Thursday, April 30, 2009

China outsourcing

Some of my handiwork can be spotted in KPMG's recently released thought leadership report on China outsourcing. See "A New Dawn" in the Information, Communications and Entertainment section of the KPMG virtual library:
The report includes seven case studies based on interviews with CEOs of the leading Chinese outsourcing companies, including Neusoft chairman Dr. Liu Jiren (shown here with yours truly). Much of the research was done at site visits in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, where there was an opportunity to tour software parks and meet with government officials. There was even a dinner banquet with the deputy mayor of Hangzhou (see photo). Hangzhou is eager to attract more outsourcing companies to come join e-commerce leader Alibaba here.
What was interesting to me in doing the report was the close parallels I found between the rise of China outsourcing and the growth of "Silicon Dragon". These factors all point to China's push from "made in China" to "invented in China."
You only need look at the statistics to see a clear trend line in China's move from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. China has the fastest growth in the world in new patents applications, public offerings and venture capital investments. It also has the world's largest number of mobile phone users, Internet users and engineers.
If the trends continue, I have little doubt that someday China will have an outsourcing company that rivals Indian giants Infosys or Wipro. Certainly, there is a case to be made that China sourcing is "on the ascendancy," as Edge Zarella (pictured with deputy mayor Tong Guili), KPMG's IT "rock star," likes to say.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ohio University Scripps visit

Today, I visited my alma mater -- Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. It was a pleasure to be there. I had the opportunity to share some of my many journalistic experiences with a group of students enrolled in an online journalism class. Thanks goes to Professor Robert Stewart for the invite. I hope to return to Athens soon!
On an added note, I have to say that I am glad I am not graduating this year. New grads face the difficult prospect of finding a job in a rapidly changing media landscape. Only the truly enterprising among them will emerge as winners.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

University week

I'm just back from Harvard, and soon to be on my way to Ohio University -- both the Lancaster campus in my hometown and also the main campus in Athens. Did you know that OU is known as Harvard on the Hocking (River?) The campus does have similar architecture. Here's the scoop on the luncheon and lecture at Lancaster.

On Friday, I'm going to speak to some journalism students at the Scripps School. Professor Robert Stewart invited me. I'm looking forward to the visit!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Harvard China Review notes

Congratulations to the team at Harvard China Review who organized the 12th annual conference on the Cambridge campus. It was a terrific weekend of networking with a diverse group of people -- professors, students, venture capitalists, budding entrepreneurs -- who are all interested in China's future role in the world economy. I know conference organization can be quite trying, but the student organizers pulled it off with panache. Sessions were held in tandem at various Harvard halls, and expert speakers traveled from China to bring their messages, ranging from healthcare and education to the economy and enterpreneurship.
I was invited to moderate a panel on the new face of China's digital media. My fellow panelists were Mike Balaban of Xinhua Finance and Lyndon Cao of China Daily. They gave terrific case studies, just right for Harvard! I outlined the premise of Silicon Dragon and showed how Chinese e-media are gaining a foothold quickly due to China's uptake of the Internet and mobile communications.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

EVENT: Harvard China Review

Here's a new event on the Silicon Dragon social calendar.
Harvard China Review 12th annual conference, April 10-12, 2009
Cambridge, Mass.
It will be fun to be at the Harvard campus again!
I'm an invited speaker, and I'll be talking about how technology is impacting media in China. My fellow panelists are Lydnon Cao, president of China Daily USA, and Mike Balaban, principal of Balaban Associates and associate director of Parkview Ventures.
It promises to be an action-packed weekend, with a VIP dinner Saturday evening with the other speakers. I better learn more Mandarin fast. Thankfully, a lot of these speeches will be translated.