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ON THE roof, where staff can smoke as well as work, is a big chess set. The names of meeting rooms are in the Cyrillic alphabet. Two sides of the courtyard are a building site of five hollow storeys. You could say that the headquarters of Yandex, Russia's biggest online-search company, symbolises the country's whole internet economy: a bit smaller than expected, but growing fast, and unmistakably Russian.
Last year the number of Russians online went up by 14%, to 53m. That made Russia's online population Europe's biggest, just ahead of Germany's, with lots of room left to grow (see chart). GP Bullhound, an investment bank, reckons that only 18% of those people shop online and that online advertising, though rising fast, takes up only 9% of Russian ad budgets. Yandex's revenues, most of which come from ads, reflect this pretty faithfully. In the first quarter they were 5.9 billion roubles ($200m), 51% more than a year before. Its profits rose at a similar rate.
Russian companies dominate the market. Yandex gets about 60% of online searches, estimates LiveInternet, a research firm. Google attracts about a quarter, though its share has been growing. Mail.ru is by far the biggest portal, e-mail service and online-games platform. It also owns Odnoklassniki, the second-biggest social network, and 40% of VKontakte, the biggest. Facebook lies fourth. Ozon, which sells goods and travel, calls itself both Russia's Amazon and its Expedia.
The Russian internet market looks more like China's than either resembles anything in the West. Baidu dominates Chinese search. Tencent plays a similar role to Mail.ru, of which it owns 7.8%. When the Chinese buy online they turn to Dangdang, 360buy or one of Alibaba's online marketplaces rather than Amazon or eBay. They tap out a cacophony of short posts on Sina Weibo, not Twitter. And so on.
In important ways, Russia is different. It has no equivalent of China's wildly popular online-video sites (which Chinese people love because censored TV is so dull). It has no Great Firewall. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are not banned. Foreigners have been much freer to enter Russia, but have struggled all the same. “Closed borders in China let local services develop without competition from the West,” says Dmitry Grishin, Mail.ru's boss. “That let them succeed in the short term, but will make them weaker in the long term.”
Fritz Demopoulos, an American who co-founded Qunar, a Chinese travel site sold to Baidu last year, and has invested in Ostrovok, a Russian online travel business, says that success in markets with local champions demands local knowledge, technology, access to capital, good management and scale. Except in scale, he says, it is not clear that foreigners enjoy an edge in any of these areas. Since the financial crisis, many people have started to doubt whether “foreign management know-how is all that relevant,” he says.
Russian firms plainly have a head start in Mr Demopoulos's first area, local knowledge. One reason is language: according to Ilya Segalovich, Yandex's chief technology officer, Google “totally ignored language understanding” at first, though “they've now got quite efficient.” Geography is another. Yandex is especially proud of its maps and traffic data. A mobile-phone app allows Muscovites to order a taxi and then track its progress (or lack of it) through their city's horrible jams.
But Russia's online idiosyncrasies, like China's, go well beyond the script and the map. Because people still expect to be able to buy from a human being, or at least complain to one, Ostrovok, Ozon and others run call centres, publishing the numbers on their home pages. Serge Faguet, one of Ostrovok's founders, says that his company learned by watching Ctrip, a Chinese online travel company, whose customers make half of their bookings by phone.
Russians like to pay in cash. Sometimes they do this at automatic kiosks made by QIWI, another Russian firm. Mr Faguet says a “meaningful proportion” of Ostrovok's sales are paid for at these “ATMs in reverse”. Russians also like to be sure that their goods will turn up—and that they like them—before handing over their money. Sometimes they order from several suppliers and buy from the one that gets there first. Four-fifths of stuff bought from Ozon is paid for in cash on delivery. Chinese online shoppers also like to pay this way.
Like its bigger Chinese cousins, Ozon has to make sure that its goods arrive on time, despite being sent across an enormous country where courier services are patchy and the post is not always to be trusted. So, like them (and others), it has set up its own logistics operation to deliver goods to the customer's door, in Moscow and St Petersburg, or to one of 2,000 pick-up points. (About 10% of orders go by mail.) In a business with huge economies of scale, it makes sense to deliver for third parties too. About 70 have signed up.
As for technology, Russia, like China, can draw from a deep well of mathematical and scientific talent. In the late 1990s, recalls Alexander Turkot, the head of the information-technology division of Skolkovo, a government-owned centre for technology companies, “at least every second engineer wanted to leave”. Standards in universities drooped too. Now the outlook is brighter, graduates' salaries are good and people are coming back. Three of Ostrovok's engineers moved to Moscow from abroad. (Mr Faguet and his co-founder, Kirill Makharinsky, are returnees, having left Russia as children.) Still, says Mr Turkot, it is not always easy to explain to young people that they do not have to be in oil, gas or finance to make money.
