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  • Jack Lau

Facebook's Profit Jumped to US$2 billion/quarter up from $1B just 6 months ago; and Google,Amazo

When a company is worth more than US$1 billion , we call that company a "Unicorn". What do we call a company whose profit alone is a US$1 billion? I suppose that would make it a mega-super T-Rex. And, Facebook, which 6 months ago was making US$1 billion a quarter, has just reported a few days ago, that its profit is now US$2 billion a quarter. Thanks to its mobile strategy. 1.7 billion people now use Facebook.

I have been traveling to a few countries, and almost everyone I see on the buses, trains, and subways look at Facebook while commuting. Such an incredible phenomenon.

And, you would have thought that given the economy slowing down (most people think that is the case), a lot of companies would be struggling, but technology giants are shining again.

Google (more correctly Alphabet) just reported a profit of US$4.88 billion, citing the same reasons as Facebook in being able to capitalize on the mobile ad market.

So, how big is the digital ad market anyway? A whopping US$187 billion market! Google controls 31% and Facebook controls 12%. I remember decades ago, people told me the most important thing in internet business is the "eye-ball" time. Who would have thought? And, of course, it's quite sad that Yahoo now will be sold for a song (relatively speaking) of something less than US$5 billion.

And, yes, I do have a soft spot for Amazon --- a service which I know I have consistently paid for (contrast that with Google and Facebook where most end consumers don't actually pay). And as a technology enthusiast, of course, I cheer for the Kindle, the Echo --- you know the physical stuff, and soft stuff like the AWS backend cloud. So, I am really happy to see that Amazon's quarterly profit has is US$857 million.

So, what is the takeaway today, and the thoughts on Asia? Well, that is kind of obvious, right? Neither Google, nor Facebook, nor Amazon's main market is China. Among the so-called "Four Horsemen", only Apple has a big chunk in China. Wouldn't it be obvious that the somewhat equivalent of Google, Facebook, and Amazon will all do well in China as well? I mean Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba? Love to see more comparison about them.

And, of course, being in Hong Kong, it is great to see both the "Four Horsemen" and the Chinese giants in action in the city and in Shenzhen. You get to see first hand.

And, really, is there any room for anyone else in the market? I sure hope so.


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