Wednesday, December 13, 2006

中資向外闖的惡果

近年,中國公司都有個怪習慣,就是錢賺多了,就喜歡向外闖,「走向世界」變成了每家「新發財」公司業務更上一層樓的標誌,其中一個常見的方法,就是收購合併一些外國知名公司的業務或者子公司,以鈔票把這些外國大公司的名字「拿下來」。可惜,外國大公司願意出賣的,正正也是業務發展不理想的負資產,其潛在價值極其量只有大公司的品牌罷了。中國「新發財」買到的只有「名」,想要「利」,卻變成妙想天開。

TCL多媒體(1070)最近發通告,指其全資子公司TTE(TTE Corp.)(一間於04年由TCL與湯姆遜(Thomson)組成的合營,及後變成TCL全資附屬),於北美業務應可轉虧為盈,成功「甩身」。皆因TTE在北美地區大量推出用CRT的大尺碼數碼電視,以及平價數碼電視,而美國人的住宅面積一向巨大,表面看來,TCL應該有機會在北美「甩身」。但如果大家睇清楚北美地區電視技術發展趨勢,禤中怡會勸大家不要太老定。一方面,由2007年開始,模擬電視制式開始在北美淘汰,進入換電視高峰期時,究竟美國人仍然鍾情耗電高的CRT,還是LCD電視,因大尺碼LCD跌價頗快,而生產LCD賺錢的都只是台灣、韓國公司,下游的電視機製造商就得個做字。

這次不同於TCL買阿爾卡特(Alcatel)手機業務,當時是連一堆技術及專利一同買入,TCL當時夥湯姆遜只是買其品牌,湯姆遜本身並沒有很多北美數碼電視專利技術,如數碼電視發展以LCD為主,TCL想靠北美業務翻身頗困難。近年中台兩地收購外國大牌子,很多都是焦頭爛額收場,除TCL外,聯想(992)收購IBM個人電腦(PC)部門,現時仍未止血。台灣明基收購德國西門子手機業務,更壯士斷臂將手機業務送去破產算數,反而德國西門子手機技術專利已搬往明基手上,無必要再養薪酬高的歐洲員工。

何苦要以高價買品牌呢?現時很多品牌只要口碑好也可快速崛起,你話數年前有多少人知道「Google」是何方神聖呢?更不用說可預料Google成一代股王。最重要的是有多少技術實力在手,現時最賺錢的是工業設計及技術而非品牌。如中國公司仍要玩貴到死的品牌收購,禤中怡反應很簡單,趁機出貨收錢走人,免得日後走得「摩」變大閘蟹就不好了。

eBay創造小鎮商機
eBay這隻巨型「怪獸」近來被雅虎(Yahoo!)和谷歌(Google)搶去不少曝光機會,查實今年最先大手入貨的就是eBay,這間公司收購Skype後,才觸發一連串巨型收購行動。為甚麼指eBay是怪獸?皆因她的商業模式也算是由「藍海策略」所產生,利用網上拍賣各式各樣物品,真正自己創造一個新市場出來,雖然股價未有顯著起色,上周五收市價比去年底還低,可謂「潛水」中,但原來有不少人已依賴她去生存。eBay上月進行為期3周調查顯示,單是在美國便估計有75萬人藉此維生,包括出售、競投、購買的交易外,連同在eBay社區討論區和慈善活動使用量達5,200萬人次,可說十分厲害。調查發現這些網上商家來源並非大家熟悉的華盛頓、三藩市或芝加哥,而是一些小城鎮,差不多在每10宗生意裡,便有8宗來自小城鎮。排第一位的是新澤西(New Jersey)的Lumberton,是甚麼地方連禤中怡也一時答不上,查一查,竟在網站找到00年時,這鎮有逾1萬人口,57%成年人已婚,相信現在變化不大吧!排第二的是田納西州那什維爾(Nashville, Tenn),真的摸不著頭腦,但看見賭城拉斯維加斯和加尼福利亞的Graton入圍就不同,Graton只有約700個家庭,原來居民主要是藝術家、音樂家和作家,難怪人少少,上網活動卻那麼頻繁。

(12月13日刊於《am730》)

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