iAsk: Why did Fu Sheng 'sell his child' ?
From Kingsoft Security to Cheetah Mobile Inc. (NYSE: CMCM), Fu Sheng goes into the content industry from the tool application, and then to the sales of "child". Obsessed with artificial intelligence, he successfully won 600 million global users in three years.
Where does the speed of Cheetah Mobile come from?
When Fu Sheng renamed the Kingsoft Network to Cheetah Mobile Inc. in 2014, he did not have the ambition of fighting against the competitor, let alone dominating the industry. He paid attention to the characteristic of fastest running speed of the animal on the land, which was in conformity with the mission of the company. At that time, he was a poor man without far-reaching ambition who only wanted to get the full investment and let Cheetah Mobile survive.
In March of 2014, the number of monthly active users (MAU) at the mobile terminal of Cheetah Mobile increased to 223 million, an increase of 400% over the previous year. In May, it was successfully listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and the psychological pressure of Fu Sheng was finally released. But after getting the money, suddenly, he found how to spend money became the biggest problem. Fu Sheng began to play the dual role of entrepreneurs and investors.
In May 2015, Inke App was released it's 1.0 version on App Store. In June, Huajiao Live App was first released, and live broadcast began to flourish in China. Fu Sheng spotted the opportunity. At that time Inke was valued to be tens of million yuan. He had talked well about the investment with Feng Yousheng, the founder of Inke App, but finally lost this chance because the result of "unsatisfactory team execution ability". So, when Cheetah Mobile finally created the APP by itself, the market of live broadcast has been blooming everywhere. This has become a great regret for Fu Sheng.
A year later, the Live.me launched by Cheetah Mobile appeared at the top of the Google Play social rankings in the United States and entered the top three of the Apple App Store American social rankings. To avoid China and regard the United States as the main battlefield is the vision of Fu Sheng.
Fu Sheng is not good at English. When he saw Jack Ma's English speech, he thought, "if I am good at English as him, Cheetah Mobile might be more successful in the overseas market."Many backbones in his team come from Kingsoft Antivirus, but their internationalization is not strong. "When we went to the United States to have a 60 people meeting for the first time, more than 20 people didn't even get their visas or passports, and finally they failed to go there." Fu Sheng told iAsk Media. There seems to be regret in his speech, but more is the relief and confidence.
It is such a Fu Sheng who doesn't look international at all. He has created a typical international company with a team that wasn't very internationalized at the beginning.
Now the news software NewsPublic is widely praised in India and other places, and the live broadcast software Live.me has countless fans in the United States and Indonesia. In July 2017, the four mobile phone games of Cheetah Mobile entered the top ten in the Download List of the iOS mobile phone games in China, including the Dancing Line, Piano Block 2 and so on. Cheetahs Mobile have more than one hundred million active users in the field of mobile phone games, and 77.3% of them are from overseas.
This comes from the underlying law embraced by Fu Sheng.
"All human beings are similar. A pattern that works in China will also work in the US". After reading Jobs's biography, he believed more in this, so he would go all in to fight as long as the market of the other party did not appear.
When the cheetah is creeping in the shadows and everything is so quiet, then the impalas will be killed. With sharp eyes and quick action, it can kill the enemy within one move.
For more than 10 years'experience in China's Internet start-up industry, Fu Sheng has witnessed the constant changes and the surging of entrepreneurs and companies. From the imitation of Silicon Valley to the smart hardware industry that has almost occupied the United States now, “the entrepreneurial environment is better than that in many countries." When entering the US in that year, a software similar to YY voice made by an Israel company occupied a large share on the market. Fu Sheng judged that the executive power efficiency of the other parties were not as good as Chinese companies, and in a short period, Cheetah Mobile swallowed up many combinations of other companies.
Domestic AT (Alibaba, Tencent) and other giants have long encroached on online retailers and other industries, and countless venture companies eye with hostility in the jungle, while the foreign competitors include Apple, Google and Facebook. " Will Apple purchase Disney? Will it enter the content industry? " These all made him frightened. "One policy of theirs can affect your income of ten or twenty percent."
Will Fu Sheng scrape the poison off the bone in this world 10X speed?
From the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2017, the number of monthly active users of Cheetah Mobile increased a bit, while the number of monthly active users at the core APP declined by 49.9%. At the same time, the stock price fluctuated and encountered going short. The software market had been gradually controlled by mobile phone manufacturers and the tool applications had lost their advantages.
In the past two or three years, Cheetah Mobile has gained new vitality from the simple tool applications to the field of content, and the prospect of this path is now bleak.
In 2017, Cheetah Mobile sold the flow stars during the past few years, Musically and NewsRepublic. Live.me accepted 50 million investments from Toutiao Today. Plus $300 million of cash accumulated before, Fu Sheng collected 600 million dollars in cash.
If he wanted to be Allan Zhang, VP of Tencent and founder of WeChat, or Pony Ma, founder and chairman and CEO of Tencent, he must know how to choose. He aimed at artificial intelligence.
