On March 9, 2020, the U.S. stock market ushered in a comprehensive decline. But the stock of zoom video bucked the trend and its stock price has risen 67% in the past month.
This is novel coronavirus related to some extent. As the epidemic becomes more and more serious, many companies and organizations have to start work at home, and zoom is the most important basic tool for home office.
People use zoom to launch teleconferencing and carry out daily communication. Zoom supports the daily operation of Companies in many epidemic areas.
What many people don’t know, however, is that most of zoom’s engineers are in China, the country heavily affected by the virus outbreak.
Zoom makes it clear in the “risk factors” section of its prospectus:
For example, our product development team is largely based in China, where personnel costs are less expensive than in many other jurisdictions. If we had to relocate our product development team from China to another jurisdiction, we could experience, among other things, higher operating expenses, which would adversely impact our operating margins and harm our business. In addition, we would need to spend considerable time and effort recruiting a new product development team, which would distract management and adversely impact our ability to continue improving our platform’s features and functionality.
As of January 31, 2019, Zoom’s R&D HQ in China has more than 500 employees, accounting for about 30% of its total employees. This makes the research and development cost of zoom far lower than that of similar SaaS enterprises in the United States.
According to the information of State Administration for Industry and commerce, Zoom has two companies in China, namely Soft Video Software (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. and Soft Video Software (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd.
Among them, the highest-paid position is “system architect engineer”, with a monthly salary of between 20, 000 and 34,000 yuan, requiring more than eight years of relevant experience, according to a job posting released by Zoom’s company in Suzhou on March 4. The average pre-tax monthly salary for all posts is about 20,000 yuan.
For Zoom, having a Chinese founder and CEO seems to be more helpful in recruiting talent in China. Zoom also wrote in the prospectus:
Eric S. Yuan, is critical to our overall management, as well as the continued development of our products, services, the Zoom platform, our culture, our strategic direction, engineering and our operations in China.
The international version of Zoom was banned in mainland China in September last year, and users in mainland China can only use its Chinese version. It has been announced that services will be provided free of charge to users in mainland China during the epidemic.
A Chinese business owner said in an interview that when users of the Chinese version of Zoom video conferencing with foreign users, the video and audio quality deteriorated significantly, accompanied by stutters and disconnections. By contrast, he prefers to communicate with foreign customers through Google Meet with VPN.
In China, Zoom has a strong rival, Tencent meeting, a free online conference system launched by Tencent, a Chinese social giant. On March 6, Tencent meeting topped the free app list of Apple App Store in China.
In addition, “Ding talk”, an office application developed by Alibaba, and “Lark” developed by byte skipping, also achieved high-speed growth in this epidemic. These two are not just video conferencing software, but “Slack” integrated with video conferencing function.
With the end of the winter vacation in mid-February, almost all Chinese schools began to use the Internet for classes. Most of them use “Ding Talk” because it is an enhanced version of the chat software. Teachers can manage classes through group functions, collect students’ homework, count attendance information, and generate various statistical reports-functions that were originally used for business management.
The proudest feature of Ding Talk is called “Ding”, which is a kind of push notification that gradually enhances the effect of notification over time. When you send a “Ding”, if the message is not read by the recipient for a period of time, the notification method of the message will gradually escalate: the user will initially receive a App notification, followed by a text message, then a voice call from App, and finally a phone call (dialed by Ding Talk’s call center, a machine voice will read out the message. )
Due to the convenience of function, some schools in Japan also begin to use Ding Talk. As primary and middle school students do not want to take online classes, Ding Talk has received a large number of poor reviews in App Store in many countries, Alibaba regards it as an honor.