Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mid-career U.S. and European professionals in their 30s and 40s are making it in China and can’t get enough of the place.

Fritz Demopoulos, (pictured) 43, a Southern Californian and MBA grad from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management hasn’t mastered Mandarin, but has scored two Chinese Internet successes over the past decade. In June 2011, Baidu invested $306 million in the travel search engine Qunar he formed in 2005 and he stepped down as CEO, turning management over to Chinese staff. Demopoulos, who was born in the U.S. to a Greek dad and Austrian mother, got his start in China as business development manager for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., working alongside Wendi Deng in the late 1990s in Hong Kong and mainland China, and running information technology portal He next joined NASDAQ-listed Chinese portal and gaming company Netease and worked closely with the CEO on a two-year turnaround. In 2001, his first China startup, sports portal Shawei, was bought by Hong Kong-based Tom Group for $15 million.

With his credentials, Demopoulos could write his ticket. He’s exploring opportunities to start another business or become an active investor, and plans to continue working in either Hong Kong or Beijing. “I don’t think I will be based at the debtor to China, ie the U.S.,” he says.

Richard Robinson, 43, hails from Boston and still drops the “r’s” with his accent though he’s long ago broken through the language and cultural barrier on a whirlwind tech startup career in China.

To continue reading this Chapter One excerpt from my recently published book, Startup Asia, see Forbes post:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Tech Gets Exciting in India, 5 Years Behind China

Mumbai street scene from Silicon Dragon ventures

The only other tech market in Asia that is halfway as exciting as China is India. It has the promise to close the gap with China but is no match yet. India’s mobile market is large, venture spending is vibrant, and high-profile IPOs such as MakeMyTrip are happening, with more on the way soon from up such swift up and comers as mobile ad service inMobi and PC help center iYogi.

Plus, India has proven it is rich in R&D and a lot more than outsourcing. Even so, red tape and poor infrastructure hold back the entrepreneurial spirit here. Investors Bill Draper, Lip-Bu Tan, and Sumir Chadha did the trailblazing in India. Today India’s venture leaders such as Ashish Gupta and Sudhir Sethi are looking for the next, new thing in mesmerizing India – the world’s second-fastest-growing economy and Asia’s third-largest economy.

At IDG Ventures in Bangalore, I met with Sethi, who is chairman and managing director and runs the tech media company’s $150 million India fund. It’s one of five funds in the IDG Ventures network established by Pat McGovern, the visionary founder and chairman of International Data Group in Boston. If a strategy works in one locale, then IDG works to bring the formula to startups in other places. China has proven to be a gold mine for IDG, where it’s made multimillion-dollar returns from early investments and successful IPOs of instant-messaging service Tencent and search engine Baidu. India could be next.

During a trip to India, I met founders of startups with advances for everything from detecting lung cancer at an earlier stage to recycling electronic waste in a cost-effective way, to bringing solar power to villagers, to offering superfast mobile searches, to three-dimensional online games, to robotic-powered vacuum cleaners. India’s also become a mecca for low-cost and sometimes jerry-rigged inventions—in Hindi, jugaad. Tata Motors’ tiny Nano car at an itty-bitty price tag of $2,500 and the Indian government-backed tablet computer selling for $35 are some examples. So is my favorite find: a Nokia cell phone with a built-in flashlight. India may not have a Google, Apple, Baidu, or Tencent yet, but it is moving into more technical work than writing software and answering phones.

Yet India’s entrepreneurial journey is at least five years behind China’s path. There’s no Jack Ma or Robin Li in sight or a big-time IPO like Youku. India lacks the entrepreneurial buzz and fast pace of China tech clusters. Indian entrepreneurship has been led by grassroots efforts, and the government hasn’t always been venture friendly.

