It’s not easy for Li Guoqing to start a new business

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Sina Technology Li Nan
Some people are more likely to attract attention than others. Among the bosses of the Internet circle, Li Guoqing is one of them.
“I’m open-minded and offended, please forgive me” – in December last year, Li Guoqing apologized publicly on Weibo and changed his profile into this sentence because of the huge controversy caused by comments on Liu qiangdong’s incident and hurt dangdangdangdang.
Dare to say, the real temperament is the impression Li Guoqing gives to the outside world. After getting used to formal expression, personalized entrepreneurs are easier for the public to remember. However, entrepreneurs are not talking at all. What’s more important is the products and services they launch.
For Li Guoqing, Dangdang is undoubtedly a very important career in his life. The founding of Dangdang once gave him great honor and wealth, but also deeply hurt him.
In February this year, Li Guoqing suddenly announced that he would leave Dangdang and start a new business. After that, he repeatedly mentioned the story of being forced to leave Dangdang by his wife Yu Yu. Even in a recent video interview, “it’s hard to be yourself” and drop a cup.
Some commentators said that he acted as a showman, while others expressed their understanding of his extreme actions. In a storm, Li Guoqing’s new project “reading in the morning and in the evening” once again came into the public eye.
Reading in the morning and evening is the third spring of Li Guoqing’s career. According to his idea, the market value of this new project can exceed that of Dangdang. For now, though, things are not optimistic.
Li Guoqing should be remembered
Few entrepreneurs talk about their family affairs in public repeatedly. Li Guoqing is one of the exceptions. This is related to his own situation. In Dangdang’s story, the topic of “husband and wife shop” is indispensable.
In November 1999, Li Guoqing and his wife Yu Yu jointly founded Dangdang. At that time, Internet shopping was still a strange thing for Chinese people, and Li Guoqing and his wife saw the online book shopping transaction. In his own words, “we dream that dangdang.com will become a company that will change China’s cultural industry and the reading of the whole people in the future.”
Compared with Li Guoqing, Yu Yu appears low-key and even mysterious. However, for Dangdang’s development, its merits cannot be ignored.
Yu Yu holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Beijing Institute of foreign languages and an MBA degree in finance and international business from the school of Business Administration of New York University. Before the founding of Dangdang, she had created a world on Wall Street, and finance was her strength. Soon after the establishment of Dangdang, the Internet bubble happened in 2000. In 2003, Yu Yu won 11 million US dollars from Tiger Fund for Dangdang.
On December 8, 2010, Dangdang was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, becoming the first B2C online mall in China based on online business and listed in the United States. On the day of listing, Dangdang’s share price rose 86%, and with the IPO financing amount of $313 million, it set a new record of financing amount for high-tech companies in the Asia Pacific region in 2010.
It was a time of high light for Li Guoqing and Yu Yu. When they searched for photos at that time, their photos often ranked first. Because of this commercial success, they were once regarded as a “model couple”. Li Guoqing also mentioned earlier that Liu often told him that he envied his wife who came back from Wall Street to help him with his business.
However, in 2011, a few months after Dangdang went public, Yu Yu said he did not support the couple’s entrepreneurship. In the interview with Yang Lan, Yu Yu mentioned his advice to entrepreneurs: “husband and wife should not start a business together. Life is not easy.” Because of Li Guoqing’s anger, Yu Yu didn’t return to his home in Beijing for more than a month. He lived alone in New York.
On Li Guoqing’s side, he repeatedly put forward similar views on “husband and wife entrepreneurship”.
In February this year, Li Guoqing suddenly announced that he would leave Dangdang and start a business again. As for the business model of “husband and wife shop”, he said there are advantages and disadvantages. Favorable places, such as “resisting all kinds of calculations, from capital, from partners”, he pointed out that “when the enterprise develops to a certain stage, it must end the management of husband and wife shop”.
Husband and wife agree that it can bring high operating efficiency in the early stage of enterprise development, and with the growth of the enterprise, if the decision-making between husband and wife is different, the internal friction will be very serious.
The most influential one in recent years is the debate about whether Dangdang will be sold to HNA in early 2018. “Both the management shareholders and Yu Yu want to sell HNA as soon as possible, but I don’t agree to sell HNA first, and if I sell HNA second, HNA is not a good option.” in an interview with Haike finance and economics, Li Guoqing said, “this is a huge difference”, which leads to his complete separation from Yu Yu.
Reflecting on Dangdang’s development, he concluded that “husband and wife shop” is always a compromise, which should be more courageous, more courageous, and more capital, and at the same time, it should attract more talents and give more equity incentive to existing talents.
