360, which is constantly chasing the wind, can the “N World” of the Metaverse contain Zhou Hongyi’s ambition?

360 launched the Metaverse product “N World”.

Following the investment in Nezha Auto and the deployment of new energy vehicles, within a year, 360 has extended its business tentacles to the “Metaverse” that is in the limelight. 

Tech Planet exclusively learned that 360 recently launched a Metaverse product “N World”. According to reports, “N World” is a new generation of interest Metaverse, which consists of “interest worlds” one by one, and everyone can create their own world. In it, users can create topics of interest, voice interactive immersive gameplay, identity cards, and private exclusive territories. 

According to sources close to 360, the company attached more importance to this product internally, and gave “N World” a “n.cn” domain name worth tens of millions of yuan as its official website. 

This is not the first time Zhou Hongyi has entered the Metaverse. At the end of 2021, Zhou Hongyi, chairman of 360 Group, said in an interview with the media: In fact, “Huanjiao” has already made products similar to the Metaverse, but it was not particularly successful. 

Zhou Hongyi once again laid out the Metaverse, which shows that he came prepared. Regarding the Metaverse, Zhou Hongyi believes: “The Metaverse is the highest realm of digitalization, and it must be divided into two parts. Using the wrong direction is not good, but using the right direction is still promising.” 

In 2021, it is the first year of the so-called Metaverse. At this time, Byte spent huge sums of money to acquire PICO, a VR equipment manufacturer, to build the underlying facilities of the Metaverse; Tencent formed an internal XR team; Baidu launched “Xi Rong” App. As a new outlet of the Metaverse, 360 obviously does not want to miss it. 

In recent years, 360 has not only pursued the Metaverse, but also has 360 in new car manufacturing, financial technology, voice chat, grass-growing e-commerce, smartphones, etc., but the business in these fields is not too popular with outsiders. Familiar, and some businesses have quietly withdrawn from the market. 

This time, can the 360, who is still on the road to chase the wind and not feel tired, get the results he wants? 

Could the Metaverse be a good business for 360?

“The challenge of the Metaverse is also the challenge of digital security in essence.” In Zhou Hongyi’s view, digitization can make the entire human society “smarter”, and it may also make security more “fragile”. 

Therefore, 360 takes network security as an opportunity to cut into the Metaverse. A 360 product manager told Tech Planet: “Metaverse security is a new industry, 360 will be a fast and effective way to enter the Metaverse through network security, and the competition pressure will not be too much”, at the beginning of this year , 360 has added a “Metaverse security” post. 

However, 360 is not only limited to this, but also wants to deploy the Metaverse ecology in the mode of “Metaverse social interaction”. 

Recently, a social product called “N World” has become popular in the product circle. After Tech Planet’s experience, it was found that this is a social platform focusing on the interest Metaverse, and its gameplay is similar to the foreign voice chat product “discord”. . 

Users can join channels of interest in “N Worlds”, which are defined as Metaverse worlds. After joining, you can participate in the chat in the channel, including but not limited to voice, text, etc., and enjoy the immersive experience of multiple people at the same frequency. Users can also create their own channels, private exclusive territories, and invite other users as residents to join the channel. 

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In addition, in the “N World”, users can also view the officially recommended channels through the “Discovery” page, which mainly focus on games, life, funny and literature. At the same time, it also supports adding like-minded friends. 

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As a social product similar to “discord”, with the help of the concept of Metaverse, it redefines group social interaction, connects users and channels with interests as a link, and realizes the concept of multiverse.

For 360, it is a good choice to be the “N World” that focuses on the concept of the Metaverse. Previously, the number of users on the official Discord server of “Genshin Impact” reached 800,000, making “Discord” famous in China in one fell swoop. Tencent, the first social media player in China, has also launched 3 similar products, namely “Q Dimension”, “NokNok” and “QQ Channel”.