If India is ever to break through, it needs to ditch an image as just for outsourcing or low-cost engineering and business services—a major challenge for the world leader of the booming $500 billion global outsourcing market. But India could eventually become a tech minipower and grab some of the limelight from China. Contemporary corporate centers such as Whitefield on the outskirts of Bangalore and the Gurgaon satellite city in Delhi showcase that India is rising.

See Forbes post, Nov. 27, 2011:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kai-Fu talks Steve Jobs, Silicon Dragon, China angels

Kai-Fu Lee, who wrote the foreword to my new book Startup Asia, is raising a second fund of $300 million to branch out to Shanghai, having stormed Beijing with a first fund of $180 million and investment returns he says are 10 times in two years' time. Not bad progress since he left the helm of Google China to set up angel investment fund and incubator Innovation Works in September 2009.
See the video interview and read more in Forbes at my post.
Will China see a Steve Jobs soon? No, says Lee.
How about the impact of angel investors and serial entrepreneurs? It's BIG.
Watch the mobile Internet for future China innovation.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Go East, Young Entrepreneur!

Go East, Young Entrepreneur!

"The opportunity is now. In a few years, it will be too late."
Kai-Fu Lee, Founder and Chairman, Innovation Works

Read my new book, Startup Asia: Top Strategies for Cashing in on Asia's Innovation Boom
to find out how dozens of entrepreneurs and venture investors are getting ahead fast and how you can too!
Kai-Fu Lee wrote the foreword.

Startup Asia has endorsements from The Economist, Technology Review, a Columbia University professor, and numerous leading practitioners, including Dick Kramlich and Bill Draper.

The book sold out on its second day on Amazon. But I hear they're stocked up now!
Check it out.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

From Made in China to Invented in China? 'Chinov8!'

A Silicon Dragon tech economy began in 2002 with Chinese returnees—so-called sea turtles who came home to lay their eggs—who cloned Google, YouTube, and Amazon, grabbed Sand Hill Road money, and scored on NASDAQ and the NYSE. Today, homegrown Chinese entrepreneurs are snapping up venture capital from Chinese currency funds for even more clones—Beijing techie Wang Xing alone has cloned Facebook, Twitter, and a Chinese GroupOn. 
 The needle is gradually moving from “made in China” to “invented in China.” Micro-innovations tweaked for the local culture are cropping up more often. Sina’s Weibo, a hybrid Twitter-Facebook, layered in video and photo sharing before Twitter did. The long-awaited promise of disruptive technology from China is coming, too, symbolized by China’s climb to fourth place worldwide for new patent applications. GSR Ventures–funded LatticePower in Nanchang counts more than 150 patents for making low-cost efficient LED lightbulbs.
But China technopreneurs are still in those awkward years of adolescence. The next Jack Ma of Alibaba fame has yet to emerge. 
The fissures in the wall are there, for sure. Doing business in China also means dealing with corruption, fraud, lack of the rule of law, inflation, censorship of Web content, and China’s notorious counterfeiters, who have popularized a whole industry of cheap knockoff or shanzhai cell phones.

That’s a long list of ills, but the tides are shifting and swiftly. As China’s Silicon Dragon evolves as a startup frontier with multiple undercurrents, it could even one-up the original Silicon Valley and become a technology superpower. That may be only a decade or two from now.
We’ll be debating these trends at our Silicon Dragon ‘Chinov8!’ event, Oct. 6, at Rosewood Sand Hill. See

Our expert panelists include Brad Bao of Tencent, Bill Tai of Charles River Ventures, Tim Draper of DFJ, Richard Lim of GSR Ventures plus Marguerite Gong Hancock of the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. We’ll be hearing more from our featured Chinese tech entrepreneurs Jeff Chen of Maxthon (China’s Internet Explorer plus) and Haidong Pan of Hudong (China’s Wikipedia plus), who are flying in from Beijing to speak at Silicon Dragon ‘Chinov8!’ during China’s National Day Holiday. 

