Tom runs the Skype crisis: or loses the proxy in disguise big layoffs

Source: Internet
Author: User
Keywords Microsoft at present in China

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Tencent Science and technology news Yiu Hongxi July 12

Remember when Tom was online? The company, which appears to have faded out of the public eye, has recently faced a new crisis. It could lose the proxy for Skype's business in China, which is one of Tom's core businesses online.

As is known to all, Skype is booming abroad, with global users reaching 660 million at the end of last year and selling it to Microsoft for 8.5 billion dollars. However, up to now, its cooperation with Tom Online in China has been operating for 7 years, but faced with a situation of no plague.

There are indications that both sides seem intent on making some adjustments in the delicate time of the marriage of the "7-year Itch". With Skype being the main driver, the driving force behind it has been changed to Microsoft, and Tom's online has been losing power in the domestic Internet, and the situation of a joint-run Skype internet phone is changing quietly.

The source told Tencent technology that Tom had not been able to renew his contract with Skype since last year and that it was now "extended operation".

Tencent Technology calls Tom Online responsible for the operation of the Skype Business Yong, said he is on a business trip in Shanghai, and said that Microsoft is very strict control, currently inconvenient to respond. Tom Li Shuli, director of online value-added business marketing on the internet, said he had not received any notice.

However, on the other hand, it seems to be supported, Tom online with mobile phone manufacturers in the built-in Skype cooperation, from the beginning of last year has been slow to get the relevant authorization documents, which is to do the built-in mobile phone must show a proof.

If the news is true, foreign internet companies in China and domestic companies in the case of cooperation, then add another failure. Before this, MySpace network, FM365, etc. have been for a variety of reasons halberd; MSN, Google (Weibo) and Yahoo China have been marginalized. What will Microsoft do to deal with Skype's business in China with a $8.5 billion trillion dollar takeover?

Tom Online disguised as "layoffs" Skype adjusts max

Tencent technology from the recent separation of several employees learned that Tom Online has begun to line of business "disguised" layoffs, involving Skype, Tom Games and Magic Sword Book Alliance Business, about hundreds of people affected, including Skype involved more personnel, technical staff has been basically gone.

This is not the first time Tom laid off his job. Readers who know the history of Chinese Internet should be familiar with the site's brilliant and falling.

Tom Online as a subsidiary of Li Ka-shing's Tom Group, under the leadership of Lei, due to his fancy SP development opportunity, the performance soared, then in 2004 in the Nasdaq and HKEX listed, its portal status is also ranked three. It was in China's market position that, in 2005, Skype began to collaborate online with Tom in the Internet telephony business in China.

However, after a short period of passion, it seems that the exchange of endless pain. Because of excessive betting on the SP and ignoring the Internet content business, Tom's wireless value-added service suffered a "devastating blow" when the Ministry of Industry and operators overhauled the storm. In September 2007, Tom withdrew from Nasdaq and HKEX. Since then, the site will be down, gradually into continuous layoffs, strategic adjustment, the content line significantly reduced, and even the individual channel only one or two people to update the embarrassing situation.

Now, Tom Online just rely on wireless services and Internet value-added services to support, of which, the Internet value-added business line is to Skype as the main body, plus magic Sword Book League, Tom Game, and the wireless business has long been compared with the Lei period.

According to Tom Group's 2011 earnings report, its Internet business has fallen for five consecutive years, from 2007 's revenue of HK $1.085 billion to a 2011-year low of HK $727 million, which fell by nearly 30% per cent last year. The Internet line of business was converted from a profit of HK $18 million in 2010 to a loss of HK $58 million. Although not disclose the specific data of various parts of the business, but Skype, Tom Network, SP and other businesses are facing huge revenue pressure.

The employees said that because of the poor performance of the company, coupled with the loss of Skype proxy, Tom began to transfer some lines of business and to quit. Although the company has not issued a unified mail, but the line of business executives basically take the "cut" person face-to-face interview. "Although the verbal transfer is internal, it is extremely demanding and is actually a disguised layoff," he said. And some employees are clearly informed of the cut.

"This is the company's normal performance review, with about 10% of its employees leaving the system every year," explains Tom Li Shuli, director of online value-added business marketing for that time. ”

The employee obviously does not agree with the company's rhetoric, "the company's strategy is actually to force everyone, some employees were discontinued performance, also did not work." "The staff said," because the basic wages are very low, long time, also with the company can not afford to spend, many employees to leave. ”

From another branch of the department to understand, "the first quarter of the company's performance has not been issued, the highest level there is delayed signature." "To this end, many core backbone began to leave."

Skype's confidence shakes in China

In 2005, Tom took a look at Internet telephony, the seemingly "money unlimited" business, and then negotiated with Skype, and finally in September, the two sides jointly announced the establishment of a joint venture in China to carry out the Internet telephony business, of which Tom Online accounted for 49% of the new company's shares 51%,skype. Among them, the Skype business mainly through the Tom Group holding the Beijing Red Sail Network God Data Network Technology Co., Ltd. in China. According to other sources, Li Ka-shing's friends, women rich Week triumph in the bilateral cooperation also played a crucial role.

Because Skype charges low, access convenience, the two sides began to cooperate, the performance of the growth trend is gratifying. A published online data show that, as of the end of October 2006, after more than a year of co-operation, Skype registered more than 25 million subscribers in the country, the number of active users surged by one times over the previous year, accounting for more than 20% of the world's active Skype users, becoming the world's largest market for Skype, November 2007, registered users in China increased to 51 million.

However, mutation, Tom's online predicament eventually returned to the city in 2007, and since then the Skype and Tommy, which had been the great hope of CEO, had failed to complete the mission of expanding revenue. Today, ebay is already out of the public eye, and Skype is a dismally.

