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中国公司逐鹿全球电商大市场

Ken Hao 2013年06月25日

未来5年,全球最具价值公司将从电商大战中脱颖而出,而这场大战将主要围绕“最后一英里”市场的争夺展开。眼下,美国搜索领域的谷歌,电商领域的亚马逊、eBay,社交领域的Facebook,中国搜索领域的百度,电商领域的阿里巴巴,社交领域的腾讯都在排兵布阵,战斗已经打响。

    过去10年间,有7大公司在全球互联网经济中赢得了巨大的市场份额。其中,美国的几大巨头及其各自统领的领域早已广为人知:搜索领域的谷歌公司(Google,市值2,930亿美元),电子商务领域的亚马逊公司(Amazon,市值1,250亿美元)和eBay公司(市值660亿美元),以及社交网络领域的Facebook公司(市值580亿美元)。

    知名度稍逊一筹的另外3家公司都在中国:中国领先的搜索引擎百度公司(Baidu,市值330亿美元),电子商务领域的江湖霸主阿里巴巴公司(Alibaba,非上市公司),社交网络及游戏领域首屈一指的腾讯公司(Tencent,市值690亿美元)。

    如果未来5年,这些互联网巨头中任何一家能继续维持现在的增长率,都有可能成为全球最值钱的公司。在此期间,互联网经济中的这些超级细分市场必将出现日益激烈的竞争。而在本人看来,电子商务市场将是最重要的战场。

电商市场

    部分分析师认为,电子商务已经是个成熟的、充分渗透的市场了,比如亚马逊早已高调推出各种网络服务及视频流媒体,而eBay的增长率也一直保持在15-20%的高位。但这种看法太简单化了。从全球范围看,电子商务将成为规模极其庞大、同时不断扩张的互联网经济形态。

    据美国统计局(Census Bureau)的数据,2012年美国的电子商务销售总额近2,250亿美元,占同期全美商品零售总额的5%以上。美国电子商务下一个增长领域来自本地商业的“最后一英里”,其中用于产品和服务的零售支出中有75%是在离家15英里范围内发生的。如果电子商务能成功占领这个领域,那么“最后一英里”的市场规模在新一波机遇和增长的推动下可能达到美国电子商务市场现有规模的两倍、甚至三倍。

    而中国的电商市场可能将比美国电商市场大得多,目前这个市场还只是处于第三轮或第四轮发展周期中。去年中国的网购零售收入是2,070亿美元,为同期中国商品零售总额的6%。中国的网民人数一直在增长,而网上购物的渗透率尚不及发达国家的一半水平。

    中国电子商务迅猛增长的势头还受到该国相对落后的零售基础设施的推动。随着中国直接进入无线通信时代,它可能会通过突飞猛进的电商发展,跳过实体零售店的发展阶段。最近,阿里巴巴公司富有远见的创始人兼执行主席马云先生预言称,未来5年中国电商渗透率可能会从今天占商品零售总额的6%猛增至30%,即实现五倍增长。

    Over the past 10 years, seven companies have carved out lion-sized shares of the global Internet economy. The American giants and their respective kingdoms are well-known: Google ($293 billion market cap) in search, Amazon ($125 billion) and eBay ($66 billion) in e-commerce and Facebook ($58billion) in social networking.

    Less familiar are the other three, all based in China: Baidu ($33 billion), the leading Chinese search engine; Alibaba (privately held), the dominant force in e-commerce; and Tencent ($69 billion), the principal player in social networking and gaming.

    If any of these Internet giants can maintain their growth rate over the next five years, it has the potential to become the world's most valuable company. During this period, we will see intensifying head-to-head competition within the super-segments of the Internet economy. In my view, the e-commerce market will become the most important battlefield of all.

The E-Commerce Market

    Some analysts view e-commerce as a maturing and well-penetrated market, pointing to Amazon's (AMZN) high-profile forays into web services and video streaming and eBay's growth rate, which has stabilized in the 15-20% range. Yet this perspective is too simple. E-commerce continues to present a gigantic, expanding pool of Internet economics across the globe.

    In the U.S., e-commerce was nearly $225 billion in 2012, accounting for over 5% of total U.S. retail sales, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The next frontier of U.S. e-commerce growth is within the "last mile" of local commerce, where 75% of all retail spending occurs fifteen miles from home, across both products and services. If successful, this "last mile" market could double or triple the U.S. e-commerce market in a new surge of opportunity and growth.

    In China, e-commerce has the potential to be far larger than the U.S. market and may only be in its third or fourth inning of growth. Online retail revenue in China was $207 billion last year, representing 6% of total retail spending. The population of Internet users in China continues to grow, and the penetration of online shopping in China has not even reached half the levels found in developed countries.

    This "growth on growth" characteristic of e-commerce in China is further fueled by the relative immaturity of the country's retail infrastructure. Just as China jumped straight to wireless communications, China may skip a generation of brick-and-mortar retail build-out through aggressive e-commerce adoption. Jack Ma, the visionary founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, recently predicted that e-commerce penetration in China could grow from 6% today to 30% of overall retail spending in the next five years, implying more than five-fold growth.

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