Read more at my Forbes post:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Silicon Dragon Second @ NASDAQ

Following are my remarks by journalist entrepreneur and author Rebecca Fannin at NASDAQ, Sept. 8, 2011, the day her group Silicon Dragon rang the closing bell. It was a tribute to the Chinese entrepreneurs in this growing Dragon community who have taken their startups public in the U.S.

I’m very excited to be here today at NASDAQ with so many friends, colleagues and members of the fast-growing Silicon Dragon community. Thanks to NASDAQ and to Sidley Austin for your partnership and for making Sept. 8 a special day we can long remember – and not just because 8 is lucky in China.
Standing here today and getting ready to ring the closing bell gives me have a sense of what it is like for those Chinese entrepreneurs I’ve covered to actually go public on NASDAQ. I’m thinking of Robin Li who took Baidu public here in 2005 and then posed in front of that big NASDAQ neon sign at this Times Square headquarters. Robin is now one of China’s billionaires as the head of China’s search engine. And I’m thinking of Gary Wang of Tudou who went public here a few weeks ago and rang the closing bell. I recall interviewing Gary for the first time in Shanghai in 2006 when his video sharing site was new and picking up its first financing from venture investors. And yes, I’m thinking of Joe Chen of Renren, China’s Facebook-plus, who is now busily running a public company. Standing here on stage with me is David Chao of DCM who was an early backer of Joe’s startup and who was with Joe on stage when Renren went public this past May.
While Silicon Dragon is not about to go public any time soon -- well, who knows? Maybe someday we might! I do get inspired by the entrepreneurs I interview and profile! What we have done is play our part in documenting the historic rise of China’s entrepreneurs and their coming out party internationally. And we have helped to create a community linked across borders – from Beijing and Shanghai to Silicon Valley – by having gatherings such as the one we will have at 5pm today here for experts to exchange ideas and hopefully benefit from the learning.
While investing in China hasn’t really hit Main Street yet in my hometown of Lancaster, Ohio, (hi, Mom!), it’s no longer considered so foreign or even so risky – despite some recent accounting scandals we’ve read about in the press with U.S.-listed China companies and controversial reverse mergers. I know some here in the audience who have profited from well-timed buys and sells of shares Chinese companies that were financed by Sand Hill Road’s venture elite. So it is possible to get solid returns that can match those from US companies.
As a journalist and an author profiling China’s entrepreneurial leaders and up and comers, it wouldn’t be right for me to invest in those companies I cover. Sure, I have my favorites. It’s based on instinct and impressions of the founders themselves as well as hard-won access to the inner workings of their startup strategies.
I’m glad I’ve had this opportunity to be one of the few journalists documenting this unfolding story of China’s advances from ‘made in China to invented in China’ – the theme of my first book, Silicon Dragon. As I say this, my second book is off to the printers. Book 2, Startup Asia, takes the China story into India, Vietnam and other Asian hotspots and profiles the next generation of Asian entrepreneurs who stand a chance of ringing the closing bell.
This is work I love to do and do naturally, with no boss telling to me what to do (I am my own worst boss) something I’m sure all the entrepreneurs I’ve come to know in China, India and beyond could relate to and then some.
To quote one of the more famous Chinese entrepreneurs I’ve written about -- Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, who is now a billionaire from taking his Chinese startup public – “when I am myself, I am happy and have a good result.”
That rings true. Let’s all celebrate by ringing the bell!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Silicon Dragon Rang the Closing Bell

NASDAQ news September 08, 2011 Silicon Dragon, a news, events and consulting group, visited the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York City's Times Square. In honor of the occasion, the force behind Silicon Dragon, Rebecca Fannin rang the Closing Bell. This news, events and consulting group was founded by journalist and author Rebecca Fannin in 2009. The group publishes international newsletters for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, programs business conferences for startup founders and investors in New York, Silicon Valley, Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore, and provides editorial content for multinational tech and financial companies, including KPMG and Sony. Silicon Dragon testified as an expert witness on China's Internet before a U.S.-China Commission in Washington, D.C. Silicon Dragon draws upon a rich library, from Ms. Fannin's extensive reporting in Asia for nearly two decades for Forbes, CEO,, The Deal, Red Herring and several other business publications. The content resources include two books penned by Ms. Fannin: Silicon Dragon (McGraw-Hill, 2008) and Startup Asia (Wiley, forthcoming Oct. 2011).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Silicon Dragon is Ringing the Bell at NASDAQ!

