SWOT is a strategic analysing framework used to summarise pivotal events associated with the competition of an organisation or a project as well as its business or execution circumstances in (also can be applied for personnel analysis). The company/project board or management team can employ SWOT analysis to recognise the capabilities and identify valuable information to draw an overall view of its strategic position. Then, potential risks and strategies during accomplishing objectives could be explored accordingly, with a focus on leveraging strengths and opportunities to overcome weaknesses and threats.
The acronym represents four perspectives that are divided into two major categories: internal and external. The internal group consists of strengths (S) and weaknesses ( W ), which indicates the situations of applying readily available resources and experience of the company or project for achieving the objectives. The factors may include all of the 4Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) as well as personnel, finance, manufacturing capabilities, and so forth. There is one reasonable classification of these factors introduced by BusinessNewsDaily as follows:
Financial resources (funding, sources of income and investment opportunities)
Physical resources (location, facilities and equipment)
Human resources (employees, volunteers and target audiences)
Access to natural resources, trademarks, patents and copyrights
Current processes (employee programs, department hierarchies and software systems)
The external group also covers both positive and negative perspectives that are opportunities and threats. By contrast, the issues in the external group are comparatively uncontrollable for a company or project. Due to the factors external to organisations or projects, such as macroeconomic matters, technological development, legislation sociocultural changes and changes in the marketplace, the opportunities (O) and threats (T) that impact the process of achieving objectives directly or indirectly would emerge. Business NewsDaily also provides a classified result of them.
Market trends (new products, technology advancements and shifts in audience needs)
Economic trends (local, national and international financial trends)
Funding (donations, legislature and other sources)
Relationships with suppliers and partners
Political, environmental and economic regulations
Furthermore, a variant of SWOT, TOWS Matrix can be employed to explore relevant strategic options of identified risks that an organisation or a project could pursue. Jim Woodruff (2019) has explained the differences between SWOT and TOWS. And there is an example of TWOS application presented by Oxford College of Marketing.
Apart from using for risk analysis, a kind of Business Planning Checklist containing key activities that need to be performed when preparing a formal business plan can be generated. The task in the template is a specific activity for dealing with different types of issues that have been identified by SWOT analysis.
All reference resources used are before 2019, the ‘current’ mentioned below refers to the beginning of 2019, and the ‘future ‘refers to the second half of 2019 and beyond.
Based on the collected information, the four major risks of Bilibili are classified and shown as the mind map above. The arrows among them represent the relationship of influencing among each risk. The major risks have been identified and discussed as follows.
Distribution of income. The company prospectus(2018) shows the percentage of profit from mobile games increased by year, which are 65.7%, 65.4% and 83.4% of the total net revenue from 2015 to 2017 respectively. During this period, Bilibili did not invest much budget in the mobile games market, thereby the number and size of mobile games Bilibili owns were not large. In addition, all of those mobile games Bilibili owns were offered from third-party game developers and publishers. However, there were significant returns brought by mobile game products and services. Especially in 2017, two of the games have a particularly strong income, which accounted for 71.8% and 12.7% of the total revenue from mobile games. While revenue from mobile games fell back to 61.7% (103.7 million US dollar) of the total net revenue (168.1 million US dollar), it increased by 15% compared to the same period of 2017 (90.2 million US dollar) (according to the data from Bilibili Investor Home).
Technology competence. A recent study(Kang et al., 2015) shows that it is widely believed that the Internet is a simple service system due to the degree of cash technology education. This allows users to carry more privacy protection options in the absence of understanding. Hence, any mistakes in platform network security can have a significant adverse impact on our business, operations and reputation, given the extreme trust of such users. Technologies could support operations and review content, reducing risk due to operational errors or content non-compliance.
Monitoring by the regulators. There were two events of penalties by the Chinese government in the history of Bilibili, which happened in 2012 and 2018 respectively (Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV, Film, Press and Publication Bureau, 2012 and The China Media Project, 2018). The reasons for them were both because of the violation of the regulations. Therefore, if the videos, games and other content formats in the Platform are deemed to be in violation of any laws or regulations of the People’s Republic of China, the business, financial condition and results of operations of Bilibili may be materially and adversely affected.
Quality of content provided in the platform. the prospectus of Bilibili (2018) points out that the PUG content attracts more users to the platform. In 2017, PUG video views accounted for 85.5% of its total video views, compared with 74.5% in 2016. However, the quality and quantity of the PUG content cannot be controlled effectively because the content is produced by users. The quality of the content will affect the number of users. Once the number of users declines, the company’s revenue will be affected. Moreover, the quality of the content also affects the regulatory results of government regulators, community culture and brand reputation. These aspects will directly affect the company’s revenue and development.
There are reasons for the positioning of each risk as follows.
Distribution of income. As mentioned above, the revenue from mobile games accounted for a significant proportion of the total net revenue from 2015 to 2018. However, Bilibili has built a partnership with a number of famous game developers since 2018, such as GREE and Tencent.
Technology competence. The population of active users of Bilibili has been over 77.5 million per month since 2018 (according to Simple investor). If the service is unavailable or security issues due to technical reasons, the company’s revenue and reputation will suffer huge losses. However, Bilibili mentions that there is almost no such problems have occurred since the operation of the platform.
Monitoring by the regulators. Two serious penalties occurred in the company’s history, resulting in property damage and platform rectification.
Quality of content provided in the platform. Bilibili announced that the size of the content acceptance team would be increased. However, even with a large number of manual acceptance, there is no guarantee that the quality of a large amount of content will be fully guaranteed.