As in many countries, in Russia financial and other support is easier to find, the bigger you are. Foreign investors have been keener on the place than foreign operators. Yandex raised $1.3 billion when it was floated on America's NASDAQ stockmarket a year ago; Mail.ru raised more than $900m in London in November 2010. (Yandex's share price has since gone down a bit; Mail.ru's shares are up.) Western venture capitalists have bought stakes in the most promising e-commerce companies, including Ostrovok and Ostrovok. But local angel investors, who put money into the youngest companies, are far rarer than in America, western Europe or China.
Some support is being built for the saplings. At Digital October, in an old chocolate factory on the bank of the Moscow river, young entrepreneurs can attend seminars find a meeting room or simply socialise. And at Skolkovo, the state is trying both to support young Russian firms and to attract big multinationals. Companies may apply to be “residents” of Skolkovo—although the site, outside Moscow, is still being built, so residency is mainly “virtual” for now. Residents are eligible for tax breaks, advice and grants. The government takes no equity, but Mr Turkot hopes that “market money” will follow his “stupid money”.
Having dominated at home, can Russian internet companies do as well abroad? As investors, some already have, notably in social media. Both Mail.ru and DST Global, an investment firm to which it used to be closely tied, have stakes in Facebook, which is due to float on May 18th. Selling some shares will give them cash to invest elsewhere. Both also have slices of Groupon, a daily-deals site, and Zynga, a social-games company, which made their stockmarket debuts last year.
The big firms, at least, have ambitions as operators too. Yandex made a foray into Turkey last September. Its market share is only about 1%: Google (who else?) rules. Mr Segalovich says it is too soon to tell how things are going. He will take stock at the end of the year. Mail.ru sees games, which it produces in foreign languages already, as a bridge to Germany and elsewhere.
At Skolkovo, Mr Turkot says that he is looking for export potential in the young companies he will take under his wing. He also says he wants no “copycats”, of which there are plenty in the internet world. A search for new export champions is understandable in an economy that relies heavily on natural resources. And the internet is full of ideas that burst across borders. But the market does not always go where officials would like it to, especially in the free-spirited internet. And there will be plenty of demand to meet at home.
According to French media reports, the French retailer Auchan group (Groupe Auchan S.A.) from ten years ago in Russia's retail market, and the group is located in the 5 stores in Russia has been officially opened in not long ago, a few days ago, Auchan decision in Russia's sales of home appliances and other popular electronics products.According to auchan Russia area general manager Jean - Pierre Germain, revealed that the group will begin in June 2012, the Internet shop in Russia to carry out the new sales.
Currently, auchan Russia online store sales of home appliances and other popular electronics products plan is still in discussions, the group has not announced the plan of the specific investment amount, but retail industry related people think about the scheme will cost $3 million.Auchan group owners - mourinho fayyad's (Mulliez family may draw lessons from the French retailer Boulanger experience for the development of Russian store household appliances and the public electronic product sales business, the retailer is also owned by his fayyad's family.It is reported, auchan has acquired local discount store online sales business, since then, responsible for the management of the business site or will become auchan household appliances and electronic products sales network of the people.This is not the first time the auchan in household appliances, as early as in 2010, the company has begun selling furniture and garden furniture.So far, auchan Russia the online store has 1400 kinds of commodities, one is called "Chateau Chanot" shop also sells wine and spirits and cigars.
As auchan Drive online stores, the group, the original is scheduled to start in the summer of 2012 to open such stores in Russia, but according to the present situation, Drive online store development plan seems to have been put on hold.Jean - Pierre Germain said, this is mainly due to the auchan has yet to find the suitable store locations, the lack of appropriate road infrastructure, use of downtown commercial real estate costs as well as the relationship between the government and traditional factors such as complex hindered the establishment of auchan entity shop, as a result, the group decided to continue to develop online shop business.Despite the frequency of the Russian consumers use the Internet to pay is low, but the country's online sales business development speed is faster.Auchan brand in Russia's main cities in China enjoys a certain reputation, this is good for the group to attract consumers.InfoLine investigation agencies and magazines (Retailer) retailers, auchan is Russia's leader in the field of large stores, and the Group is the third largest Retailer in the Russian food sales industry, second only to the country's domestic enterprises X5 Retail Group and Magnit.
When it comes to the likes of Amazon, eBay and Google, one might think Russia would welcome such foreign Internet giants with open arms. So why is it that, despite its best efforts, Google with just 27% market share has been forced into the unfamiliar position of playing second fiddle to Yandex, its Russian contemporary which holds a comfortable 61% share, while Amazon has no presence in the country at all?
