tv Bloomberg West Bloomberg April 17, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm EDT
from pier three in san francisco, welcome to "bloomberg west." i am emily chang. shares of the twitter of china are gaining. we are live with the chairman. and willie brown is here to talk about the raging debate over income inequality. first, a check of the top headlines. sap has reported small gains.
the failed to offset slowdown in older software products. hurterman company was also i a strong europe. twitter announced new mobile app products. they will allow users to sell their apps in there at exchange. they have been successful for facebook. sold morethey have than 7 million playstation consoles since launching in november. they're having trouble keeping up with demand. that is 3 million more than the xbox one. in addition, they say they have sold more than 20 million copies of ps4 games. first, the ipo is off to a fairly strong start for weibo.
are at the low end of the range, $285 million. they are controlled by a chinese online compnaany. joining me, their chairman and ceo. how are you feeling? >> great. it has been a tough market. nasdaq and the entire u.s. market -- we can pricehat today and have good trading results. i am very happy. >> you mentioned nasdaq. why go public now? >> whenever time to the market -- we never timed the market. when we started, it was back in december. at that time, the market was
great. we had some rough times in the last couple of weeks. is notming -- timing important. you have a private company and we are here for the long term. we're very confident that we can do well. shareholder value over the long term -- it does not matter when we get in here. >> you tried to price at the low end of the range. share.ned at $16.27 per why do you think you had difficulty selling as many shares as you wanted? >> the problem is the market. this week and part of next week. a lot are priced below the range. on a relative basis, we have done a great job. so, a lot of people call you the twitter of china.
is that a fair comparison? >> in some ways, we have a lot of similarities and product features. there are a lot of differences. we have 140 chinese characters -- that has a lot more meaning than 140 english characters. we're only allowing people to post and repost and make comments -- they can also make a comment when they repost. we have a lot of media functions attached. in a way, we are more diversified and rich in content. more user engagement. >> do you consider twitter a competitor? >> not really. we compete in different markets. whoever dominates the chinese market has been doing very well out of china.
we do not have too much overlap. the only areas we will have competition -- taiwan, hong kong -- we are doing much better. >> you are mostly in the chinese language. you do have some english content. your in 190 different countries. will you increase your international content? >> we do not have a plan to get into the international market big time. we will wait for people from 190 countries recently -- dest in cruise -- inclu chinese abroad and english-speaking people who try to connect with the chinese community. we do have the english mobile app also. if you like, you can download and try it. it is a good product.
it will not get into the international market big time. >> wordy you expect to see the biggest growth going forward? within china or abroad? we still have a lot of room to expand our market. think about it -- we have 144 million mau. among that, 70% of mobile users. 100 million mobile phone active users. if you look at the entire market, we're talking about one billion mobile phone users. if we can establish a bigger scale in terms of social media, i think that is very big. we will explore business opportunities.
>> who do you view as your biggest competition? is it a $0.10? there are these chinese tech titans trying to do everything. >> they're a very strong player, especially in social platforms. they are very dominant in their working platform. is veryjor product dominant in china. weibo is competing with them in terms of time span. , lot of people, most people have both applications. moreuse weibo for a public nature. not really direct competition.