Dangdang is an honor of Li Guoqing and also an unforgettable regret.
Eight months, it’s hard to be quiet
Leaving Dangdang, Li Guoqing issued a long letter. Among the words, what he revealed was more excitement and affection. “After experiencing countless peaks in my life and stepping into the midfield battle of the Internet, I decided to start again to pursue my dream.”
Perhaps because he often deals with books, Li Guoqing sometimes gives people a sense of literary scholars. At that time, he quoted two sentences: “the past is thick and light, the color is clear, and it is light. After years of sorrow and joy, it’s as pure as a mirror, and it’s quiet. ” Now it’s not easy to be quiet.
When I left Dangdang eight months ago, Li Guoqing said, “I believe that after I left Dangdang management, I ended the management structure of the husband and wife shop. Yu Yuhui led the company to create a free and easy future and provide quality services to nearly 300 million users of Dangdang.” Li expressed regret for some problems in Dangdang’s development, but the wording was not fierce.
Three months ago, an exclusive article entitled “How Li Guoqing was expelled from dangdang.com” suddenly spread, and Li Guoqing recounted his experience in Dangdang in detail.

According to its statement, on the evening of January 14, 2018, the family re read the Yongzheng Dynasty, and was “seeing the eight kings forcing the palace, they snatched power from the emperor and said that the play of power division”. Yu Yu Yu mentioned to Li Guoqing, “Oh, why don’t you agree to sell HNA?” Li Guoqing said his views were the same. At 6 o’clock the next day, Li Guoqing received a letter to compel him to hand over his new business and accept the sale of HNA.
There’s another thing that gets the outside world’s attention. Li Guoqing mentioned that Dangdang’s board of directors had clearly made a resolution that “Yu Yu, as chairman of the board of directors, will go home to stay”, while Li Guoqing took the resolution of the board of directors and did not implement it.
“My heart is soft.” “I cheated people back from Wall Street in 1996. At that time, it was still a craze to go abroad. It was not easy to go back to China from Wall Street. At that time, she was not the representative of overseas returnees back from entrepreneurship. How brave she was to marry back.”
“Li Guoqing had a chance to make a 180 degree reversal of the current situation, in other words, Yu Yu could be out,” the article wrote.
In the near future, Li Guoqing’s wording of mentioning the past has become more and more severe, and even used the expression of “intrigue” to his wife Yu Yu’s practice. He made it clear that he could not forgive Yu “because she is my wife”. When asked, does it “feel like a thorn?” Li Guoqing’s feeling is hard to control. He smashed the water cup on the ground before he got up.
For a while, the eyes were all around. Some people doubted that it was a show to break a cup, while others expressed their understanding. At present, neither Dangdang nor Li Guoqing’s new venture project has outstanding performance, but Li Guoqing’s words and deeds still have a high degree of concern. Soon, “Li Guoqing in the interview angry water cup” landing microblog and shake sound two hot search list.
Being forced to leave the palace became something Li Guoqing could not forget. Yu Yu has not made a voice at present.
In the subsequent response, Li Guoqing apologized for his “feeling difficult” act of falling the cup, “conspiracy or design, the past will pass.” He said that he would lead the new entrepreneurship project “to study sooner or later” to “create a new tomorrow”.
Sooner or later reading and its rivals
Li Guoqing’s new project is to study in the morning and evening, as Jianfeng points out, at the expense of knowledge.
He believes that the current knowledge payment market is “rough”. There are serious problems such as serious soliciting contributions, poor advertising experience and false list of books.
How to choose a book? It was mentioned in the previous press conference that reading in the morning and evening will be supported by big data, real and effective data such as best sellers list, hot topic list, content practicability, classic list, content differentiation, customer demand and so on. In addition, storytellers, member representatives, book selection editors, etc. will occupy a certain proportion in the book selection group.
(source: morning and evening reading public account)
In addition, it was also mentioned in the conference that in the morning and evening, all the tutors invited for reading were “people who have read thousands of books, walked thousands of miles, experienced thousands of things, and expressed their feelings”. 40 of the first phase of the conference entered the preparation and preparation state, including Yu Minhong, Jia Pingwa, Zhang Shaogang, Ji Lianhai and other celebrities. At the same time, it claimed that “1100 KOLs from different cultural fields have been invited to join the lecture group”.
Although it sounds good, at the end of the day, it’s still reading books. On this track, the products have grown. Getting, Fandeng reading, and even the Himalayas and other audio platforms are all rivals to be challenged in the morning and evening.
