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The failure lesson of Baidu's sky price acquisition case

via:博客园     time:2020/2/22 10:43:28     readed:50


Maybe the $1.9 billion Baidu spent in that year wasn't worth it, maybe it didn't work well 91, maybe the environment changed too fast, no matter what the reason, six years later, the biggest Internet acquisition in China at that time came to an end.

On the evening of February 17, baidu mobile assistant developer officially announced that 91 and Android Market channels have been officially offline, and Baidu will integrate the channel packages belonging to these two channels.

Baidu has since officially ended its Android app distribution since 2013 with 91 assistant, Android market and Baidu mobile assistant

For many in the industry, the end was no surprise Baidu closed Fuzhou R & D center as early as October 2017, which is the base camp of 91 assistants. Since then, the final fate has been irreversible.

Just, this is not the problem of Baidu family. On february 14th one of the country's largest third-party independent app stores, ali's pp assistant, announced that it would officially launch its ios product on february 28th due to business adjustments. On February 21, Peapod announced that the Peapod PC version would begin to stop offering online services on February 28.

The third-party app store is becoming more and more difficult to survive.

US $1.9 billion sky value acquisition

Traditional Chinese Valentine's Day August 14,2013

As cheerful as a lark do or think the same without prior consulation2 mobile phone, he was thrown into the display screen, hundreds of 91 wireless employees cheered and cheered, holding the phone in mid air, and patted Robin Li.

You've all become Baidu people.

It's the day it's recorded in China's Internet history

The rock-breaking sky-high deal was like a shock bomb. At the time, the industry questioned the most questions: Why does Baidu want to buy? 91 is wireless worth $1.9 billion? What can it bring to Baidu?

91 Wireless, founded in September 2010, is a wireless internet business owned by Netdragon. Its key assets are 91 assistant and Android market, two third-party app distribution platforms

In April 2013,91 was one of the market's largest third-party app distribution platforms, with 127 million users, but was valued at only $350 million and had annual revenue of just $280 million. Some people say, Baidu has spent less than 100 million on its own mobile browser, news client, input method, map, etc., and 1.9 billion dollars on a 91 channel.

In the golden age of the third-party app store, when the tide of mobile had just begun and the mobile app store hadn't started, the rising price of the water wasn't alone

Behind the sky high price is Baidu's own anxiety about the mobile era

As the king of traffic and search in the PC era, baidu mobile strategy has never thought about what to do. The mobile app distribution platform and o2o market have been divided up, and there is still a lack of a good product that can stick to users. So many times in 2012, Robin Li publicly criticized Baidu's mobile app distribution.

Baidu didn't work hard。 It has launched the underlying ecological mobile phone operating system. Since 2012, it has cooperated with Dell, Changhong, Foxconn, ZTE and other companies to launch mobile phones with built-in Baidu applications. It has also cooperated with a number of mobile phone companies in Shanghai to carry the baidu mobile phone operating system in its outgoing mobile phones. But none of this has any repercussions.

It was not until 2013 that 360 launched mobile assistant, with the powerful coverage of PC end, opened the access between PC and mobile phone, and became one of the largest Android software distribution platforms in China that Baidu made up its mind:Creating an operating-system-free mobile ecosystem that allows mobile search to be an important access to app

In 2012, Baidu changed its name to Baidu Mobile

At the time, it was a good deal. It not only defused Li's concerns about Baidu's marginalization in the app era, but also, along with the continuously coded Baidu map, formed the mobile search map LBS app distribution mobile Internet three major entrances.

Many industry leaders also think the acquisition is worth it.Sogou Wang Xiaochuan once commented that Baidu's acquisition direction is right, the equivalent of building wireless search

The final development proved that the problem was $1.9 billion.

There are rumors of competition behind it. In mid-July 2013, Zhou claimed:

360 was one of 91 wireless's early investors. 91 Wireless tried to sell several times and was stopped by Zhou Hongyi. Chow said he gave them an idea:

Failed to merge after acquisition

Whether or not the price was prompted by zhou hong-yi, according to li yan-hong, it was decided after a phone call with net dragon chairman liu dejian.

Relying on 91 assistants Android market Baidu's mobile assistant, baidu, once dominated the android distribution market.

Unfortunately, the cruel reality war began,91 assistant's share of the market quickly fell By the first quarter of 2015,91 assistants had ranked first, according to TalkingData Baidu's mobile assistant share has fallen substantially behind rivals.

First and foremost is integration, which is a difficult problem for many acquisitions.

In February 2014, Hu Zemin, the former CEO of 91 wireless, resigned, and the 91 distribution team merged with Baidu mobile assistant team, which was in the charge of Li Mingyuan. Gu Ming, a new coo, was previously the director of Baidu's business analysis department.

Airborne executives also split 91 operations and 91 assistants merged into the new baidu mobile cloud division. 91 Panda Reading,91 game business merged into Baidu cool business, by Baidu Vice President Zhang Dongchen

For Baidu, replacing management and splitting up business are common means of acquisition。 Four months after buying glutinous rice net in 2014, shen boyang, the former ceo of glutinous rice net, stepped down. Later, part of the glutinous rice team was included

None of the above is central.

In her opinion, only Baidu mobile assistant is born, and the rest are used to extract traffic.

As a result, less than a year after the acquisition, the industry frequently emerged 91 wireless integration is not smooth, core staff turnover, project stagnation,91 wireless army heart lax and so on. Even, the Internet has repeatedly spread 91 wireless staff content.

