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2021-01-05 11:37:02

The big numbers of the China’s internet keep getting bigger. 中国互联网行业的大数字在大大显得更大。Last Monday, ecommerce group Alibaba announced that it had hit a target of Rmb3tn ($462bn) in annual sales, a number that is more than the entire US’s ecommerce market for 2015, estimated last month by the census bureau at $341bn. 上周一,电商集团阿里巴巴(Alibaba)宣告,该公司构建了3万亿元人民币(合4620亿美元)年电商交易额的目标。这个数字小于2015年美国电商市场的总体规模。


根据上月美国人口普查局(Census Bureau)的估计,去年美国电商交易规模为3410亿美元。The next day, Didi Kuaidi, China’s largest internet ride-hailing platform, announced it had hit a milestone of 10m rides per day, with the company saying this made it “the largest mobile-based transportation platform in the world”. 接下来的一天,中国仅次于的互联网微信平台滴滴慢的(Didi Kuaidi)宣告,日均已完成订单首次突破1000万,该公司回应这使它沦为“全球仅次于的移动上下班平台”。

The scope of China’s internet users are significant — valuations of the country’s internet companies are some of the highest in the world, based on the perception that China’s 668m internet users are clicking, buying, searching and shopping on them in droves. 中国互联网用户数量可观。中国多家互联网公司的估值在世界上归属于最低之佩,这是因为人们指出,中国的6.68亿互联网用户在这些公司的平台上频密页面、出售、搜寻、消费。

But while few doubt that China’s internet is a dizzying growth story, just how dizzying is open to some debate. Analysts are cautious about endorsing all the claims of China’s internet behemoths, and some are outright sceptical. 但是,尽管很少有人猜测中国互联网具有令人头晕的快速增长故事,但这种快速增长有多慢是有一点辩论的。分析师们对中国互联网巨头的种种众说纷纭所持保有态度,有些分析师直截了当地回应出有猜测。Duncan Clark, chairman of BDA, a Beijing-based consultancy and author of a book on Alibaba, says there are legitimate reasons why growth in internet companies should be high. “In China there are often very poor or inefficient offline services, so the online alternatives have had a disproportionate impact on commerce,” he says. “That fuels a leapfrogging effect and big growth.” 坐落于北京的咨询公司BDA的董事长邓肯克拉克(Duncan Clark)回应,互联网公司的增长速度应当很高,这是有合理原因的。

“在中国,线下服务要么很差、要么陈旧,所以线上服务对商业产生了过大的影响,”他说道,“这就带给了跳跃式发展和低快速增长。”克拉克写出了一本关于阿里巴巴的书。On the other hand, “there is also tremendous competition to be seen as the number one player — so there is a temptation to try to go for the bigger number”, he says. 另一方面,“也不存在着极大的竞争,都争当第一——所以有执着更大数字的动力”,他说道。Shaun Rein, founder of the Shanghai-based China Market Research Group, says China’s internet is “undeniably huge”, but adds that there is a persistent perception the numbers may be over-egged. 坐落于上海的中国市场研究集团(China Market Research)的创始人雷小山(Shaun Rein)说道,中国互联网市场“毫无疑问是极大的”,但人们仍然指出涉及数字也许被高估了。


For example, many merchants on Alibaba’s virtual market place fake sales in order to boost their rankings. “The merchants all want five stars, and the way to do that is to fake orders,” he says. 比如,阿里巴巴在线市场的许多商家通过翻单提升店铺星级。“商家都想五星级,实现目标的手段就是翻单,”他说道。

He estimates the amount of faked orders on Alibaba at 20-30 per cent of gross merchandise value (GMV). Anne Stevenson Yang, head of Beijing-based J Capital Research, goes even further, charging that Alibaba’s GMV is up to 50 per cent overstated. 他估算,翻单数量占到到阿里巴巴商品交易总额(GMV)的20%至30%。坐落于北京的美奇金投资咨询公司(J Capital Research)的负责人杨思安(Anne Stevenson-Yang)甚至指出,阿里巴巴的GMV被低估了50%。

Alibaba calls these estimates “baseless”, saying: “We take a prudent approach in the calculation of our GMV, which is scrubbed of fictitious transactions and transactions over certain amount.” 阿里巴巴称之为这些估计“毫无根据”,并回应:“我们在计算出来GMV过程中采行了谨慎的方法,去除了欺诈交易和低于某一数额的交易。” Ms Yang has frequently drawn attention to what she believes are inflated internet statistics, driven by the pressure to raise funds. 杨思安已多次使人们的注意力集中于到了她眼中虚高的互联网统计数字上——虚报数据是迫使融资压力。

