Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Silicon Dragon: Renren & Kaixin001 CEOs to Face Off

If it’s the entrepreneur who really matters more than the money or the model behind a startup’s success or failure, then the match between the two founders of competing Facebook sites in China ‒ Renren and Kaixin001 ‒ is going to be an interesting one to watch on Wall Street. Kaixin001 is expected to list in the U.S. soon, following the lead last week of Renren.

Quiet and unassuming where Renren CEO and founder Joe Chen can be dynamic and colorful, the bio of Cheng Binghao is a study in contrasts with that of his key rival. Cheng is a homegrown, first-time Chinese entrepreneur and geeky website developer while Chen, now a billionaire from the IPO, is a savvy returnee and startup master.

How each fare could point to the future of China tech startups on Wall Street. The model of CEO returnee has proven to be successful one, with western-educated and trained Robin Li of Chinese search engine Baidu as its best representative. Now Cheng, as his Kaixin001 is poised to go public, is at the start of a new and different parade of entrepreneurs who take their cues from Chinese culture and upbringing rather than from the West.

The contrasting resources in building these two competing Chinese Facebook sites showcases a shift from the first wave of China’s returnee entrepreneurs to today’s more localized homegrown generation.

Keep reading post at Forbes, click