Silicon Dragon NY 2011

Deals / IPOs / Returns: China Style
Chinese up and comers following the lead of Baidu founder Robin Li are racing to U.S. IPOs yet risks and challenges keep multiplying. What are the best startup and investment strategies to win the trophy?

Where: NASDAQ MarketSite
When: September 8, 2011, 4pm-8pm
3:30PM Guests Arrive, Registration Opens
4PM Silicon Dragon Rings the Closing Bell

5PM Welcome: Bob McCooey, NASDAQ OMX

5:05PM Keynote Talk: Peter Lighte, Chairman, JPMorgan Chase Bank China

5:30PM Panel Discussion, Q&A
7-8PM Cocktail Reception

Expert Panelists:

David Chao, General Partner, DCM

Tony Florence, Partner, NEA

Eric Xu, Managing Partner, Rock Rose Partners

Ron Posner, CEO, eChinaCash

Robert Pietrzak, Partner, Sidley Austin

Barry Silbert, CEO, SecondMarket

James Robinson IV, Managing Partner, RRE Ventures

Porter Bibb, Managing Partner, Mediatech Capital Partners

Moderator: Rebecca Fannin, Silicon Dragon, Forbes

Register here for the event:
Silicon Dragon NY 2011

Register for the live webcast or replay:

Thanks to our sponsors:
Sidley Austin NASDAQ OMX

Friday, August 19, 2011

Timing Not on Tudou's Side with IPO

Timing is everything, as Tudou CEO Gary Wang knows all too well.

Tudou had the lead in China’s online video sharing space. It beat Youku to a product debut by one year. Tudou was also the market leader for several years. Now, Youku has jumped to the market lead and beat Tudou to an IPO by eight months.

You can bet that Wang wishes he could have gotten his startup public late lst year, when it was originally scheduled to go before getting detoured by accounting issues and the CEO’s divorce. The market is a lot tougher now than it was back in December, when Youku scored one of the best-performing IPOs since Baidu in 2005.

Bets were that Tudou might not make it out in this tough market. Credit for perseverance has to be given to Wang, co-founder Marc van der Chijs and Helen Wang, the venture investor at GGV Capital who spearheaded an initial $8.5 million investment in Tudou when video sharing was fairly new. They rang the closing bell at NASDAQ this week, and I get to do the same soon, though for different reasons.

I’ve followed Tudou ever since I first interviewed Wang in Shanghai in 2006 for my book Silicon Dragon, shortly after he picked up the first venture financing for his video sharing site. See abov photo I took. Back then, the biggest issue was trying to figure out how to pay for increased bandwidth to run a surging number of videos.

I’ve tracked his career since then. See a Silicon Dragon video interview I did with Gary in 2008 for some insights into his strength of character. We were meeting at a shopping mall in Beijing at the time of this interview, during a Chinese government crackdown on video content.

When one of the Chinese entrepreneurs I profiled in my book, Silicon Dragon, gets his or her startup to NASDAQ or NYSE, I can’t help but feel a little proud. Tudou makes the fourth company to cross that line. Renren and Dangdang were also in that league. There are several IPOs among those profiled in my next book too, coming soon. The new book also covers India as well as China, and the Indian IPOs included MakeMyTrip and recently filed JustDial.