In the process of Skype development, because of the decline of Tom's portal, the promotion of Skype to support the strength of the weakening. In addition, the Ministry's concentrated efforts to crack down on illegal Internet Protocol (VoIP phone) storms have made many internet phone operators shudder. Although not named Skyp illegal, but it encountered many operational restrictions, which to some extent, affected its follow-up development.

At present, Tom Online does not officially release Skype operating data, the business operations director Yong in the Tencent Technology consulting also did not explicitly reply, "Skype has been acquired by Microsoft, all the operating data on Skype, are based on the Microsoft PR Bulletin, The confirmation of unpublished data is subject to the consultation with Microsoft PR. "#p # subtitle #e#

But Tom Online insiders say Skype currently registers about 90 million users in China. Compared with the previous 2-year growth of nearly 50 million, Skype in nearly 4.5 time, users only increased by 40 million, the growth momentum has been significantly reduced.

Although in the process of development, Tom Online is also strengthening mobile Internet layout, and launched the iphone, Android version of Skype, but did not stir in the market how much noise. On the contrary, after the emergence of the new form of voice application, such as micro-letter and rice chat, the market was quickly preempted.

In fact, Skype phone card dealers are also in a bad position. Tencent Technology contacted two dealers found that now the market is not good to do, and a few years ago, a great difference. One of them also claims to be ranked among the top three of all agents.

Tom Group executives are also interested in making changes to the Skype business. A person close to Tom's group said there was a divergence of views on the operation on Skype's line of business. Tom Group CEO Yangguo to cut off, Tom Online executive vice President Feng Yu urged to keep.

In this case, Tom Lu Feng, general manager of online Internet value-added services, is also planning to leave, and he has made a contribution to Skype's entry into China and its subsequent development neutrality. "Just Feng Yu is still trying to retain." If Lu Feng A walk, this line will completely collapse, there will be many people leave. "The source said.

High-level mentality directly infect the employees below, because of the lack of hope, many of the current Skype project team employees have opted to leave. "At present the technical personnel basically has gone, is responsible for the market and the business cooperation personnel also has the not small change." Skype's line of business has now shrunk to 20 people, the rest of the basic is still on the sidelines, ready to go. ”

In the face of Skype's current "dismal" operation in China, after Microsoft's acquisition, the company intends to fully integrate Skype and its own business, if Tom really lost the power of Skype in China, it is understandable.

Microsoft accelerates integration of Skype business

Visiongain, a market research agency, recently issued a report saying: "2012 global mobile phone revenue will reach $2.5 billion trillion." "At present, Google is also using its own technology to enter the Internet phone market."

It was the integration of Skype's products, and after a long negotiation, Microsoft eventually bought Skype for 8.5 billion dollars, the biggest takeover of Microsoft in recent years. At the time, Mr. Ballmer said Skype was the link between the three major trends in social networks, mobile platforms and video, implying Microsoft's determination to compete with Facebook, Apple and Google in the Internet arena.

Microsoft has also given enough "attention" to the new Skype department, and Mr. Ballmer has personally flown to Skype's office in Tallinn, Estonia, to meet with Skype engineers. As part of the welcoming ceremony, he also drank in public a drink called Millie Maulicas (Millimallikas), which mixed San Bocali, tequila, and Basque chili sauce.

In addition to Silicon Valley, Skype has offices in Sweden, Estonia, Luxembourg, Prague and London, making it the only business that is geographically detached from Microsoft's Seattle headquarters. After Skype's head, Tony Betz, the president of Microsoft's Skype department, he insisted on a Skype logo instead of a standard Microsoft work-cards when designing new cards.

Although many industry media and analysts have been exposed to the merger prospects, Microsoft has launched the integrated layout of the Skype business, and said it will continue to develop and support platform versions other than Windows.

It is now known from public reports that Microsoft has enhanced its advertising in Skype's video-chat service, which is why Microsoft is looking to expand its online advertising market and seek advertising growth with rivals such as Google.

In the past few months, Skype has released software versions that run on Android phones, Sony gaming consoles, Comcast set-top boxes and apple mobile devices.

Earlier this year, Microsoft also released its first version of Skype for Windows Phone. In a recent display of Windows Phone 8 operating systems, Microsoft has also been deeply integrated Skype, from the contact list to phone dialing and other functions can use Skype. In addition, Microsoft is also considering using WEBRTC technology to integrate Skype into the browser, when Skype will be thin, from heavy desktop applications to the set of chat, voice and video communication in one browser application.

Microsoft is also using Windows Update to promote Skype, and Skype users are now able to update Skype version 5.9 with an operating system upgrade. Microsoft's latest OEM kit (OPK) will also include skype,oem vendors to install Skype on the latest Windows 7 computers.

For now, Skype appears to have benefited directly from Microsoft. According to data from the end of May this year, Skype has increased its average monthly usage by 26% in just 7 months, a total of nearly 250 million, consolidating Skype's industry leadership position.

More than that, Microsoft is still drawing a bigger picture for Skype. According to Microsoft CFO recently disclosed in public, will be actively and widely integrated Skype into the company's products, whether it is consumer products and enterprise products.

In China, the world's largest Internet user market, it is enough to covet any technology company, including Microsoft, Apple and Google. In the face of opportunity, no companies want to lag behind, especially in the emerging mobile internet wave, companies are in the turf competition.

Microsoft officials have yet to comment on the operation of Skype, though. However, in the eyes of industry analysts, Microsoft will sooner or later adjust to this, even in China, still a joint operation of the way, but Tom will not have the chance to win the proxy too much.

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