Challenges China’s Tencent faces as it tries to bring more Western games

China has always been a challenging market for businesses. Many large companies, including Apple, Facebook and Twitter have been witnesses to this. Apple had problems with sales of its iconic iPhones, which had local competition from “copycats”, amid reports of mistreatment of employees at Foxconn, Apple’s assembler in China. Facebook and Twitter have their own Chinese versions and have minimal, if at all, presence there. Google also withdrew from the country in 2010 after failing to make headway into the market dominated by local player Baidu.

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Source: The Telegraph

The more recent phenomenon, however, is that Chinese firms are luring Western talent to bring in their expertise to customise content for the Chinese market. Tencent, one of China’s internet behemoths, has been trying to bring more online and mobile games into China, despite the high rankings it enjoys in the app stores.

The rapid growth of mobile devices and proliferation of smartphones in China have resulted in a surge in mobile and online games. However, as the size of the pie increases, more players are vying for a larger share of the pie. Tencent faces stiff competition from internet giant Alibaba, which has its own local and global expansion plans. Its impending IPO in the US and its series of US start-up acquisitions lend credence to its strategy.

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Thank God It’s Friday !!!

We often evolve and change over time. But some things remain the same. I noticed that something I had penned down a couple of years ago is as applicable today as it was then…

After a gruelling week during which I had to undergo a training in the morning, have a quick bite in the afternoon for the mere purpose of sustenance, slog through the afternoon trying to make sense of ubiquitous lines of code that demanded to be put in logical sequence, attend client calls in the evening and report the status of my work and pose questions on the next day’s tasks, and finally start working again to try to complete the day’s tasks and prepare for the unmatched repetition of the next day, I found respite in the Friday. TGIF, as they say !!!

Thus, after five gruelling days of hard work, I found some time for myself, to dismiss the idea of work and indulge in myself. After all, the weekend is as much a necessity for me as oxygen. It began pumping on the most wonderful day of the week – Friday. It is truly wonderful because it brings with it a lot of plans, sentiments and anticipation. I’ve noticed that what seems so boring on a Mundane Monday does not seem so on a Frolicking Friday. Work gets done remarkably quickly, productivity levels shoot up, sincerity takes precedence over laxity and procrastination is almost thrown out the door. People begin to transform on a Friday, apparently.

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The odyssey to the odyssey of camaraderie…

I realised pretty late in my life that I could write. As a matter of fact, I realised it just this year, when I started this blog to pen down whatever came to my mind. I had been an English-enthusiast all along, having excelled at English in school, whenever the teacher could comprehend what I had scribbled in my ‘calligraphic’ handwriting. But those flashes of brilliance had only been limited to academics, given my pedantic nature.

Earlier, I did not even have an inclination to pen down my thoughts, but when a friend introduced me to the world of blogging, I took to it immediately. Before long, I was writing about a host of topics that I cared about. Initially, I worried that I might not be good enough for the blogging community, but as I kept on reading and writing, I realised that the community does not care whether you are good or bad. The community is not judgemental and does not treat blogging as a competition for survival. Most people enjoy writing and write only for the purpose of writing, with a tinge of reverence to the writing community. It felt wonderful to connect with them.

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‘Crush’ed… Am I in love ??!!

I recently had an opportunity to interview the elusive Mr Heart, who has been evading interviews for a long time. Thankfully, after a lot of prodding, Mr Heart agreed to an exclusive interview in which he allowed me a peek into his world of love and emotions. Here is the full transcript of the first ever interview with Mr Heart.

Me: Mr Heart, thank you very much for your time today to discuss matters with me. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Mr Heart: You’re welcome. In fact, I decided it was time to come out of my shell and let the world know what I really am and felt about.

Me: Yes, I am glad you want to discuss this with me. I’ve been informed that you wanted to talk about Her.

Mr Heart: Well, not specifically, but I wouldn’t mind. I guess it is that time of the age cycle when everyone realises just how valuable I am.

Me: So Mr Heart, you’re saying that you are in love, again?

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India’s Take on ‘Daylight-Savings’

Something I had penned down a couple of years ago still makes me wonder whether anything has changed. Here is the updated version…

Having had to deal with clients in the US for work, I’ve been accustomed to their switching time rituals every March and November. The concept of ‘daylight-savings‘, much-needed in places with hugely varying levels of sunlight, seems to amuse us Indians though.

Most Indians, I am pretty sure, are not quite aware of why the concept was introduced, what purpose it serves, when and why it is observed and so on. Some of us take the literal meaning of the word ‘savings’ and wonder what exactly is being saved when time changes twice every year. Then there are some others who know briefly what it is but are unsure of the rationale behind it and continue to live without any curiosity towards it. Finally, there are some others who are aware of it, follow it and know it in much detail, but just don’t give a damn about it.

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Confessions of a FarmVille-holic

The advent of online games and Flash mini-games has brought about a new genre of addicts. These addicts spend hours, if not days or weeks, on such games and derive solace from the most trivial graphic tasks. Such actions include, but are not limited to, the growth and harvest of crops, the assassination of a drug lord and the hostile takeover of his drug empire, the sale of visually-delicious recipes, and the construction of town halls and businesses to expand one’s city.

These games, the names of which I am sure you would have figured out by now, are primarily hosted on Facebook. But that’s basically it. They are just hosted there. Facebook has not created and does not have any stake in FarmVille, Mafia Wars, Cafe World, CityVille, etc. They were all created by a company now known as Zynga (formerly Presidio Media), which has no binding affinity towards Facebook.  Continue reading