It can be found from reading in the morning and evening that at present, the content of this platform mainly involves six categories: Humanities, parent-child, workplace, management, gender, self-development, etc. Popular readers include Li Guoqing himself, Dai Jianye, Ji Lianhai, etc. In the list of reading volume, lightning expansion, interpreted by Li Guoqing, topped the list, with about 47000 times of broadcasting.
(from left to right, top six in reading volume in the morning and evening)
Intuitively, the amount of content provided by reading in the morning and evening is relatively small and the richness is slightly poor. As a contrast, we get more choices for users. In addition to the listening service, it also provides courses, e-books, lectures, etc. offered by scholars and experts, covering a wider range of content categories.
(comparison between reading in the morning and in the evening and the homepage obtained)
One of the major problems faced by knowledge payment products is the homogenization of content. Especially speaking of intercom books. This one is about CAI Kangyong’s EQ class, and the other is about it. Ordinary users may not be able to make a detailed distinction between the two. More generally, since this family has one, it’s here to listen. There is inertia in the use of products, which can provide more content platform and naturally attract more users.
Mu Yu, who worked in an investment institution, was once a heavy user. She mentioned that Luo Zhenyu would listen to every book he talked about an hour at a time, and felt that he was “particularly suitable for running a 10km”. But now she’s a heavy user in the Himalayas, “because there are more choices.”
(both Himalayan and dragonfly MF offer more content)
In addition, although reading in the morning and evening emphasizes the selection of storytellers and claims that “the right person, the right book, and the right thing to do”, there are also experts on other platforms.
It’s not easy to rebuild
According to Li Guoqing’s expectation, this venture is “fully capable, short for three years, slow for five years, making more profits and market value than Dangdang”. But when it comes to easy talking, it’s not necessarily easy to do. In addition to the competition of forerunners, the knowledge payment industry itself is also facing challenges.
2016 is regarded as the first year of knowledge payment, and a number of “players”, such as Himalaya and Gete, have entered the game. However, by 2018, there were constant singing failures and doubts, and the industry turned to discuss the cold winter of content entrepreneurship and knowledge payment. It’s a bit out of time to get back into the game.
In the middle of 2018, the communication big data Innovation Laboratory of School of Journalism and communication of Jinan University and 21 Financial app jointly released the 2018 knowledge payment Research Report, which pointed out that with the public’s sense of freshness of knowledge payment products reduced, the user repurchase rate decreased, and the total use time reduced, the whole knowledge payment bank including the first-line knowledge applications of Himalayas, Zhihu live, etc. The industry began to suffer from declining revenue.

The report summarizes the four dilemmas faced by the development of knowledge payment: payment is the “original sin”, users who are used to obtaining information in free environment have not fully formed the habit of paying for reading; frequent infringement and serious plagiarism; insufficient construction capacity of high-quality content, low repurchase rate of users; selling anxiety and emotional purchase.
However, the demand for knowledge payment does exist. Xiaolin, the product manager, has been using this kind of product for several years, so you can watch it when you are free. In his feelings, such products meet the essential needs of self-improvement, and he also has the desire for self-improvement. For the Internet practitioners, Qiu Han can use this kind of products to understand the most cutting-edge views of the industry, “especially the views of many industry leaders, which are instructive and useful for knowledge reserve and industry direction.”
Mu Yu mentioned one thing that surprised her: when she was eating, Mu Yu listened to Wu Zetian in the Himalayas. The cook aunt who didn’t write well at home heard that, so she asked Mu Yu to help her to install one. Bathe in the rain to her download to teach her how to use, later found that the aunt found the cooking tutorial on it. “I think this is particularly good, thanks to the Internet, thanks for knowledge payment,” said Mu Yu to Sina Technology.
In the knowledge payment products, there are often a lot of free content. However, they give people more access to knowledge, or valuable information. To a certain extent, they promote the equality of people’s access to knowledge. Further, it is possible to change people’s temporary life and even life.
For Li Guoqing, there is also thinking about “knowledge changes fate” when he does the start-up project of reading sooner or later. He once said that it has always been his entrepreneurial belief to improve the national reading capacity and let more people change their destiny through knowledge. “When I was doing it, it was this belief. Now I am doing it sooner or later, or to realize my belief. This time, I want to help more people read good books in a more direct way.
The problem now is that compared with the hot attention Li Guoqing has attracted, his new project needs to be “low-key”. Many people have heard that sooner or later, they read books because of the recent “cup falling” incident.
Eight months ago, when he announced that he was leaving Dangdang, Li Guoqing asked himself, “young hearts, temples like frost, can you create brilliance?” At present, the answer is hard to say.
(at the request of the visitors, bathing in the rain and cold in autumn is a pseudonym)