they are a way to compete. >> you have taken a big investment from alibaba. they are also on the road going public. why take money from alibaba? >> they are the largest ecosystem for commerce and china, if you look at the results that were just published. they have been doing great in terms of revenue growth and profitability. the timing not only allows us to get more chances for business opportunities and monetization, but the e-commerce ecosystem connects to a social platform -- that is of value in the future. we're trying to build an ecosystem together. that is already happening with great potential. >> would you consider selling our eight? -- outright? >> the current structure is to
continue holdout. we will change that structure. that works well at the current stage of business. >> how much would you be willing to increase their share? some people said that may be your ipo has not been as good as you might want it to be. investors are waiting. they can invest and get into weibo that way. >> people have different views. in the current stage -- shareholders are not having much room for increase. we still have a flow of shareholders. there is still a need. we are not going to share too much. in the future, any change will be get for value -- good for
value. there is a possibility. >> you started your career in news. i was in china and i was there when they were blocked. the government has been cracking down on weibo more than they used to. how do you deal with those issues? >> i think -- in terms of the impact of these changes, we will have a platform and china. on the other hand, people always see that our platform and other media platforms and internet platforms, continue to grow nicely. they use activities. i think this is probably exaggerated by a lot of people outside of china. we do have to recognize that the content management --
in any country, china is no exception. lawsed to comply with the and regulation in a more experienced way. we will continue to grow the business. >> there are new leaders. there has been some talk that maybe this administration is more conservative than the last. what do you think? how will they approach censorship issues? >> i am not in a position to comment. that the business will continue to grow. i do not see any reason that we should not be growing faster than that. >> will facebook and twitter ever be unblocked? >> i do not know. if one day, they get into china, we will welcome their entrance.
with most companies, we can grow faster and be better. lastly, your revenue did decline sequentially. what should we be looking for in terms of the revenue picture for next year? 14, there is aat decline in revenues. this is normal. we generate most revenue through advertising. this is a low season. q4 is high season. you have this pattern. they forget their revenue. this is no exception. year-over-year, we look for growth. in terms of total revenue -- i think we can take a look at this. wen it comes to the ipo,
>> this is "bloomberg west." you are watching bloomberg tv. we are streaming live on your phone, tablet, and bloomberg.com. as we were just saying, weibo, partially owned by alibaba, has gone public. its shares are up. i just had a wide-ranging conversation with charles chao from the nasdaq. also making its trading debut,
sabre, which operates travelocity. is this the right time for an ipo? joining me from new york is max wolf. these two taken together, both of them are up. weibo is at the low end of its range, even below that price. is this a reflection, leslie, that the window is closing? >> it is time. maybe temporarily. we have looked at every company that has gone public, and they either priced below the range or at the bottom and. that is a sign that the newly issued shares are getting a little big. that means that these companies will have to start pricing at the low end of the range to get the deal done. too much supply, you need to encourage investors to buy into these shares. max, is what we have seen
indicative of something more endemic? or is this about the individual stock? this is a very unique story. >> weibo had a big tailwind. a headwind where they should have had a tailwind. they are a risky asset, a chines e firm. being a tech story was a perfect storm. it is a compelling, good offering. theyif they priced at $17, are right back to the top of the range today. that really does speak to leslie's point. there is a limited demand here. >> i know you are listening to my interview. what stood out to you about what he said? >> he was very candid and acknowledged the market difficulties. he acknowledged that their
timing might not be perfect. you look at twitter and all of the stars aligned for them. he is very open and saying that the market sold off, but we got the deal done. we are a publicly traded company and we're looking forward to moving forward. >> leslie, i know you will keep us posted with these new ipo's. thank you so much. max, as well. thank you both. companies have taken center stage in the income any quality debate. what can they do to help the problem? that is next. ♪
headquarters to protest tax breaks given to tech companies to keep them in the city. they complain at tech companies are not paying their fair share. they say that companies like twitter create jobs. theie brown had a cameo in "godfather" movie, two term mayor, he has stayed active since leaving office. thank you for joining us. where do you fall on the tax breaks that mayor lee has given to these companies? >> i actually orchestrated that tax break that twitter got. i certainly have been supportive of all of the other incentives to get tech companies and others to move to san francisco to create jobs and build the economy of the city. this is the most interesting place in which to live. >> to the protesters have a point? real estate prices have shot up. buses on the way down to silicon
valley can be inconvenient. >> they are completely wrong. if they were engaged in this activity because of race or religious freedoms, point of origin, sexual preference, we would all be outraged and speaking with one voice and condemning them. unfortunately, we are not doing that when we should be. the foundation of what they are doing is essentially the same. we got ours and we want to stay here. >> is there anything that the city can do more? to appease the concerns? is there anything they can do to create affordable housing? >> the city has to continuously work to create the opportunity for everybody to live in san francisco.
