Evernote’s Biggest Rival in China – Netease’s Youdao YunBiJi – is Way Ahead With 15 Million Users

Evernote’s Biggest Rival in China is Way Ahead With 15 Million Users

July 1, 2013

by Steven Millward

Netease-Cloud-Notes-app

We know that Evernote has four million users in China right now, but the nation is also home to a few note sync clones that have had more time to gain traction before Evernote properly launched in China in May 2012. Evernote’s biggest rival in China is Netease’s (NASDAQ:NTES) Youdao YunBiJi which, in new figures revealed last week, has risen to 15 million users.That’s good progress for Youdao YunBiJi (literally: Youdao Cloud Notes), which was already at eight million users at the end of last year. Evernote’s entrance has not slowed down the uptake of its biggest rival, perhaps boosted by Netease cross-promoting Youdao YunBiJi in its other popular smartphone apps, especially its news reader apps.

Offering 80% of Evernote’s features for free

But the Chinese web giant has one more trick up its sleeve. As spotted by Technode, the CEO of the Youdao subsidiary, Zhou Feng, says that it plans to do 80 percent of Evernote’s premium features for freein its own service. Evernote charges RMB 30 ($4.85) per month in China (on a par with its global rate) to go premium. Youdao YunBiJi does many things for free already that Evernote charges for, such as offline notes access and 1GB of monthly data transfers.

Zhou Feng also threw around some larger numbers, suggesting that Youdao YunBiJi could have 100 million users in years to come. But that sounds like pie in the sky. Note that Netease makes most of itsmoney from online gaming, so it can afford to subsidize its smartphone apps in this way as it progresses with its diversification.

Admittedly, power users or small businesses might find that Evernote offers more, such as the Evernote Business service.

There is one other rival from a major Chinese web company in the form of Shanda’s Mknote; it was the market leader back in 2011, but it has seriously lost momentum thereafter, possibly hurt by a lack of marketing and a loss of trust after Shanda shut down it’s Dropbox-style cloud storage service earlier this year.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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