In Silicon Valley, Chinese ‘Accelerators’ Aim to Bring Startups Home

Koh Gui Qing, Salvador Rodriguez
Reuters
Beijing’s unslakeable thirst for the latest technology has spurred a proliferation of “accelerators” in Silicon Valley that aim to identify promising startups and bring them to China.

Life Drains from Little Africa as China Dream Fades for Its Fortune Seekers

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Kalifa Feika swapped Sierra Leone for southern China four years ago, determined to manufacture his fortune in the factory of the world.

China Tries to Charm Tech-Savvy Taiwanese Youth as Political Ties Fray

Brenda Goh and Jess Macy Yu
Reuters
A start-up incubator on the outskirts of Shanghai is laying out sweeteners for budding entrepreneurs: Free office space, subsidized housing rent, tax breaks and in some cases, cash of up to 200,000 yuan ($31,211.47).

Founder of China's Embattled LeEco Placed on Debt Blacklist

Engen Tham, Adam Jourdan
Reuters
The high-profile founder of struggling Chinese tech conglomerate LeEco has been placed on an official blacklist of debt defaulters, a further blow to a firm that had spent heavily to compete in areas from smart cars to online entertainment.

China Leads the March of Women Learning Business

Emily Feng
Financial Times
In her early 20s Cindy Mi preferred long pencil skirts and severe blazers. She was managing her family education business and she projected authority by dressing conservatively.

Books

06.13.17

Fortune Makers

Michael Useem, Harbir Singh, Liang Neng, Peter Cappelli
Fortune Makers analyzes and brings to light the distinctive practices of business leaders who are the future of the Chinese economy. These leaders oversee not the old state-owned enterprises, but private companies that have had to invent their way forward out of the wreckage of an economy in tatters following the Cultural Revolution.Outside of brand names such as Alibaba and Lenovo, little is known, even by the Chinese themselves, about the people present at the creation of these innovative businesses. Fortune Makers provides sharp insights into their unique styles—a distinctive blend of the entrepreneur, the street fighter, and practices developed by the Communist Party—and their distinctive ways of leading and managing their organizations that are unlike anything the West is familiar with.When Peter Drucker published Concept of the Corporation in 1946, he revealed what made large American corporations tick. Similarly, when Japanese companies emerged as a global force in the 1980s, insightful analysts explained the practices that brought Japan’s economy out of the ashes—and what managers elsewhere could learn to compete with them. Now, based on unprecedented access, Fortune Makers allows business leaders in the United States and the rest of the West to understand the essential character and style of Chinese corporate life and its dominant players, whose businesses are the foundation of the domestic Chinese market and are now making their mark globally. —PublicAffairs{chop}

Sinica Podcast

06.07.17

Kai-Fu Lee on Artificial Intelligence in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Kai-Fu Lee is one of the most prominent figures in Chinese technology. He founded China’s noted early-stage venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures after launching and heading up Google’s China operations during their years of growth from 2005 to...

Features

04.03.17

Boxing For Survival in a Chinese Fight Club

Robert Foyle Hunwick
“I was supposed to be fighting some IT guy,” Bo Junhui groaned afterward. Instead, the 18-year-old student was up against someone a year older, ten pounds heavier, and a lot hungrier. Xia Tian has never worked behind a desk; he’d spent the last few...

Sinica Podcast

07.11.16

The Street of Eternal Happiness

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Rob Schmitz, China correspondent for Marketplace, has been living in China on and off since 1995. He is the author of Street of Eternal Happiness: Big City Dreams Along a Shanghai Road, a book about the people living and working on Changle Lu in...

China: Scaling The World’s Highest Innovation Peaks

Vikram Jandhyala
TechCrunch
The word “innovation” was mentioned 71 times in a communiqué after the Chinese Communist Party’s recent plenary meeting. 

