan as early as 1994. The inventor was Denso Wave’s Japanese engineer Teng Hirohara. It was used to track auto parts during the manufacturing process. Unfortunately, it was not foreseen that the QR code would be used in mobile payments. Wide application scenarios in the field.

Teng Hongyuan at the 25th Anniversary of QR Code

In addition, Japan became the first country in the world to open 3G commercial services in 2001, and it was able to provide the world’s largest and fastest 3G network service at that time, which was 8 years earlier than China.

At that time, the Japanese operator NTT Docomo, which had a 3G license, also took advantage of the popularity of 3G networks to aggregate mobile Internet services such as news browsing, mail sending and receiving, and ticket booking into the functional machines at the time.

Picture from: vox

AppSo’s previous article “Why do Japanese people still use flip phones? ” mentioned that it is precisely because of many mobile Internet services that were popularized in the era of smartphones that they were resolved in the era of feature phones, causing many Japanese to still use flip phones. In 2018, the popularity of smartphones in Japan The rate is less than 60%.

About 2000, it can be said that the peak of the Japanese Internet.

In 1996, Sun Zhengyi’s SoftBank and Yahoo formed a joint venture Yahoo Japan. At this time, none of China’s four major portals had a shadow. Yahoo Japan quickly became Japan’s most popular portal and search engine.

In 2004, Yahoo Japan’s market value has reached US$50 billion, making it the most valuable Internet company in Asia. At the same time, in a neighbouring country with only a strip of water, NetEase’s market value was only US$5 billion and Tencent’s US$1.1 billion.

Then why has Japan been gradually left behind by China and the United States in the past ten years?

In this regard, after technology companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon entered Japan, they have had a huge impact on local Internet companies. But if you see the poor user experience of some Japanese Internet products, you will not be surprised by this result.

Take Rakuten, the largest e-commerce platform in Japan, as an example. The UI design of the Rakuten webpage that has been complained the most, dense text and messy layout, the first time you use it, you can’t even find the purchase button anywhere, and almost Do not update iteratively.

Seeing that the market share has been eroded by Amazon a little bit, Rakuten seems to have no intention of changing it. According to an international student who works as a product manager in Japan, Japanese companies are very conservative and no one can blame them for not changing, but if sales decline after the revision, they may be liable.

Behind this is the shortcomings of the lifetime employment system of Japanese companies. As long as Japanese employees enter the company, they don’t have to worry about unemployment as long as they don’t make big mistakes. Innovation is often accompanied by the risk of making mistakes. Over time, these companies have become very conservative from top to bottom, and it can even be said that they are not enterprising.

Coincidentally, there is also niconico, the originator of the barrage website. As the first barrage website rooted in the two-dimensional field, the number of video views has exceeded 100 million one month after it went online in 2006, and in 2008 it has ranked sixth among Japanese local websites.

niconico also provides a reproducible path for stations B and A in China. If there is no niconico, there may be no B station today, and we will not be able to use barrage on various video platforms.

However, Nico was able to beat a good hand with his strength. Although he had a lot of animation resources in his hand, even Nintendo took the initiative to throw an olive branch, but the experience of watching the video at Nico is simply hard to describe.

One of the most dissatisfied users is the poor picture quality. Before 2016, the videos uploaded by paid members could only be limited to less than 100M, which forced many users to upload Niconico videos and bullet screen recordings to YouTube.

In addition to the image quality, even functions such as dragging the progress bar can only be used with paid members. Paying members pay extra for watching live broadcast for more than half an hour. If you are a free user, sorry, I will kick you out halfway.

It is precisely because of this experience that Niconico’s paid membership has dropped sharply,The comers are far behind, and some niconico users even expressed the hope that station B can acquire niconico.

In the face of the slow development of the Japanese Internet, the Japanese government has also made many attempts. It has successively proposed “e-Japan”, “u-Japan” and “i-Japan” plans to build a digital society, but the results are not very effective. ideal.

Ironically, in 2018, when Japanese Minister of Cyber ​​Security Yoshitaka Sakurada accepted questions at the Cabinet Committee of the House of Representatives, he said that he had never used a computer.

There are more than one reasons behind the fact that the Internet in Japan has come to today. Combined with interviews with Japanese students and research by some analysts, at least the following factors hinder the development of the Internet in Japan:

  • The well-developed offline retail channels have made Japanese users insufficiently motivated to use O2O services such as online shopping and food delivery.

  • Japan’s aging population and high labor costs make it impossible to rely on a large number of labor-intensive jobs to support low-cost and convenient services like Chinese express delivery and takeaway.

  • Japan’s lifetime employment system has caused many companies to become rigid and conservative, hinder the flow of talents, lack of vitality, and are interconnected with the need for rapid iteration and timely responseThe net industry is out of place.

  • Japan’s domestic market share is limited. Even SoftBank’s investment focus is on overseas countries such as China and the United States. It is difficult for local Internet companies to attract financing and talent.

Thirty years in Hedong and 30 years in Hexi. I don’t know if there is still such a day on the Japanese Internet. You can say the phrase “Take a tooth for a tooth, double it back” like Naoki Bansawa.

This article is from WeChat official account:AppSo (ID: appsolution), author: Lee extraordinary