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Hsiang

State of Industry- War and Stalemate?

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I wonder if the Trump trade war with China might be causing companies to rethink US strategies.

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18 hours ago, f0dder1024 said:

I wonder if the Trump trade war with China might be causing companies to rethink US strategies.

I doubt the current administration had anything to do with it as most of the suits I am aware of took place before.

Also I am sure that the actual reality of it is more complex and it wouldn't be fair to just lay the blame with inventist; it is certainly possible to make a deal with them, as inmotion had.

Unfortunately as consumer the lack of infomation and official support creates uncertainties and I for one hesitated for a long time before comitting to buying a wheel.

I am sure that none of these are news to any of the senior members, and they're probably are all tired of talking about it...

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I am talking in addition to the lawsuits. Why deal with the lawsuit, pending tarriffs when you can just wait it out or focus on other markets or products.

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57 minutes ago, esaj said:

Ninebot had estimated it's revenue would be over 3 billion Chinese yuan (about 447 million USD) in 2018

That's true, but did they turn a profit? Many Chinese Companies have some form of Government backing, either at the national level, regional, or other Byzantium form of subsidization—an example is VAT rebates on battery packs. The margin on selling an ES2 to an outfit like Lime was probably 1-2%.   

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When it comes to Ninebot, leaving the EUC market can be interpreted in different ways. The rumours have always been that they will no longer develop new models. It would make no sense to stop selling their existing models unless they have too many production issues or they don't sell enough. If that is considered leaving the EUC market is up for debate.

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6 minutes ago, Jason McNeil said:

That's true, but did they turn a profit? Many Chinese Companies have some form of Government backing, either at the national level, regional, or other Byzantium form of subsidization—an example is VAT rebates on battery packs. The margin on selling an ES2 to an outfit like Lime was probably 1-2%.   

No idea about profit, I don't think such figures are public (or at least not available for free). I don't really know that much about company economics or investing, but seeing that the company's been growing fast, I'd think it likely that they not only push everything they make into things like R&D and marketing, they could also borrow more money or take in investment rounds to keep growing fast (look here for example:  https://pitchbook.com/profiles/company/111697-75  Venture capital at the tune of $100 million near the end of 2017, completed, but doesn't say if they raised the entire sum). And the amount of revenue they get from EUCs is likely peanuts compared to the 2-wheeled section like scooters and segway-type rides, so it might make more sense to concentrate on that segment and forget the "niche" of EUCs, if the same amount of money burned on 2-wheeled things makes more revenue/growth.

 

10 minutes ago, walsus said:

When it comes to Ninebot, leaving the EUC market can be interpreted in different ways. The rumours have always been that they will no longer develop new models.

Yeah, after the Ninebot P -fiasco and the smaller models in-between, they laid quiet on the EUC-front for a longer while, it was already speculated at that point whether they're ever going to release a new EUC, before the Z-series was announced. That's why I was interested if they'd made a public announcement about stopping the EUC-side of things.

 

12 minutes ago, walsus said:

It would make no sense to stop selling their existing models unless they have too many production issues or they don't sell enough. If that is considered leaving the EUC market is up for debate.

You'd expect that a company wouldn't kill a cow that turns at least a little profit, but if the same amount of resources used there could make more revenue/profit/growth on another segment (ie. the 2-wheeled thingamabobs), it suddenly makes sense to kill that cow and put the money on the other thing. Not saying that this is happening, they could just as well be working on a new model behind the curtains and/or fixing the issues on the Z-series. It's all a guessing game based on more or less reliable rumors, at least as long as they don't officially state that they're stopping the EUC-development/production and concentrating on other things.

From economics standpoint, Ninebot is likely the biggest player in the EUC-field, but my view is that they didn't become big because of the EUCs, but all the other things they've made since (although, AFAIK, they did start out with the Ninebot C/E and only making EUCs).

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Just keep selling the wheels; and they will come. :)

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8 hours ago, Jason McNeil said:

@Hsiang really enjoy your thoughtful discussions about seldom discussed topics on YouTube, but this video has many factual inaccuracies that have the potential of creating an absolutely wrong impression of the history & manufacturing politics of the Electric Unicycle: 

  1. Inmotion & Solowheel Partnership: announced in late 2017, to much aplomb, this disintegrated into a shambles only a few months later. There is no longer any partnership between Shane Chen's Solowheel & Inmotion—you won't find anyone at Inmotion extolling Shane's inventive spirit today. 
  2. On the Causes of Ninebot Getting out of the Wheel Business: the true causes are very probably less to do with any Intellectual Property dispute, than Ninebot's inability, or lack of will, to make products that are not plagued by problems—parasitic discharge & high controller failures rate chief among these on the Z10—& potential liability risks. 
  3. Ninebot Z10 Agreement: we were never the exclusive dealer for the Z10, at one time it was raised as a possibility during a visit to the Ninebot HQ in January 2018. The decision to drop the Z10, was mine, not Ninebot's, owing to the unsustainable statistical failure rate, other Distributors, EcoDrift in Russia for instance, have come to similar conclusions.
  4. Shane's Patentthe extent of Shane's Electric Unicycle patent, which he has said himself, is for addition of padding to the side of the Wheel; a sensible, even an inevitable addition, yes; revolutionary invention?, you can be the judge.

The reason why I feel that a correction of these points is necessary, is because this notion of 'anything but Solowheel is Chinese knock-off' is a pernicious myth, that does a great deal of harm to the industry. All the true innovations that have been made to Wheels in the past 2-3 years, have not been the result of expensive squabbling over patents, but manufacturers like Gotway, King Song, & Inmotion making incremental improvements in high current controller designs, motor improvements, packing the interiors with ever larger battery packs, & occasionally, yes, even listening to Customer/Distributor suggestions. 

 

Now I feel a little bit guilty as I feel that in making the video; I twisted a few arms to get people to talk.

I am happy that @Jason McNeil was willing to clear up a few things as I know that in general for this sort of dealing people like to keep it behind closed doors. I started to read through that thread with @GreenWheel and boy that looks like some Game of Throne quality conflicts, I love it! I'll have to enjoy it later with a glass of red wine and dramatic musics!

I do think that more transparency would be nice as I think that more and more people are starting to care about where and how the product they enjoy comes to be. If I find out that my favorite sweater was made by child labor working 12 hour days, I likely won’t like it as much.. Oh I'll be happy to make a correction video with updated information!

Since ninebot looked like a company with the resources to market and popularize EUC I had high hope for them, but despite liking the Z10, I am unhappy with what I heard of how they work, be it confirmed fact or rumors.

Anyhow I am happy to have some solid news and @Marty Backe, if you want to send me a pm about some unconfirmed news no one has to know about it >=D.

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