Books

08.27.15

China’s Disruptors

Edward Tse
In September 2014, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba raised $25 billion in the world’s biggest-ever initial public offering. Since then, millions of investors and managers worldwide have pondered a fundamental question: What’s really going on with the new wave of China’s disruptors?Alibaba wasn’t an outlier—it’s one of a rising tide of thriving Chinese companies, mostly but not exclusively in the technology sector. Overnight, its founder, Jack Ma, appeared on the same magazine covers as American entrepreneurial icons like Mark Zuckerberg. Ma was quickly followed by the founders of other previously little-known companies, such as Baidu, Tencent, and Xiaomi.Over the past two decades, an unprecedented burst of entrepreneurialism has transformed China’s economy from a closed, impoverished, state-run system into a major power in global business. As products in China become more and more sophisticated, and as its companies embrace domestically developed technology, we will increasingly see Chinese goods setting global standards. Meanwhile, companies in the rest of the world wonder how they can access the fast-rising incomes of China’s 1.3 billion consumers.Now Edward Tse, a leading global strategy consultant, reveals how China got to this point, and what the country’s rise means for the United States and the rest of the world. Tse has spent more than twenty years working with senior Chinese executives, learning firsthand how China’s most powerful companies operate. He’s an expert on how private firms are thriving in what is still, officially, a communist country. His book draws on exclusive interviews and case studies to explore questions such as:What drives China’s entrepreneurs? Personal fame and fortune—or a quest for national pride and communal achievement?How do these companies grow so quickly? In 2005, Lenovo sold just one category of products (personal computers) in one market, China. Today, not only is it the world’s largest PC seller; it is also the world’s third-largest smartphone seller.How does Chinese culture shape the strategies and tactics of these business leaders? Can outsiders copy what the Chinese are doing?Can capitalists really thrive within a communist system? How does Tencent’s Pony Ma serve as a member of China’s parliament while running a company that dominates online games and messaging?What impact will China have on the rest of the world as its private companies enter new markets, acquire foreign businesses, and threaten established firms in countless industries?As Tse concludes: “I believe that as a consequence of the opening driven by China’s entrepreneurs, the push to invest in science, research, and development, and the new freedoms that people are enjoying across the country, China has embarked on a renaissance that could rival its greatest era in history—the Tang dynasty. These entrepreneurs are the front line in China’s intense hunger for success. They will have an even more remarkable impact on the global economy in the future, through the rest of this decade and beyond.” —Portfolio/Penguin{chop}

The Chinese Ride-Hailing Startup That’s Out-Ubering Uber

Davey Alba
Wired
Didi Kuaidi is taking on Uber for the title of largest ride-hailing company in the world’s largest country--or, Uber appears to be trying to unseat the homegrown favorite.

Chinese Investment Banker Fan Bao Searches for Next Jack Ma

William Mellor and Lulu Yilun Chen
Bloomberg
If successful, the combined Didi and Kuaidi Dache could join Internet giants Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.

China’s Xi Highlights “Big Picture” in Reform Drive

Xinhua
Authorities must place scientific and technological innovation at the heart of the drive to reform. 

Car-Hire Services Compete for the Ride Stuff

Qin Min and Wang XInci
Uber's deal with a car broker is a sign of growing competition among firms relying on car-hire and taxi-hailing apps...

Zhang Lei has Lunch with the FT

Henny Sender
Financial Times
The billionaire Chinese financier was among the first to see the potential in homegrown internet companies. He talks about a career that began when he rented out comics at the age of seven.

A Globe-Trotting Serial Entrepreneur Finds Roots in China’s Start-Up Scene

Ron Gluckman
New York Times
From information technology and gaming, to local comedy, Richard Robinson knows what is going on in China. 

A Globe-Trotting Serial Entrepreneur Finds Roots in China’s Start-Up Scene

Ron Gluckman
New York Times
 From information technology and gaming, to local comedy, Richard Robinson knows what is going on in China. 

Media

06.12.13

In Box Office Hit, American Dream Is Still Alive—In a Maturing China

Over the last two weeks, the movie American Dreams in China (中国合伙人) has been the number one box office hit in China, selling over 400 million tickets to date. The movie is a gritty and at times tongue-in-cheek comedy that tells the true story of...

China’s Wealthiest: When Getting Rich Is Not Glorious

The Economist
Economist
Each year around this time, the Hurun Report, a Shanghai-based luxury publishing and events group, releases its compiled list of China’s wealthiest people. The report not only satisfies the prurient interest of those fascinated with the lifestyles...

Books

04.15.11

Tide Players

Jianying Zha
In Tide Players, acclaimed New Yorker contributor and author Jianying Zha depicts a new generation of movers and shakers who are transforming modern China. Through half a dozen sharply etched and nuanced profiles, Tide Players captures both the concrete detail and the epic dimension of life in the world’s fastest growing economy. Zha’s vivid cast of characters includes an unlikely couple who teamed up to become the country’s leading real-estate moguls; a gifted chameleon who transformed himself from Mao’s favorite “barefoot doctor” during the Cultural Revolution to a publishing maverick; and a tycoon of home-electronic chain stores who insisted on avenging his mother, who had been executed as “a counter-revolutionary criminal.” Alongside these entrepreneurs, Zha also brings us the intellectuals: a cantankerous professor at China’s top university; a former cultural minister turned prolific writer; and Zha’s own brother, a dissident who served a nine-year prison term for helping to found the China Democracy Party. Deeply engaging, lucid, and poignant, Zha’s insightful “insider-outsider” portraits offer a picture of a China that few Western readers have seen before. —The New Press{chop}