经济学人翻译参考2019-6-8期L3双语对照:互联网革命

原标题:经济学人翻译参考2019-6-8期L3双语对照:互联网革命

Leader 3

The internet’s next act

互联网新行动

You ain’t seen nothing yet

你对此还一无所知

The second half of humanity is joining the internet. They will change it, and it will change them

剩下的一半人加入了互联网大军,他们将改变网络,也将被网络改变

IN 2007 MORE humans lived in cities than outside them for the first time. It was a transition 5,000 years in the making. The internet has been quicker to reach the halfway mark. Over 50% of the planet’s population is now online, a mere quarter of a century after the web first took off among tech-savvy types in the West. The second half of the internet revolution has begun. As our briefing describes, it is changing how society works—and also creating a new business puzzle.

2007年,城市居住人口第一次超过非城市居住人口。这一转变的形成历经5000年之久。互联网的发展加快其进军中点站的步伐。网络在西方科技精英之中实现了第一次腾飞,这一过程仅用了二十五年,全球半数以上的人口都拥有了线上生活。互联网革命开启新阶段。正如摘要所述,互联网变革在改变社会运作方式的同时,也带来了新的商业难题。

Most new users are in the emerging world; some 726m people came online in the past three years alone. China is still growing fast. But much of the rise is coming from poorer places, notably India and Africa. Having seen what fake news and trolling has done to public discourse in rich countries, many observers worry about politics being debased, from the polarisation of India’s electorate to the persecution of Myanmar’s Rohingya minority. On the positive side, charities and aid workers talk endlessly and earnestly about how smartphones will allow farmers to check crop prices, let villagers sign up for online education and help doctors boost vaccination rates.

大部分新用户来自新兴国家,仅过去三年,就有7.26亿人开启互联网生活。中国仍在快速发展。但大部分新增的网民来自于更加贫困的地方,尤其是印度和非洲。从印度选民的两极分化到缅甸罗兴亚少数民族遭受迫害,许多人见证了发达国家虚假新闻和高调宣传对社会舆论的影响,因而担心政治活动受到镇压。但从积极的一面来看,慈善机构和义工们不厌其烦,对智能手机赞不绝口,农民可以用它查看农作物的价格,村民可以接受线上教育,医生也能够提高疫苗的接种率。

Less well appreciated is that the main attractions of being online are the same for the second half as they were for the first. Socialising and play, not work and self-improvement, are the draw. Porn is popular. Messaging apps help friends stay in touch, and let migrant workers say goodnight to their children back home. People entertain their friends—and strangers—on social media with goofy home-made videos on YouTube or TikTok, an app focused on short, humorous clips. Cheap data plans and thumb drives bring pirated films to millions who may never have been to a cinema. Dating apps are more popular than farming advice; video games are more popular than either. Such boons are unlikely to make their way into many UN development reports. But they are a boost to the stock of human happiness.

上网对于前后两拨人的主要吸引力并无区别,让人稍感失望。他们上网的动力并非是工作和自我提升需要,而是社交和娱乐需求。淫秽作品大行其道。聊天应用不仅可以帮助朋友之间保持联系,也可以让农民工们对远在家乡的孩子道声晚安。人们在YouTube或者抖音(TikTok)(一个专注于幽默短视频的应用)上发布自制搞笑短视频,为朋友和陌生人带来欢乐。廉价的流量套餐和U盘让数百万可能从未去过电影院的人们看上盗版电影。交友应用比农耕建议 更受欢迎,但他们都不如电子游戏受欢迎。这样的福利可能没办法列入联合国发展报告。但它们极大提升了人们的幸福指数。

For businesses, the second half of the internet offers a vast pool of customers. It also brings a headache—most of these new users are too poor to spend very much. Tens of billions of dollars in venture-capital money have flowed into internet startups in emerging markets, excluding China. The Silicon Valley giants have built up big user bases—over 1.5bn Facebook users are in developing countries. YouTube, a video site owned by Google, is increasingly dominated by non-Western users. Last year Walmart spent $16bn buying Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce giant. Jumia, an e-commerce firm with 4m customers in Nigeria and 13 other African countries, floated in New York in April.

