I keep hearing about a split in a leading venture team in China. My contacts at the firm in the U.S. and China are not responding to requests for confirmation. But several outside sources say it's true. "Just don't say you heard it from me," said one clued-in venture capitalist who does deals on both sides of the Pacific.
The talk of a possible break in the partnership could stem from the highly distinct styles of two camps at the venture firm -- maverick contrasted with buttoned-down professional.
It could just be rumors. After all, the venture capital business is known to be fairly gossipy. But if true, it doesn't look like the best start in China for one of the higher-profile venture firms in the West.
This Silicon Valley firm is one of several investors featured in Silicon Dragon: How China is Winning the Tech Race (McGraw-Hill, Jan. 2008).
I was at a New Year's Eve party on Central Park South in Manhattan when a Chinese friend of mine told me the the shocking news: Baidu CFO Shawn Wang had died from an accident in China during the Christmas holiday vacation. I first met Shawn in early 2005, before Baidu went public on NASDAQ in a high-flying IPO. He was a star among Chinese Internet entrepreneurs and had been with Robin Li's startup since 2004. As word of the accident hit Wall Street, the company's stock price fell slightly, and closed the last business day of 2007 at - 2.2.