Visual China Group Investors Dump Stock

Posted on 12/14/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (4)

Visual China Group the company that acquired Corbis in January 2016 has seen a more than 50% decline in value as an investment since the purchase and a 20% decline in the last month. VCG is a publicly traded company on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

While the managing and licensing of visual content is a major part or VCG’s business, the parent company is also involved in a number of related business including radio and television transmission technology, Internet transmission, Internet games and entertainment, mobile communications network, gaming and entertainment technology, and computer software development. Thus, the activity of the company stock is not solely reflective of what is happening in the Chinese stock photo market.

According to sources in China, part of the reason for the recent decline is an overall decline in the Shenzhen stock market. However, VCG's decline is twice as large as the Chinese stock market in general.

Even at its current stock price of 19.13 CNY the outstanding shares of VCG are worth $2 billion USD but the company has less than $100 million in revenue. Sources indicate that another 50% drop is certainly possible.

VCG has been buying low PE assets to grow its revenue and lower its PE. But lack of growth in its core photo licensing business and the fact that it is unable to grow revenue in all its other expanded businesses is making it a much less attractive investment.

VCG’s net profit as a Getty Images agent is 36.5%.

Copyright © 2016 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


  • David Madison Posted Dec 14, 2016
    Can you amplify what you mean by the last line:
    VCG’s net profit as a Getty Images agent is 36.5%.

  • Jim Pickerell Posted Dec 16, 2016
    As I understand it, when VCG makes a sale of an images from the Getty collection they keep 36.5% of the gross fee paid and remit the rest to Getty. Getty then sends a royalty share to the image creator based on what Getty received.

  • Jim Pickerell Posted Dec 16, 2016
    Correction Number 2

    My Chinese source says the 36.5% is the Net Profit is what VCG reports in its public statement. It is not gross margin, but net profit after all expenses are deducted. It is curious how a photo agency has high of a net profit margin.

  • Ian Shive Posted Dec 17, 2016
    VCG is invested in many other "stock" companies - what does this mean for them, especially those which are more in a start-up phase?

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff