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ByteDance’s “online education” layoffs, Tencent/Netease games are down, is the data center trembling?

August 07, 2021


On August 5th, a screenshot of the dialogue of "All By-byte's education section was cut" went viral on the Internet, although the byte beating responded that the news was untrue. However, the company's Vigorous Education did make large-scale adjustments. You took one, GOGOKID was suspended, Guagualong and Qingbei online schools were retained, but Guagualong was rumored to be layoffs by more than half.


Since the adoption of the "Opinions on Further Reducing the Burden of Compulsory Education Students' Homework and Off-campus Training" (hereinafter referred to as the "Double Reduction Policy") in May, everyone in the education industry is at risk. News of layoffs and adjustments have been exposed in New Oriental, Good Future, Job Gang, etc., including the current bytebeat, and the smooth path of online education has become a swamp.

Once the "Blue Ocean Market"

In just a few months, the online education market has undergone a sudden change. Before the double reduction policy came out, online education was a proper blue ocean market. Statistics show that from 2017 to the present, the growth rate of the online education market in 2019 is less than 20%, and the remaining years have maintained a high growth rate of more than 20%. The market size is expected to grow from 485.8 billion yuan in 2020 to 2021. It will eventually exceed 800 billion yuan in 2025. Now, these data predictions are in the "past tense".


2020 may be the last highlight of online education. This year, there were nearly 100,000 new online education companies nationwide, bringing the total number to 700,000. So far, we have seen the extreme breakdown of online education scenes, K12, English, minor languages, studying abroad, thinking, memory, observation, nursery rhymes, puzzles... every platform has its own strengths, and sales always tell parents: " Your child has shortcomings in this aspect and will suffer in the future."


The epidemic ignited online education. According to the statistics of QuestMobile, during the epidemic in February 2020, the weekly active numbers of Xueersi Online School, Homework Assistant, and Yuanjiao were 615.9, 740.8, and 3.781 million, respectively, and their own traffic increased by more than 5 times year-on-year.


Before the double reduction policy came out, the number of Chinese netizens provided a solid foundation for online education to "tell stories." According to CNNIC's statistics, as of December 2020, the overall scale of Chinese Internet users has reached 989 million. With the support of this kind of big data, capital is eagerly chasing online education, but anyone who engages in online education can easily get financing, especially for children who can "learn something". At the same time, online education has also demonstrated its ability to attract money. In 2019, the gross profit margins of Suntech, GSX, 51TALK and other institutions were higher than 70%.


Here is a review of Yuandao's financing milestones from 2017 to the present:

·2017-05-31, E round, the capital is Warburg Pincus, Tencent, the scale is 120 million U.S. dollars.

·2018-11-05, strategic investment, the capital is Tencent, the scale is 250 million US dollars.

·2018-12-25, F round, the capital is Warburg Pincus, Tencent, IDG Capital and Jingwei China, the scale is 300 million US dollars.

· 2020-03-31, in other rounds, the capital is Hillhouse Capital, Tencent, Boyu Capital and IDG Capital, with a scale of RMB 1 billion.

· 2020-12-24, unknown, the capital is Yunfeng Capital, with a scale of 300 million US dollars.


Multi-billion yuan of funds has promoted Yuandaodao to appear in front of us in a "visual bombardment" way. TV, elevators, mobile phones, computers, public advertising screens...The advertisements of Yuandaodao have been overwhelming for a long time. .


Tencent appears very frequently in Yuandaodao’s investment mileage. In fact, in 2020 alone, Tencent has participated in the financing of more than 10 online education platforms. As of 2020, Tencent has invested in nearly 50 online education platforms.


Now, as soon as the double reduction policy came out, Tencent, like Bytedance, is also one of the most affected companies.


Online games in the game

As a technology giant, Tencent's recent "worry" is not only online education. At present, its online game business has also been greatly challenged, especially the mobile game represented by "Glory of the King".


Statistics show that as of March 2020, the number of downloads of the mobile game "Honor of Kings" reached a staggering 840 million. And according to the July mobile game rankings released by the mobile application data service provider Cicada Master, the current downloads of "King of Glory" can still reach 2.5943 million monthly, ranking first in the mobile game download list.

Game projects such as "King of Glory" have brought huge profits to Tencent. Statistics show that in 2020, the actual sales revenue of China's game market will be 278.687 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 20.71%. Tencent Games, which occupies half of the industry, will achieve operating revenue of 156.1 billion yuan in 2020.


However, it is common for minors to indulge in online games. "Elementary school students" used to play games as ridicule, but it has now become a fact. This has aroused the attention of the central media, and published an article commenting on "Glory of the King", and related articles have aroused great attention on the Internet. The article mentioned that "Glory of the King" has become the most popular online game among students, and 47.59% of the students participating in the survey often play "Glory of the King". Judging from the fact that this article was "harmoniously" re-launched, all parties are currently gambling.


Of course, Tencent is also actively seeking change. On August 3, Tencent Games issued a statement that in order to further increase the protection of minors, it will gradually launch seven new measures of "Double Reduction, Doubles, and Three Advocates" for all games from the pilot of "Glory of the King". At the same time, Tencent also proposed that the entire industry discuss the feasibility of banning elementary school students under the age of 12 from entering the game.


On the gaming side, NetEase is more nervous than Tencent. NetEase's "2020 Annual Financial Performance Report" shows that NetEase's revenue in 2020 will be 73.67 billion yuan, mainly from online games, Youdao, innovation and other businesses, of which online game business revenue will reach 54.61 billion yuan, accounting for 74 %. It can be seen that NetEase has a high dependence on the game business.


The data center takes the lead

In 2020, the outbreak of the epidemic ignited "remote" and "online", and also gave the game business a "second spring". Some practitioners have made such a judgment: online education, telemedicine, telecommuting and online games will carry the innovative growth of IDC and cloud computing services for a long time in the future. More than a year's time has passed, the four major growth forces have gone to one of them, and online games are also pending. Moreover, in terms of volume, the large-scale collapse of online education is the largest in the market, reaching 485.8 billion yuan. The remaining three markets are 22.9 billion yuan for remote office, 16.5 billion yuan for telemedicine, and 278.7 billion yuan for online games. Yuan.


If the policy is tightened or even strangled, capital will evade and retreat, the market will shrink, and even the demand will drop, and the data center will be in this demand. Before talking about the specific impact, let's briefly introduce the data center business model.


The data center is divided into a basic layer and an application layer. The basic layer includes hardware equipment, servers, and IDC architecture providers. Hardware equipment vendors include Schneider, Emerson, Narada Power and Invic, etc.; server providers include Inspur, Sugon, Qingyun and Ziguang, etc.; IDC computer room service providers are mainly AtHub, Dr. Peng, 21Vianet, Aofei Data, and IWC Data, Guohuaxin.com, Baosight Software and Wangsu Technology, etc.


The application layer is mainly telecom operators, cloud computing and software. Telecom operators are mainly China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom; cloud computing service providers include Alibaba Cloud, Tencent Cloud, Huawei Cloud, Baidu Cloud, Yifang Cloud, etc.; software services include Youyou, Neusoft and Tsinghua Tongfang Wait.


In terms of software services, most of them are creating cloud-based enterprise operation solutions, which are less related, so we will not discuss them.


Next, let's take a look at the influence of telecom operators. Some people in the industry share data that the monthly broadband cost for online education is about 10 million yuan per million people, so the cost is hundreds of millions a year. Statistics show that there will be 315 million online learners in China in 2020, and a rough calculation will cost more than 30 billion yuan in bandwidth.


Although the market size of the targeted games is not as large as online education, the number of them is large. According to the "China Game Industry Report 2020", the number of Chinese game users in 2020 will reach 665 million, which is double the number of online learning users. In terms of time, the Ministry of Education stipulates that online learning for minors does not exceed 2.5 hours a day. As the main force of learning, they spend 17.5 hours a week even if they are full every day. On the other hand, the average playing time per week of the Chinese is about 15 hours, and there is not much difference in time. Therefore, for the consumption of network bandwidth, online games are only a lot more than online learning.


Of course, gaming is not an all-round impact. According to Tencent's data, minors account for only 6% of gaming consumption.


Next is the cloud service/IDC and the hardware behind it. In terms of cloud services, Alibaba Cloud is expected to be most affected. According to previous reports, Good Future, New Oriental, VIPKID, Yuanjiao, Hujiang Education, etc. are all customers of Alibaba Cloud. In the past five years, Alibaba Cloud has served more than 5,000 online education companies, and more than 80% of online education companies have key The business system is deployed on Alibaba Cloud, and Alibaba Cloud has emphasized in 2016 that more than 80% of online education will be cloudified. In the financial report for the first fiscal quarter of fiscal year 2022 (that is, Q2 of the calendar year 2021), Alibaba stated that the industry rectification of online education will also affect Alibaba Cloud's revenue. From the perspective of Alibaba Cloud's single-quarter revenue of 16.051 billion yuan, it can be clearly stated that Alibaba Cloud has an impact, and the floating range is expected to be greater than 1 billion yuan, depending on Alibaba's financial report in the next quarter.


Here is a piece of data worth referring to. As an IDC computer room service provider for companies such as Alibaba Cloud and Tencent Cloud, Baosight Software's computer room listing rate in April 2020 is close to 100%, and it has been operating at full capacity throughout the year. What is the average value? Before 2020, the average shelf rate of large data centers is 59.8%, and that of small and medium-sized data centers is 56.4%. This extra 40% is actually most of the new needs such as online education, online games and remote office.


Of course, the 100% listing rate of Baosight Software is a bit exaggerated, but according to the "Insight Report on China's Data Center Industry Development in 2020", the average listing rate of IDC computer rooms nationwide in 2020 will be higher than 70%, and the rate of mainstream IDC computer rooms will be higher than 75. %, a year-on-year increase of more than 16% is the average level of the entire industry. In the same way, online education has the largest volume in the increase. Now that online education is in danger, this part of the demand will directly evaporate.


Write at the end

What must be said here is that the author has a "one size fits all" subjective assumption in some data processing, but everyone should also notice that when assessing the impact, the various data have been as low as possible. After the two phases are offset, the trend is still obvious. When online education is abandoned by capital and online games hang over the head, the data center industry chain will usher in a storm, which will bring a series of negative effects: cloud computing resources will be released, IDC Idle servers will appear on the racks, operators' bandwidth requirements will shrink, and servers need to find new purchase requirements.


However, some people in the industry said in an exchange: "It is estimated that this is not the worst case. When games are all "poisons", short video platforms such as Douyin and Kuaishou will be better?"