A Tencent product manager told Tech Planet that the launch of NokNok revealed that Tencent wants to create an explosive product similar to “Discord”, with games and social networking as the backing, Tencent’s “Discord” may not be impossible.

For Metaverse social products, for 360, which is not dominant in social networking and games, it has chosen another development route, that is, acquiring users on various channels, and using UGC as the main form of content output to drive the community atmosphere , to maintain the operation of the channel.

Tech Planet learned after chatting with some users in the channel that most of them came from channels such as QQ group, Tieba, Station B and TapTap. It can be seen that 360 chose to actively acquire the first batch of loyal users on the channel, and then go through these loyal users. Lead new users to join and achieve user growth.

A person close to 360 told Tech Planet that 360 attaches great importance to this product and has now enabled “n.cn” as the official website for “N World”. A domain name dealer said that the price of such single-letter domain names is more than 10 million, especially “n.cn” is in line with the brand of the N world, which increasingly shows 360’s intention and attention to the “N world”.

Zhou Hongyi led 360 to chase those tuyere

In an interview with the media, Zhou Hongyi once said: I am a very real struggler who is constantly struggling. Zhou Hongyi led 360 to keep chasing under the tuyere, hoping to achieve success.

As early as 2011, the Apple 4S became popular all over the world, and many smart phone startups emerged in the domestic mobile phone market, including today’s Xiaomi, VIVO, OPPO, etc.

Under the circumstance that the mobile phone market is in a red sea, 360 also announced that it will be a mobile phone. Zhou Hongyi even said that he would block the mobile phone circle, and released a ruthless remark that “no one can stop my determination to make a mobile phone”. Then, in 2012, 360 announced to cooperate with Huawei to launch the first 360 special machine – Huawei Shine. 

But its ambitions don’t stop there. Then 360 announced a strategic investment in Coolpad, officially entering the smartphone field, and announced the mobile phone brand “Qiku” in 2015.

However, at this time, the time for 360 to enter the game is already late. In 2016, a strong pattern of “Huami OV Meizu” has been formed in China. For 360 mobile phones, it is increasingly difficult to grab market share. Some reports say that the loss of 360 mobile phones in 2016 is as high as 800 million yuan.

In 2019, Fenghuangwang Technology quoted multiple 360 ​​people as saying that its mobile phone business had been suspended. 360 official said: The mobile phone business is not completely suspended, but slowed down. In this regard, 360 temporarily came to an end in the pursuit of smart phones.

In 2016, with the rise of live broadcast platforms such as Douyu and Huya, there was another strong wind of live broadcast in the Internet industry.

Under the tuyere of the live broadcast, the live broadcast of Huajiao was launched immediately. As a live broadcast of Huajiao invested by 360, Zhou Hongyi often used it as a platform. Especially when Zhou Hongyi watched the 360 ​​mobile phone conference, on his way home, his BMW 730 suddenly began to smoke and Spontaneous combustion occurred, and Zhou Hongyi took out his mobile phone and opened the peppercorns for a live broadcast, which caused heated discussions on the Internet.

And Zhou Hongyi was finally able to keep the clouds open and see the moon. In 2021, Huajiao Live and Liujianfang, the main operator of Huafang Group, will submit a prospectus to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to make the final sprint for the listing.

However, the prospectus shows that from 2019 to the first eight months of 2021, the company’s revenue growth rate was 42.05%, 30.1%, and 25.21% year-on-year, showing a downward trend. The net loss in 2020 will exceed 1.5 billion. Although the final result is not particularly remarkable, online live broadcast has also become one of the few opportunities for Zhou Hongyi to catch up.

Also in 2016, the financial turmoil of the Internet also blew up. Zhou Hongyi, who once declared that he would not do Internet financial business, has also officially set foot in finance. In that year, 360 invested in the Internet Financial Assets (Xixian New District) trading center, obtained the license of the Gold Exchange, and incubated 360 Finance.