laws orrent control restrictions imposed. whether enhancing the opportunity of community to deliver people. all those are things that we need to do to make the city interesting. same for making the schools more interesting. simultaneously, you have to make it possible for people to work and earn a living. when you do that, you're in a position where you can talk about expanding the supply, expanding the opportunities. that keeps the competition stable and cost down. >> you say the protesters are wrong. i interviewed tom perkins, who compared these protests to the demonization of jews in nazi germany and the war on the one percent. he called it a war. what do you think of that? >> tom perkins should not have been interviewed. strugglespin on this
that gave -- made every aspect of what the tech world is trying to do suspect. the tech world is not unlike the medical world. you have mission bay. that is the biotech world. that is where medical science is making great progress and new people are coming in. all those are things that need to be done. >> what responsibility do companies like twitter have? and companies like google that are not based in san francisco? >> they have the same responsibility that bg&e has. the same that wells fargo or bank of america has -- every aspect that people who produce would have. they need to give back and participate and have their employees live here.
>> look back to "bloomberg west." i am emily chang. roll at the box office with films like "captain america" and "frozen." for one of the biggest drivers remained espn. they had investor day today and jon erlichman me now with more from l.a. give us a sense how important espn is to disney. it is like the crown jewel. >> it is. it is amazing. there's a lot to disney, with films, parks, products. when you look at the numbers,
espn and the cable networks really blow everything else away. revenue in 2013, about one third came from the cable group. not just espn, but the cable channels overall. when you look at the operating income, the profitability -- more than 55% of the operating cost is coming from cable, with espn being a large keys. -- pie ce. we understand why they host investor day at espn. there are two forms of profit -- advertising and what they are able to charge to the tv providers so that you can be assured you will get espn. those are the huge drivers for the business of espn. >> the president talked about how there is a lot more competition for sports rights. it is driving cost up. what does that mean? >> it means that when there are sports rights available, the
cost will be higher. and a lot of leaks, espn has rights locked up for a long time. they have monday night football for a long time, sunday night baseball. there is a lot of focus on the nba. the rights there will be available in the next couple of years. i think they are saying to all of the cable providers, look, we have a lot of rights locked up. if there is anything that people are willing to tune in to and hold on to their cable package, it is sports. they are trying to say that is the power position we are in. fox and nbc are hungry too. >> all right, jon erlichman, thank you so much for keeping us posted on disney's investor day. apple is embedding a song id feature in your device. they are teaming up with shazam
to make an app to identify songs by picking a sound from your microphone. they will be released on the next operating system, ios8. they will preview it in june. inht now, i want to bring the man who covers this for bloomberg. >> if you want to know what a song is, you can either activate it through siri or you can click a button. it is basically, instead of app, they willam make it into their own software. >> why shazam? >> they were one of the early hits on the iphone when it came out in 2008. they were one of the first ones with that wow factor. they could tell you what song was playing and steer the purchases to itunes.
they had a relationship. >> maybe every company dreams of the partnership, but isn't this a threat to their business? >> they have to weigh the financial things involved. toy are steering me people buy songs through itunes. they will get something out of it. at some point, you have to weigh that there are others out there. >> what about apple? they pioneered the digital music business. catch-upare playing with spotify and pandora. can a feature like this help itunes get back on top? >> itunes is still the biggest seller of music in the world. bute is nobody that close, it is slowing down. spotify, youtube, and other players are growing. this is sort of an add-on to that.
it is not necessarily a groundbreaking product, but it shows that apple still takes -- adds to the music offerings. >> they're playing catch-up with the innovation part of it, right? where does apple go from here with the itunes business? this sounds like a feature. >> it is just a feature. they have been doing a little bit of catch-up in music. they introduced itunes radio, which is what pandora does. they also considered a subscription service like spotify. they have a template or model built internally that is ready to go. they have been holding off because the downloads are still huge. they have the lions share of that margin. >> anything else exciting that we should look out for? >> there have been a lot of rumors, including reports about health and fitness aspects.