The only thing that hasn't changed is the poor user experience.It is well known that a large portion of the 91 assistant market share comes from Apple phones

However, once the use of the phone cannot delete the problem has not been resolved after the acquisition,91 assistant is still known as many users cannot install

The competition in the industry is more and more fierce. Faced with the pursuit of APP treasure, 360 mobile assistant and pea pod, baidu mobile assistant blocked pea pod at the beginning of 2015, and the latter specially published an open letter.

The greater danger has come. Just at the time of the chaos of the third-party application store, Huawei, Xiaomi, oppo and other mobile phone manufacturers realized the huge value of the application store, and the self-contained application store began to develop rapidly.In the end, this led to the decline of most third-party app stores.

In 2017, nearly three years after Baidu bought 91 Wireless, Alibaba collected its pea pods for nearly $200 million

Failed to merge after acquisition

End of October 2017, Baidu

Objectively speaking, with the end of the dividend period of mobile Internet traffic, and the sharing of the market by mobile terminal manufacturers, the benefits of mobile distribution to Internet enterprises are not so obvious in the whole industry.

This is not a problem Baidu can solve. But the $1.9 billion purchase has never fulfilled its historic mission

At one point, Mr. Lee looked forward to it. In his speech in 2015, Mr. Lee stressed:

Expect to be quickly defeated by the brutal reality. Baidu founded in April 2016

In November 2016, Lee officially announced:

Bigger storms have also occurred this month. Li Mingyuan, who leads the mobile business, resigned for serious disciplinary violations. Earlier, Tang Hesong, vice president of Baidu's strategic investment department, who had participated in the acquisition of 91 wireless with Li Mingyuan, resigned, allegedly because he was responsible for the failure of the acquisition of 91 wireless. Similarly, Gu Ming, 91 wireless coo, joined the start-up company as a partner in June 2015.

Confirmed by many Baidu insiders,In Baidu, the acquisition of 91 assistants has been suspected. At the same time, before and after the integration of 91 wireless in Baidu mobile game business, there have been a number of internal corruption incidents. This acquisition is the root cause of many turbulent adjustments of Baidu management

In January 2017, Baidu sold mobile games for $172.69 million. In February 2017, an open letter addressed to Baidu's entire staff was sent out:

The industry commented that it was this frequent change of products and strategic positioning that plunged Baidu into business cross-competitiveness, while Lee put too much emphasis on KPI style, making most of Baidu's products run short

In January 2014, baidu wholly purchased glutinous rice. In 2015, Robin Li announced in a high-profile that he would drop $20 billion into glutinous rice to gamble on the O2O market. Later, we all know that in August 2017, Baidu, under the leadership of Lu Qi, sold its take out business to hungry. Baidu glutinous rice has become a product of the search company, and even the official website is empty.

The same is true of the medical division. From its establishment on January 8,2015, to the abolition on February 9,2017, Baidu Medical Division has existed for a total of 764 days. Products under the division

In fact, at this stage, the fate of 91 assistants is irreversible. What's more, Baidu has shifted its strategic focus from mobile to AI since 2016, and introduced Lucci in 2017.

In May 2018, when Lu Qi left, baidu began to shift its focus again, requiring more practicality and commercialization for dueros and intelligent driving. By 2019, we will add the shell and Zhihu to bet on information flow.

Today's Baidu, in fact, has not abandoned the mobile strategy. But today's mobile strategy has nothing to do with that sky-high acquisition

Is there any future for the third-party app store?

Up to now, Baidu's app with the largest traffic is still mobile Baidu, Baidu Encyclopedia, baidu browser, etc. It has many other app applications, but who is Baidu's most important entrance and moat in the future?

I'm afraid Robin Li doesn't know either.

However, looking back on the changes of mobile Internet in the past six years,The fact that people have to admit

Therefore, from the beginning, Baidu's judgment is a misjudgment of the future.

Not only Baidu, but also Alibaba, if not a February 21 announcement

Not only did the pea pods not bring many users to Ali, UC App Store, PP Assistant Android Edition, Taobao Mobile Assistant, Shenma Search, Alibaba

Even in the field of the application market, there has been a major change. Starting in 2014, mobile phone manufacturers have gradually unified their own app stores, search engines, browsers, app stores, which were once representative

According to relevant data, in 2018, in addition to the application treasure that relies on wechat user group, the market share is 20%, ranking first, followed by 17% of 360 mobile assistant, followed by mobile phone manufacturers such as oppo, Huawei, vivio, Xiaomi and other own application stores. In 2019, there will be little change, mainly due to the increase in the number of commercial users of mobile phone manufacturers and the optimization of the application market of mobile phones, which will reduce the application market of 360, Baidu and Ali.

In fact, mobile distribution is still a big market. In 2019, Apple's App Store reaped about $15 billion (104.7 billion yuan) in annual profits.

The same is true for domestic mobile phone manufacturers, who have made a lot of money by acquiring, modifying and releasing customized versions of Android. For example, Xiaomi Mobile has always claimed that it does not make money by hardware, but by software and services; Huawei has also said that it has made profits in mobile software for many years in a row.

Moreover, due to the competition, most of the mobile phone manufacturers do not include the third-party application market in their application stores. From the perspective of business interests, Internet companies will increasingly rely on mobile phone manufacturers' application stores.

This will only become more apparent in the future, and even competition has nothing to do with third-party app stores

Just, all this, and Baidu basically has nothing to do with

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