China Blockchain Media Startups Dying In Batches
As the awareness of blockchain was raised in China, many entities chose media as the direction in the field of blockchain. Hundreds of website and wechat public accounts emerged around the Spring Festival 2018. Many of them have to shut down operation now. Below are some stories around them.
Before the Spring Festival 2018, Mr.M received several million-yuan worth of cryptocurrency as angel funding from a well-known bitcoiners for him to launch a blockchain media startup. Driven by good business outlooks, Mr.M prepared to go big but the situation changed dramatically after Spring Festival. Lots of blockchain media startups emerged every single day and the business was lost in fierce competition.
During the Spring Festival, the “3 o’clock blockchain wechat group” became a phenomenal topic. There are tens of thousands of messages a day in the group. Red envelopes worthy of over one million yuan were distributed a single day. Within a few days, the “3 o’clock” has stirred up the emotions and capitals in IT industry.
Traditional medias also open up new sections dedicated for blockchain, which makes the competition even worse.
“When I picked a title, only to find similar stories has been released. I tried to set up a forum and found forums everywhere. Then I turned to blockchain training but the market was already ruined. Same situation found on mobile app etc.”
The highly homogenized market made Mr.M Jun feel helpless and confused. In the end, he chose to turn around.
What is even more depressing is that Mr.M did not cash out cryptocurrency that he received as the initial seed funding, which has already depreciated a lot. He returned the cryptocurrency and quit the newly-rented office. He called it a “stop-loss”.
Mr.Z is the founder of a blockchain media in Shanghai. He also received millions of angel investments during the outbreak after the Spring Festival.
But recently, his wechat account was not updated for many days.
“The blockchain industry is quite limited. There are only a few newsworthy people. Now that ICO is banned, how can there be so many news?”
There have been a handful of self-media that cease updating articles. Some still keep on updating constantly copy stories from other medias. The lack of original content has become a common problem in the industry.
Another problem is the shortage of income.
After the “ICO Ban” in September last year, the source of income that the blockchain media startup most depended on was blocked.
“The source of income is cut off. On the other hand, so many media outlets are still waiting to be fed. How can it be not difficult to survive?”
He believes that in addition to several head media with high-quality content output, other media outlets will die. Those who get capital investment may go a little further. But in the end, only those who can generate continuous, high-quality content can survive in the industry.
“There may be 20% or 10% that can survive, who should be prepared to fight a long war.”
Also new tricks have been played.
“ It used to get payment by posting negative or sponsored contents. Now media may get paid to release negative contents against the competitors. The media circle is corrupted.”
That’s another reason why Mr. M determined to retreat from the community.