>> i am emily chang and this is "bloomberg west." time now for the office hours section. webb formerly served as the coo of ebay and currently sits on the board of visa and yahoo!. thank you for joining us. you are here to talk about when companies decide to go public. how do they make that decision? there has been a lot of talk about the environment. is it the right time. window,indow, the ipo
closing. i wait to listen to something that bill mcdermott had to say earlier. >> i think it might very well be seeing a repeat of 2000. today, we declared nearly one billion euros in profit to the shareholders. billioniding 5.8 to 6 profit. those companies are growing pretty fast. they're losing money faster than the topline growth rate. >> are we in a bubble? >> i don't believe we are in a bubble. i disagree with bill. i was around in 2000. a lot of companies that went out had no revenue at all and just went down on eyeballs. we're in a different place today. if you go public, you have to have recurring revenue.
this of new companies in model are still working hard to generate growth, so they do sacrifice some profit. i do not think that is a bad thing. i also do agree that there are -- oute is some frothiness there with acquisitions. we should not let one or two of those paint everybody. >> what has been frothy? there was ahink recent acquisition that was done at a high valuation. >> which one? >> you can probably guess. >> when you advise companies on going public, with two they take into account? do they take into account market conditions? i think market conditions matter, but they should not be the first thing you worry about. the first thing you have to worry about is do you have a company that is sustainable and ready for the glare of the public eye?
the next several quarters are in good shape and i feel great about this company. i also try to make sure the companies know that, while it is exciting to go public, and everybody gets spun up about that, it is just a day. it is just likening married. the wedding is important, but it is what you do with the rest of your life that matters more. if you build a great and enduring company, hopefully the first is the worst it will ever be. >> is it all about fundraising? >> i think fundraising is a big piece of it. i also think that having the help of shareholders guide you and hold you honest to where you are trying to go is an important part of growing up. so, i think the fundraising is a big piece of it, but it is also working in the public eye in a way that has the right structure. >> what about a company like
box? they're losing money and spending a lot on the marketing. they have some money left in the bank, but not a ton. >> i am a fan of aaron levy. if i have the opportunity to participate, i would be all in. i am not worried about whether he is losing money. people talked about us in the same way at salesforce when we went public. >> what about when a company is not ready? how do you incentivize the employee? is it about a secondary offering? sometimes they can incentivize them in the wrong way, maybe in the short but not the long. >> we have to incense people to be builders. that is not a long-term solution. to get work on trying people fired up about the mission of the company. make sure that we talk about how ready we are or are not and they
are connected and they have more options now, at a lower price. there are things you can do. if you get in the situation where they need some liquidity, there are secondary markets that exist but did not used to exist. it does take longer to go public. >> how do you keep employees from leaving? once they cash out, why not move on? >> you have options over a long period of time. if i got a grip today, i do not get all of the benefit until 4 years. hopefully next year i get another grant. you can lay. additional protection. you cannot keep people based on money. you have to speak to their hearts and minds. they are learning and growing and connected to the mission. >> i have to ask you, as chairman of yahoo!, you just nominated renew people to the people tohree new
the board. why these guys and how well they fit in? >> that is a great question. i had a public release that spoke to how excited i am about them. i have a policy that says i cannot speak an yahoo! anywhere else. the board is not allowed to talk about it. it is a great question and stay tuned. >> i thought i would give it a try. winky so much for joining us. yahoo! chairman, always great to have you here. >> thank you. >> still ahead, a former nasa astronaut will join us to talk expensive taxi ride to the international space station. ♪
tomorrow to launch a rocket to the international space station after being scrubbed due to a helium leak earlier this week. any will carry material from organization that helps people on earth with research experiments. joining us now in the studio is colonel greg johnson, a former nasa astronaut who has gone to the iss. he is now the president and executive director of the center for advancement of science in space. >> thank you for inviting us here. this is awesome. >> thank you for stopping by. how could we not want to chat with you? you have a partnership with spaceex? is this being scrubbed of any concern? >> it is a concern.