“These companies are under pressure to show world beating growth in volumes and the provenance of these statistics is unclear at best,” she says. “这些公司压力相当大,必需展出出类拔萃的规模快速增长,这些统计数字说好听点是原文未知,”她说道。For instance, she points out government data showing 86 per cent of Chinese internet users have incomes of less than Rmb5,000 ($769) per month. 比如,她认为,政府数据表明,中国86%的互联网用户的月收益不及5000元人民币(合769美元)。That has not stopped them from spending Rmb12tn ($1.9tn) in 2015 transactions on Alipay, Alibaba’s payment affiliate, according to research by Credit Suisse published in February. 可是根据瑞信(Credit Suisse) 2月公布的研究报告,2015年他们用阿里巴巴的缴纳平台支付宝(Alipay)已完成了12万亿元人民币(合1.9万亿美元)的交易。That $1.9tn compares to $282bn total transaction volume for PayPal in 2015, and equivalent to two-thirds the global total, according to Juniper Research. The Alipay totals “seem very high”, according to Windsor Holden, the author of the Juniper Research report. 根据Juniper Research的数据,这1.9万亿美元与2015年PayPal 2820亿美元的总交易额构成鲜明对比,而且相等于全球总交易额的三分之二。

在Juniper Research研究报告的编写人温莎霍尔登(Windsor Holden)显然,支付宝的交易总额“看上去十分低”。Ant Financial, Alipay’s parent group, declined to comment, but an analyst at iResearch, a Beijing-based consultancy whose statistics were used by Credit Suisse, said that the large number is partly explained by the large amount of non-ecommerce payments that Alipay handles. 支付宝的母公司蚂蚁金服(Ant Financial)拒绝接受置评,但坐落于北京的咨询公司艾瑞咨询(iResearch)的一位分析师称之为,这个极大的数字可以从支付宝处置的大量非电子商务缴纳获得一部分说明。


艾瑞咨询的数据为瑞信所使用。One source of confusion is how companies define their statistics, says Ms Yang. 杨思安称之为,一个令人困惑之处是企业如何界定它们的统计资料指标。

While companies like Alibaba and Facebook report “active users” for their services, social media and gaming giant Tencent reports monthly “active user accounts” for its social media sites QQ and WeChat. The company reported 850m QQ monthly active user accounts in September, or 127 per cent of China’s internet users as measured by the governmental China Internet Network Information Centre. 阿里巴巴和Facebook等企业报告的是用于其服务的“活跃用户”,而社交媒体和游戏巨头腾讯(Tencent)报告的是其社交媒体软件QQ和微信(WeChat)的月“活跃账户”。去年9月,腾讯报告称之为,QQ月活跃账户为8.5亿,相等于中国互联网信息中心(CINIC)获取的中国互联网用户总数的127%。Alibaba, meanwhile, has long faced questions about its GMV. Like Chinese competitor JD.com and US-based eBay, this total includes items that have not been paid for. However, JD.com says it is more stringent and will not count an unpaid transaction if it is over Rmb2,000. JD said in an earnings release this month that using Alibaba’s methodology would boost its GMV by 31 per cent. 与此同时,阿里巴巴长久以来仍然面对着环绕其GMV的疑惑。


京东本月发布财报时回应,如果用阿里巴巴的方法来计算出来,其GMV将减少31%。Since its 2014 initial public offering, Alibaba has changed its definition of GMV — formerly it did not count all items over Rmb100,000, while in its most recent annual report it said it excludes only “transactions in certain product categories over certain amounts and transactions by buyers in certain product categories over a certain amount per day”. 2014年展开首次公开发行(IPO)以后,阿里巴巴转变了其GMV的定义。

以前它不统计资料所有多达10万元人民币的商品,然而在其最近一次年报中,阿里巴巴称之为其只回避了“多达特定数额的特定产品类别的交易,以及买家每日多达特定数额的特定产品类别的交易”。The company has recently tried to shift the focus away from sales and on to other growth metrics such as revenue. When he announced the GMV milestone last week, Joe Tsai, Alibaba’s executive vice-chairman, said: “Our focus on quality and sustainable growth means how we measure success is no longer dependent on a simplistic view of GMV growth.” 阿里巴巴最近企图将焦点从销售额改向营收等其他快速增长指标上。上周,阿里巴巴继续执行副主席蔡崇信(Joe Tsai)在宣告GMV获得里程碑快速增长时称,该公司的重点已放到执着高质量快速增长和可持续快速增长方面,这意味著其仍然全然从GMV快速增长的角度来取决于顺利与否。

The remark left Mr Clark slightly confused. “That was an odd thing. They seemed to be announcing a number that they didn’t want us to focus on in the future.” 这一言论让克拉克有点疑惑。“这是件怪异的事。他们公布了一个数字,或许又不愿我们以后注目这个数字。