In March 2018, Cheetah Mobile will launch service robot products, mainly in the patrolling and reception areas. He said to iAsk Media that this would be cheaper and better than robots in the industry.
In the case of "the core competition of the mobile Internet is over", is it possible to build a robot that is better and cheaper than others in a year and a half? For what?
"For everyone has not entered this industry."
His confidence comes from Kingsoft Antivirus and Cheetah cleanup master. He even asked iAsk Media, "why can we do so well in a clean- up software and a security software?"
Cheetah Mobile announced the expansion of AI business in 2016, and it claimed, "All in". At that time, the Internet giants still had fewer actions. Alibaba Cloud Computing just set up a quantum computing laboratory with Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Baidu just put forward artificial intelligence as the future development direction. But in the next two years, the artificial intelligence in the market were like bamboo shoots after a spring rain.
Cheetah Mobile did walk in the front. In May 2017, it purchased about 30% of shares of the AI technology company, Beijing OrionStar. In July, it won the champion in the millions of celebrity recognition competitions held by Microsoft Corp, which was called the "Face Recognition World Cup".
Live.me begun to incorporate face recognition technology, while Cheetah had many applications to be accessed. In addition, Cheetah also launched a small AI sound box with Himalaya FM, and launched the "Xiaoai Classmate" AI sound box with Xiaomi. Fu Sheng said, as to the accuracy rate of speech recognition in the far field, "we should be the top one."
However, although more than 120 AI companies received 23 billion financing in the first half of 2017, the return on business was negligible, and more than 30 venture companies that had obtained investment also closed with great risks.
Fu Sheng was not afraid, even if he finally might lose a bet. "Like seeds, plant more, and they always grow some fruit."
This is the jungle law of ten times of speed in the world, but also because of this, Cheetah can dash on the vast grasslands.
iAsk Quick Q&A with Fu Sheng
Gloria Ai: what's the difference in the robots you produce?
Fu Sheng: Relatively cheaper and better in use, just as the difference in the cleaning software we produce, why can we do so well in a cleaning and security software.
Gloria Ai: From more than a year ago to March 2018, during the time of one year and a half, you create a robot that is cheaper and better than others? How?
Fu Sheng: For everyone has not entered this industry.
Gloria Ai: So it's all by your foresight, right?
Fu Sheng: Yes.
Gloria Ai: Now how much time do you spend on the original business of Cheetah? How much on the layout in the future?
Fu Sheng: 30% and 70%.
Gloria Ai: 70% in the future?
Fu Sheng: Right.
Gloria Ai: Can you tell me what's your cognition about the future?
Fu Sheng: I think there is a very important point, that is poverty limits imagination. In fact, the essence that limits your imagination is your past cognition. We are all used to thinking about the world in a continuous way, but maybe we are probably facing a world of ten times of speed where all things can be ten times as big in the short term.
Gloria Ai: As the founder of the Cheetah Mobile, how do you know that 70% of the future is the direction? For example, the artificial intelligence you are working for.
Fu Sheng: Yeah, I don't know, maybe it's going to die, too.
Gloria Ai: Maybe it's a wrong bet.
Fu Sheng: Yes, maybe it's a wrong bet. So, at this time, you can only increase some probability. You see that today is not just Cheetah. In fact, BAT has a lot of panic in essence.
Gloria Ai: If AI is the next draught, I can be the next Ma Yun and the next Ma Huateng. If it were you, what would you choose?
Fu Sheng: Join companies like Cheetah Mobile that are entrepreneurial and have a certain scale.
Gloria Ai: You said you want to become Allan Zhang and Tony Ma, right?
Fu Sheng: Yes, the Internet has greatly eliminated information barriers, and the essence of entrepreneurship is to find information barriers. You stealthily work on the fields others do not know and you do quite well. So, today's entrepreneurship is only suitable for the opportunity of high speed explosion, such as bicycle which has a short-term technological explosion, and no time for giants to react, because a decision cycle is three to six months, and maybe it's already in the market.
Gloria Ai: You are not internationalized at the beginning, but you are very internationalized in your career. How did you do that?
Fu Sheng: I always try to look for the underlying law, that is, go beyond those appearances to see the core. I am not very good at English, but there are few people who really and carefully read those Chinese materials that have been translated from English language.
Gloria Ai: But you read them.
Fu Sheng: It is important to read. You have to read some books translated by Silicon Valley. You have to read some abstracts. Then talk to some people and take notes carefully. This actually makes me think a lot. Language does not mean absolute disunity of one's own thinking.
Gloria Ai: What's the most frequent English word you have been using?
Fu Sheng: Dream.
Gloria Ai: Who do you say the word to?
Fu Sheng: Tell our colleagues and to the outside. Once you enter the interview, there are many similar questions about why you want to do it.
Gloria Ai: Do you still have dream now?
Fu Sheng: I hope to make our future robots good enough because people are getting more and more reluctant to have children, right. In fact, people are supposed to be oviparous but not viviparous in that the cost is too high. Then, because of the demographic dividend of human beings, including the huge challenge of the Chinese population dividend, and everyone wants to live more like people, then we can only make machines more like machines.