It's not as if Russians don't want them. With more than 53 million people now online, Russia not only has the largest online audience in Europe but also a year-on-year growth of more than seven times that of Germany, its closest rival. And there's plenty of room for further expansion. Add to that an extremely favorable disposable-income-to-debt ratio and the Russian fervor for products that are either exotic or locally hard to come by, and on paper it looks like a country ripe for an e-tail revolution.
That is not to say that some companies aren't already doing extremely well out of it. Besides Yandex, Russia's answer to Craiglist, Avito, has been seeing off its large US rival. And while eBay (EBAY) is being given a run for its money by the Mail.ru-backed Molotok, OZON.ru has been branded the Amazon of Russia. Even those that have formed alliances with Russian companies, such as Groupon's (GRPN) partnership with Mail.ru, have been given a rough ride in the face competition from local rivals KupiKupon, Biglion and Vigoda, some of which have been able to generate tens of millions of dollars of revenue in their first year of business. In Russia, it seems, global hegemony doesn't count for much; little wonder then that the country has been described as the last Internet frontier of Europe.
But while Russia undeniably has its own unique way of doing things, the failure of large western brands to wade in and effortlessly dominate the market -- as they are so used to doing -- cannot merely be attributed to a clash of cultures. And nor is it just a case of hubris. No, arguably the problem is the failure to understand that just because an increasing number of Russians have Internet access and money to spend, businesses cannot just stroll in and set up shop like a traditional clicks-and-mortar business.
The arrival of information age for newspapers and added a new way of communication, network, thus caused a huge impact on the traditional newspapers.Online newspapers has essential difference with the traditional print media, ordered from contributions, editing and publishing, distribution, reading, and even the whole process of reader feedback, is carried out in the network environment, any stage without paper.Online newspapers is an invisible digital products, not in a physical presence, eliminating the traditional printing and plate making, printing and distribution of the intermediate links, truly pollution-free "green".Its advantage lies in expanding and close the distance with readers, improve the participation in the advertising market.
Relevant data shows, network newspapers and shunt by many young people, and readers with high education, high income and.Famous Russian news website daily page views have one million people, far more than the circulation of the most popular traditional newspapers.But many media people think that, although the network coverage is very wide, but the Internet also contains many useless, that people are not interested in content.The personage inside course of study thinks, rely on paper as media, carrier consumer attributes will continue for a long time.But traditional newspaper should maximize the reform innovation, actively using digital carrier form to develop themselves, only in this way can in the information society.Facing this is referred to as the following newspapers, television, radio network with the challenge of "the fourth medium", Russia many traditional newspapers have adjustment strategy, take measures, to adapt to the needs of the Internet age.
The rapid development of Internet, are profoundly affecting the Russian society and people's life.Relevant data show that in 2007 the number of Internet users 3, 5 million people, accounting for 24.8% of the population;4 0.3 million 2008 people use the Internet, accounting for 28.6% of the population;In 2009 to 4, 5.4 million, the number of online accounts for 32.4% of the total population.Average weekly Internet has 1 200 one thousand 1 5 million person-time, surf the Internet every day nearly 1 0 million;In the investigation, half of Internet users said they would visit news websites, the rest is mainly to play games, E-mail, etc.According to the survey data, 36% of russians Internet 1 ~ 3 hours a day, 33% of those surveyed online 3 ~ 8 hours a day, at the same time, 61% said they don't read traditional print.People enthusiasm for network, make the newspaper away from the inherent in the field of news media "leadership".
With the development of the Internet and popularization, the Russian traditional media and network media into the process of competition and cooperation.Many traditional newspapers in the 1990 s have, which is based on traditional media, to start building your own news site, such as Russia's dominant big media "evidence and fact", the komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper, "the spark" and "independent".As of January 2003, the registered network journals for 868.Some newspaper websites in 2009 started to launch new project together.As with KP. Ru, kpav - to.. m, eg. 11 l and sovspo m site the komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper in July 1, 2009 to KP. Ru and sovsport ru the advertising department of merger.The purpose is to prepare for it contains information paid services.2010 KP. Daily visits to 1.027 million m.Increase in nearly two years KP. Ru traffic nine times, advertising revenue increased by 2.5 times, 0 million rubles from 3 to 100 million roubles.The komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper in a move that could be said to be successful, because sovsport. Ru is a large sports sites, contains the quickest hot sports news, live sports and one of the most famous sports commentator.KP. M ranked all resources unified advertising department to manage, in providing readers with the most efficient access to the results under the premise of saving time and money for it.
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