- Posted August 13, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Life in China
Facebook's co-founder Eduardo Saverin with CHINICT's Founder & President Franck Nazikian at Annual Edition of the CHINICT Conference in Beijing
The cover photo shows the face to face meeting between Facebook's co-founder Eduardo Saverin and CHINICT's Founder & President Franck Nazikian at the 8th Annual Edition of the CHINICT Conference in Beijing.
Attendees at the conferences over the past several years have enjoyed the rare privilege of being able to hear from such notable tech industry leaders and government officials as 500Startups’ founder Dave McClure, IMF’s President Christine Lagarde, Movie star & entrepreneur Daniel Wu, InnovationWorks’ founder Kaifu Lee, Qunar’s co-founder Fritz Demopoulos and Kong.net’s co-founder Nick Yang among others.
Those in attendance also had the opportunity to sit and listen to an interview featuring successful serial entrepreneur and founder of CHINICT, China’s largest tech conference, Franck Nazikian. Nazikian created and introduced the conference in Beijing in 2005, where he had moved from the Silicon Valley after selling his previous venture to Oracle.
The moderator begins the interview:
The 9th annual edition of the CHINICT Conference just ended last May. Which companies did you choose to showcase this year?
Nazikian "We tend to favor more and more early stage projects with a lot of potential – like the ones we talked about at the CHINICT Conference with prominent investors such as 500Startups’ Dave McClure, Facebook’s co-founder Eduardo Saverin or DFJ’s founder Tim Draper.
And following our goal to help even extremely early stage entrepreneurs, we showcased a company whose product was developed during the 2012 edition of the CHINICT Hackathon - where entrepreneur-minded software developers - I called them “developneurs” - created in 48 hours an application I had actually conceptualized. This application is called Kittyful and is a fun and efficient way to exchange pictures of cats! Pets’ pictures are among the most shared pictures over the Internet.
In parallel to early stage projects, we also gave large visibility to big players such as Tencent’s killer app WeChat – the most popular social media app in China (under the name Weixin) – and now probably the fastest growing social media app in the world. And guess what? This product is 100 % made in China! By the way, Tencent is no stranger to outstanding success outside of China. Indeed, Tencent is also the owner of Riot Games – who created the most popular online game ever: LOL – League of Legends."
Moderator: Within the Internet business, which sectors seem to move the fastest in China?
Nazikian "Online video business is gaining more and more momentum in China. At CHINICT in 2013, we presented iQIYI – the #1 company in China for premium online videos. Interestingly enough, this company had originally the same shareholder as its US counterpart - Hulu (iQIYI now belongs to Baidu - China’s largest Internet company).
The very fast growth of iQIYI proves that online video business in China is more and more structured around proprietary contents. As a matter of facts, in China, only one user-generated-content online video company is still up and running: KU6 – belonging to China’s giant gaming and media company Shanda (also on-stage at CHINICT this year).
This trend shows that, unlike popular belief, China is more and more paying acute attention to Intellectual Property. In a matter of years, illegal video streaming has almost become an insignificant by-product – which shows the government capabilities to enforce rules when it matters."
Moderator: In general, what other trends have you noticed lately in the high tech world in China?
Nazikian "The recent troubles of Apple in China are not what they seem to be... Indeed, originally Apple was accused by Chinese media to deliver poor customer service.
However, behind these complaints lays another reality: in facts, the idea here is to push Apple to transfer more added value to China. To me, the message to Apple is clear: “Apple, please stop considering Chinese only as workers producing your iPhones at a very low cost – and start showing face to the Chinese - now your 2nd (soon to be 1st) largest customer – by transferring significant part of your Intellectual property to China!”
In my opinion, within 2-5 years, more and more Apple products will be labeled as “Designed in China, Assembled in China” as opposed to what it is today: “Designed in California, Assembled in China”.
Microsoft has been transferring intellectual property to China for years already, so has Cisco. By the way, Yahoo - who was one of CHINICT’s main partners this year - has created in 2008 in Beijing a R&D center producing different products for the global market, including the popular Yahoo Messenger.
Moderator: Is Chinese ecommerce destroying traditional distribution?
Nazikian "E-commerce big players in China have been gaining control over most traditional distribution networks and are now taking on fast-growing sectors in Internet business – such as Social Media.
One example of that trend is the recent take-over of Sina-Weibo – “Chinese Tweeter” – by e-commerce giant Alibaba. Indeed, like Tweeter, Sina-Weibo has difficulty to generate profits but still remains a great tool as far as ecommerce is concerned.
The other noticeable phenomenon is the site T-mall, also developed by Alibaba, and whose main goal is to sell products guaranteed as not fake. Among other advantages, this site allows Western brands to safely distribute their products in China and should increase the global impact of Chinese e-commerce."
CHINICT is the largest conference on China tech innovation & entrepreneurship. Since 2005, it has been taking place once a year in Beijing. China is rapidly catching-up with Silicon Valley, both as a hotbed giving birth to innovations of global impact and as a magnet attracting entrepreneurs from all over the world. At CHINICT, we showcase this silent yet on-going revolution.
Founder & CEO
Follow Franck Nazikian on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/CHINICT