对企业来说,互联网的新一轮发展带来了大量用户,但也带来了一个令人头疼的问题——大部分新用户太过贫穷,消费能力不足。除中国以外,数十亿美元的风险资金流入了新兴市场的互联网初创企业。硅谷巨头建立了一个巨大的用户数据库,其中超过15亿脸书(Facebook)用户来自发展中国家。谷歌公司旗下的视频网站——优兔YouTube开始逐步为非西方用户所占据。去年,沃尔玛(Walmart)斥资160亿美元收购了印度的电子商务巨头弗利普卡特(Flipkart)。电子商务公司朱米亚(Jumia)在尼日利亚等14个非洲国家拥有400万用户,今年四月在纽约上市。

Despite these firms’ punchy valuations, they are still looking for sustainable business models. Reliance Jio, an Indian firm, has sunk $37bn into building a high-speed mobile network and acquiring a big base of mostly poor users. Each Facebook user in Asia generates only $11 of advertising revenue a year, compared with $112 for a North American one. The combined revenue of all the internet firms in emerging markets (excluding China) is perhaps $100bn a year. That is about the same size as Comcast, America’s 31st-biggest listed firm by sales.

尽管这些公司身价不菲,他们仍在探索可持续发展的商业模式。印度公司Reliance Jio花费370亿美元搭建高速移动网络,收获众多贫困用户。在亚洲,平均每个用户每年仅能给脸书带来11美元的广告收益,而在北美洲则是112美元。新兴市场(不包括中国)所有互联网公司的年收入大约有1000亿美元,这和美国第31大上市公司康卡斯特(Comcast)的规模差不多。

Nonetheless, the impact of these firms on business will get bigger in two ways. First, they will grow fast—although whether fast enough to justify their valuations remains to be seen. To maximise their chances, many are offering not just a single service (such as search or video), as Western firms tended to in their early years, but a bundle of services in one app instead, in the hope of making more money per user. This approach was pioneered in China by Alibaba and Tencent. Go-Jek in Indonesia offers ride-hailing, payments, drug preions and massages. Facebook is pushing a digital payments system in India through its chat service, WhatsApp (see Finance Section).

尽管如此,互联网公司将通过两种方式来扩大他们的影响力。第一种,快速扩张,至于他们扩张的速度是否足够迅速,以证明其价值,还需拭目以待。为了将市场机遇最大化,很多公司不像西方早期的公司一样提供单一服务(例如搜索服务或视频服务),而是在一个应用程序内提供多种服务,以期在每个用户身上赚到更多的钱。这种方法由中国的阿里巴巴和腾讯首创。印度尼西亚的Go-Jek提供网约车、移动支付、药品处方和通信的服务。脸书利用聊天软件WhatsApp在印度推行电子支付系统。(详见金融版块)

The second is that in the emerging world, established firms are likely to be disrupted more quickly than incumbents were in the rich world. They have less infrastructure, such as warehouses and retail sites, to act as a barrier to entry. Many people, especially outside the big cities, lack access to their services entirely. Beer, shampoo and other consumer-goods firms could find that as marketing goes digital, new insurgent brands gain traction faster. Banks will be forced to adapt quickly to digital payments or die. Viewed this way, there is a huge amount of money at stake—the total market value of incumbent firms in the emerging world, outside China, is $8trn. If you thought the first half of the internet revolution was disruptive, just wait until you see the second act.

第二,新兴国家的公司可能比发达国家的公司更快陷入混乱。它们基础设施建设薄弱,缺乏仓库和零售店这样的准入门槛。许多人,尤其是大城市以外的人完全享受不到这类服务。生产啤酒、沐浴露和其他日化产品的公司发现,随着销售逐渐数字化,与众不同的品牌将发展的更快。银行被迫快速适应数字支付,否则将面临倒闭风险。这样看来,大批资金岌岌可危,在除中国以外的新兴国家,现有企业的总市值为8万亿美元。如果你以为上一阶段的互联网变革已经扰乱了市场,那就敬请期待下一轮的变革吧。返回搜狐,查看更多

说明:译文出自中国高翻团队经济学人翻译队,经过学长学姐审校而成的译文,适合精读和翻译。经济学人是考试青睐的材料,认真学习,会受益匪浅。经济学人翻译参考报名可联系微信Fxuezhang。本文未经同意,不得转载。

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