3G.cn: a New Force in the Chinese 3G market

Jan 11, 2010, 08:26 ET from 3G.cn

BEIJING, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- The year 2009 was the first year that 3G operation licenses were issued by Chinese authorities. According to the latest statistics, China's mobile Internet users have reached 170 million. What's most surprising is not the number of users, but rather the startling rate of growth. The number of Chinese users is close to that of South Korea and Japan, where 3G technology has been in existence for over a decade.

3G.cn is a site just like Facebook or Twitter: the number of users increases at an astonishing speed. Its immeasurable market value has become a magnet, continuously attracting venture capital companies like IDG. 3G.cn has been a leader in China's mobile Internet industry ever since it was launched.

"The core of the Internet is not the computer, but the mobile phone, and the largest mobile Internet market is none other than China," stated Yuqiang Deng, CEO of 3g.cn.

Is China copying trends or surpassing them?

Ever since 3G licenses began to be issued in China, students, office workers, and housewives alike could be seen everywhere: on the street, the subway or buses, bent over cell phones, playing games, reading eBooks, or writing blogs.

At least 70% of these mobile phone users are visiting or have visited 3G.cn. This mobile internet company, called a combination of Sina.com.cn and Tencent in China, has established a tremendous reputation within just a few short years.

Just like Sina.com.cn, 3G.cn is a mobile Internet portal with over 70 channels, the most popular of which are News & Information, Entertainment Gossip, and Live Sports Games. The total number of hits on the homepage alone doubles that of the entire US population.

Meanwhile, similar to QQ and Tencent, 3G.cn boasts the greatest number of applications for mobile users yet, including 14 mobile applications, such as its mobile browser, GO, and GGBook for e-book reading. These applications have appeared in the handsets of 100 million mobile phone users, spreading at a rate of 50% every day.

However, before the launch of 3G.cn, there had been no mobile Internet site in any real sense in China.

All of this started with the dreams of two young men, Yuqiang Deng and Xiangdong Zhang, who grew up during the dotcom boom in China. They believed that the Chinese people should have their own mobile phone Internet, and that it could become the most important media source for users.

According to statistics published by CNNIC, the number of users surfing on the Internet via mobile phones reached 155 million in June of 2009, increasing 32.1% over the course of six months. With the dawn of the 3G era, the number of mobile users surfing the Internet will grow by leaps and bounds.

"It is not simply a copy of the Internet. The mobile Internet is tailored to the needs and demands of mobile phone users. It is open and free, and it will surpass the Internet soon," Yuqiang Deng said.

Ambition of "the Chinese Google"

Interestingly, this young company does not want to be a mobile version of Sina or Tencent; it aims to be a company like Google, which is dedicated to technology and focuses on user experiences.

This brings to mind the battle between Yahoo, then search engine giant, and Google. The later focused on its search engine, while the former started from its search engine and expanded to sports, finance, entertainment, e-commerce, instant messaging and email service. Ten years later, Yahoo only has 20% of the internet search market, and Google has become the most profitable internet company in existence.

This seems to be a lesson in the meaning of "focus."

The biggest difference between 3G.cn and other dotcom companies is that 3G.cn is devoted to the mobile Internet and mobile phone users.

The ambition of 3G.cn can be witnessed in GO, a mobile browser it launched recently. It was developed exclusively for China's future 3G mobile network. The browser has interfaces with hundreds of thousands of DIY colors, and it is the first browser inbuilt with widget functions in China. It can even directly play Flash clips. GO has been called an "iPhone-like" browser.

"It is our wish to ensure that every person can have his own mobile Internet browser, one that in addition to coming in personalized colors and with various functions, can also reflect each user's individual personalities and moods," said Mr. Deng. 3G.cn is committed to exceptional quality, even with such simple features as an alarm clock in the browser.

Deng and Zhang have jokingly called themselves "the mobile phone generation." Deng spends over ten hours on his mobile phone everyday, going through several batteries. Both Deng and Zhang believe the future of China's mobile Internet is a bright one.

Deng cannot agree more with Google's predictions for the next decade of the mobile phone: that the mobile phone will be a megaphone for sending messages all over the world. Mobile phones can send pictures, emails, text messages, Twitter messages and blog entries. When all mobile users do so, all people on this planet will be able to share their experiences with one another in real time.

It is very clear that the mobile Internet is developing in that direction. This tiny portable device, used mainly for talking, is the key to changing the world.