our partners, these are the companies that construct vehicles. they fly project to and back from the space station. when the launches are delayed, that impacts the science on board. >> is a standard delay? is there anything more wrong? i recently interviewed richard branson. he has urgent galactic, they still have not taken off with passengers. are there some broader challenges? >> fly into space is hard. we have only been doing it for a few years now. it is expensive. these challenges are daunting. getting past the pull of gravity and up into orbit. we have been building the space station for a decade and a half now. it is up there and it is important for our nation and the
world to get to and from the international space station. >> what is it going to take to overcome the challenges? will this happen over decades? >> we keep working on it and getting better. spaceex has impressed us with how they deliver payloads to and bring projects back from the space station. the japanese, the europeans, the russians, all have vehicles that can get to and from the space station. >> they are doing this while you're doing this -- what is your mission, what is the goal? >> we were formed a couple of years ago i the congress. we are focusing on the space -- the research that will benefit our planet. nasa does the up and out. they wanted to go to the moon, to mars. we are trying to solve serious problems on earth.
>> like what? >> we have health issues. there are pharmaceutical companies that, when you take the gravity vector out of the equation, they can build more huge,. perfect crystals protein crystals. they can map their drug to those crystals to cure disease. we hope to cure huntingdon disease, cancer, diabetes. >> what can you do in space that you cannot do on earth? >> we cannot turn the gravity vector off. we can freefall for a few seconds or do parabolic flights for 30 seconds or maybe even a minute, but we cannot turn gravity off like a light switch. in space, we have the capability of microgravity, zero gravity.
gravity is now pulling on these physical structures. we also orbit every 90 minutes. we cover over 95% of the population of the planet, from 250 miles up on the space station. >> how many times have you been to space? >> twice. >> when it comes to private space travel, do you have any concerns about safety? >> flying in space is hard. safety is a great concern. last shuttlet my flight was much safer than my previous shuttle flight. i know that that play was much safer than some of the early apollo flights. virgin galactic is the first commercial space travelers. >> this grab the moment before takeoff. are you freaking out? this adrenaline takeover? >> we cannot freak out. the heart starts pounding at that moment. i remember my first launch.
if a lake my first combat mission. it is the unknown. train, you are ready. all of the training does not prepare you for it >> you have a family, they are ok with that? >> absolutely. >> elon musk wants to colonize mars. what do you think is the future of space travel? >> we're just on the start. we are at the beginning of this emerging market of being in space. the great thinkers like elon musk and richard ranson, those are the guys who are the leaders. i am trying to invite academic institutions and for-profit corporations to join in this. the first folks that get up there, they will be the leaders in this effort. investors who are building platforms in space.
we will commercialize those. >> what will be the most exciting development in space in our lifetime? >> i think that we will have breakthroughs in medicine. i think we will have insight into predictive medicine, to predict when people are likely to get diabetes. i hope that we can make rakers and curing cancer. >> we will be watching. colonel gregory johnson, thank you so much for sharing that vision with us. >> thank you. oney.me now for the bwest m one number that tells a whole lot. jon, what do you have? >> i would most certainly freak out if i want to space. >> no way. not for me, i tell you that. maybe in another life. billion is the number of wireless accounts in china.
the dominant players are china mobile and telecom and unicom. alibaba is getting into it. they were interested in getting some private players in the business, some competition. alibaba joins the game. >> making some strong moves ahead of a potential ipo. big strategic investment. we will keep our eye on them. thank you so much and thank you all for watching this edition of "bloomberg west." we will see later. ♪
>> >> the intersection of business and economics with a mainstream perspective. four-already kring talks and what is the deal? shopping for tesla in your nearest shopping mall rated i will be joined by the ceo of hyundai motor america. to our viewers here in the united states and those of you joining us from around the world, welcome. yang yang has details on the cbo's