However, with the strengthening of supervision, 360 Finance’s loan assistance business has license risks, so 360 spent 1.281 billion to acquire a total of 30% of the original five shareholders of Tianjin Jincheng Bank, becoming the largest shareholder of Jincheng Bank. The financial business became Zhou Hongyi’s cash cow for a while.

The time has come to 2021, and the new energy vehicle outlet has risen strongly. The domestic car-making wave has been louder and louder. Xiaomi, Baidu, Didi, etc. have all announced car-building. As 360, which has been chasing in the outlet, it is obvious miss. In October 2021, 360 plans to invest 2.9 billion yuan in Hezhong New Energy Automobile Co., Ltd. (Nezha Automobile).

Zhou Hongyi said that smart cars are expected to become the largest smart terminal after computers and mobile phones, and the Internet of Vehicles will also become the next super entrance after the mobile Internet.

Recently, 360 Auto Safety Guard was deployed on the new Nezha U. This is the first time that 360 Internet of Vehicles security products have been “on the car”, and 360 has also taken the first step in mass production of Internet of Vehicles products. And in the first quarter of 2022, Nezha’s car sales ranked third, behind Xiaopeng and Lili Auto.

Perhaps, taking advantage of the “Nezha Auto” shareholder trend, 360 can further expand its own security business and extend it to other car companies, further opening up the market for intelligent networked vehicles.

In addition to the above-mentioned big outlets, 360 has also taken action in several small outlets, such as launching “Light Selection” in the field of grass-growing e-commerce, creating its own mini-program ecology, etc.

To sum up, it is not difficult to see that 360 has always been following the trend, investing in and deploying new businesses. As a veteran Internet company, according to the 2020 annual financial report, emerging businesses have grown significantly, helping 360 continue to optimize its revenue structure.

But unfortunately, 360 has not yet built a national-level product that can rival WeChat, Alipay and other apps. On the one hand, it is because 360 ​​missed the window period in some important outlets, such as failing to get admission tickets for smartphones. , and those who can grasp the tuyere, because they failed to continue to expand the track, they can only end up in one corner.

The tuyere has gradually stopped, how will the 360 ​​transformation “toss” out new tricks?

As the Internet industry enters a cold winter in 2021, layoffs and business reductions have become the new normal in the Internet industry. Internet companies have proposed “reducing costs and increasing efficiency” and “removing fat and increasing thinness”, which means that the previous strategy of burning money to expand to seize new opportunities will temporarily come to an end.

Under the background of preventing capital from needing to expand and strengthening, and suspending money burning, major Internet companies began to implement a strategy of refined operation, focusing on maintaining the advantages of their main business, but only conducting small-scale exploration in some areas, 360 No exception.

Tech Planet found that since 2021, 360’s exploration and actions in new businesses have significantly decreased compared to before 2020. After 2021, in addition to new actions in car building and the Metaverse, 360 is mainly developing new tool-side businesses, such as the travel tool “Naughty Orange Travel”, the search tool “Tomato Quick Search” and emotional records. Tools “Moments” etc.

For a large-scale company, these businesses are still in the early stages, and obviously they are not enough to support the company’s future. 360 is also adjusting and clarifying the future development direction.

In January 2022, Zhou Hongyi, the founder of 360 Group, issued an internal letter to all staff, announcing that 360 will comprehensively transform a digital security company to serve the digital transformation of the government and traditional enterprises. Zhou Hongyi said that Internet products such as 360 Security Guard should provide free security services and SaaS services for small and medium-sized enterprises, while government and enterprise security, big data smart business, and smart life business should provide B-side charging services.

360 chooses to transform digital security, it is quite meaningful that the biggest competitor on this track is Qi Anxin, which was previously separated from 360.

On the way of chasing the wind, although 360 failed to run out of national-level application products, it also gained a lot. Compared with those early Internet players who silently withdraw from the public view, the 360 ​​who has been “tossing” is also lucky.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/360-which-is-constantly-chasing-the-wind-can-the-n-world-of-the-metaverse-contain-zhou-hongyis-ambition/
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