Mobile Monday Thailand visit Beijing (with Pics)

MoMoBKK had a break in Beijing, China before our upcoming Mobile Monday Bangkok event on Monday 28th of May.

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MoMoBKK visited GMIC 2012 and also had a co-organized Mobile Monday Beijing (pictures below) event when visiting Beijing at the beginning of May. It has been mentioned that Beijing itself is the Silicon Valley of Asia, the home city of those great Chinese Internet companies such as Baidu (Google of China), Weibo (Twitter of China), and RenRen (Facebook of China). All of these companies are still relatively low valued compared to Facebook as WSJ found in their recent article (below).


Visit to Baidu itself was interesting, company’s main office is very cool and they are rolling out new API for developers and advertisers to tap in to. Baidu has mentioned that they only take best and most working products from Google and use these in Chinese market. Baidu’s headquarters is rather like any silicon valley startup, though, like much of Baidu’s philosophy, it is copied from the west as well.

GMIC is the largest mobile internet conference of Asia. With over 5000 participants, it is very hard to beat by any other country in the region. The organization of the event is great and as professional as you would expect from such a conference. Target audience for the event is mostly to C-level people, so some content might not give enough specifics for startup entrepreneurs or those technology enthusiasts. However, networking is the most important value this conference has. Startup event (G-Startup) is surely interesting for any tech entrepreneur. Also, if your company has interest to enter to the Chinese market, this is the conference to be.

China is going through Internet boom, a lot of .dot com companies as well as mobile startups are arising all over the place. Level of these services, in some cases is very high. It is very obvious why all these clone Internet websites are so popular, mostly because of the limitations and opportunity Great Firewall of China creates. If people cannot access Google website, they will access similar service, such as Baidu.

Some of the Chinese startups, for example Weibo, have a very good quality website and in my opinion beats Twitter with the quality (accepts photo, video and music by default). However the company culture and creativity lacks far behind. Sina mentioned to us “they have no founder”, something which you would never hear in the Silicon Valley or EU.

Content is another example of differences between Western and Chinese startups:

Weibo introduce strict content rules.

A big challenge for Chinese internet companies are those regulations which are posed to them by the Chinese government. This makes Weibo a very different kind of service compared to Twitter, which is de facto tool for freedom of expression.

Another good visit was to the China based app store analytics company, App Annie. Great story as it is, the company is founded by a mix of Europeans and Asians, but having their office in Beijing. Great to see that Chinese startup environment is open for such a multicultural companies (they have quite a few out there). I believe there is a lot they can contribute and give to the local scene.

Chinese web companies have a strong foothold in to the Chinese web, it looks like Western tech companies are not going beat Chinese counterparts any time soon when it comes to the Internet within China. It remains to be seen when pure copying is evolving to something greater, perhaps creativity and creation of something completely new. China has all the resources in it’s use and a strong home-grown population where to test new products. Potential is great so we look forward to see the future of Chinese Internet scene.

Our trip was finished with a Mobile Monday showcase of Asian tech entrepreneurs. MoMoBKK presented a technology introduction to Thai tech space and visiting Thai entrepreneurs showcased their experiences, thanks to Thomas, Jakob and Peach for joining in. MoMo Beijing evening was great and big thanks to the MoMo Beijing crew to host us! We hope to see more of similar cooperation in the future from the MoMo network.

See all of the Mobile Monday Beijing presentation slides here :
MoMo Beijing #50 International Entrepreneurship – in Co-operation with Mobile Monday Bangkok

Story by Ville Kulmala – Twitter: @villekulmala

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