But of course, going public is really only the start of a new and tougher chapter, not a finale.
See my posts at Forbes:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Silicon Dragon Entrepreneur of Beijing: Si Shen

Silicon Dragon is proud to announce our series of awards honoring the top entrepreneurs in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Our first award, for Silicon Dragon Entrepreneur of Beijing, was presented to Si Shen, the CEO and co-founder of Chinese startup Papaya Mobile, a Facebook-like site that runs on Google's Android operating system. Papaya Mobile has funding from DCM and Keytone Ventures.

Shen received the award at our annual Silicon Dragon Beijing event at Tsinghua Science Park, China's Sand Hill Road. Presenting the trophy was our award series sponsor, KPMG, and the management consultancy's partner Hermann Cheung. (see photo)

Criteria for our Silicon Dragon Award include:
1. An innovative product or service in a tech or related area: mobile communications, e-commerce, social networking, Internet, online games, cloud computing, outsourcing, cleantech, healthcare

2. A dynamic, passionate CEO/founder with some international company experience and/or education at a top university

3. A high-caliber management team with fully staffed positions for CTO, CFO, sales and other top executive posts

4. Raised at least one round of venture capital from a prominent firm

5. Reported fast growth at least two years in a row for startup or emerging company

6. A market leader, with sizeable market share that can be documented by an outside industry source

7. Profitable or a quick path to profitability

8. A highly qualified board of directors from the industry

9. English-language fluency

10. A surprise factor such as a major milestone or accomplishment that seemed impossible

Our award winners are selected by an editorial panel and confirmed with a judging group that includes professors from leading business schools in Singapore, Hong Kong and San Francisco, plus incubator lab executives in Beijing and Silicon Valley.

Our next awards will be presented in concert with:
Silicon Dragon Shanghai 2011, Nov. 7
Silicon Dragon Hong Kong 2011, Nov. 10

For more details, email me at

Monday, May 30, 2011

Silicon Dragon Beijing 2011: "It's Great To Have A Bubble"

Is there a bubble in China venture investing? Sure. And who could be more upbeat about it than the leading venture capitalists in Beijing and Shanghai.

“It’s great to have a bubble,” said Sonny Wu, managing director, GSR Ventures. “Bubbles are great,” agreed Richard Hsu, managing director, Intel Capital China.

What the heck?

The seasoned venture investors who spoke at Silicon Dragon Beijing 2011 have survived dotcom meltdowns and market crashes in China and Silicon Valley before. They can spot the signs of an overheated market quite well, thank you. And they intend to score in this very hot market before the opportunities are gone.

“We’re in the midst of a bubble but a good bubble. It’s going to create a flight to quality,” added DCM general partner Ruby Lu. “The bad companies will lose momentum or die. The market will shrink to a small base of companies. (Beware, 1,000 GroupOn clones in China.) See Silicon Dragon Video of Beijing show.

What are some tactics that astute investors are trying to ride the roller coaster of this highly cyclical business?
Read more at Forbes:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Silicon Dragon: China Fund Rush, Hurry to Do Victory Lap

Just when China venture goes sky high, Qiming Venture Partners has jumped in with a new $450 million fund and plans to raise an additional 700 million RMB ($108 million) fund.

No one’s more eager to do a victory lap from investing in emerging Chinese companies than Qiming founder and managing director Gary Rieschel (see my photo). If he hurries, his timing may be good.

China venture is getting overheated and is bound to bottom out again in a few years. Rieschel noted there are “definitely sectors that are very hot.”

To read more of this post, please click Forbes link:

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

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Silicon Dragon: Renren IPO Puts Joe Chen In Driver's Seat

As shares of Joe Chen’s Renren began trading up on the New York Stock Exchange today, I couldn’t help but recall our interviews in Beijing a few years ago. Back then, he candidly shared his view of what it takes to win the Chinese Internet race.

“We gotta big faster than rivals, and we’re fairly fast in areas that really matter. We are land grabbing everywhere,” he told me. I also remembered him telling me about his supercharged approach to building websites: “In China, we just chunk it out. We just do it.”

As I went down memory lane, I could hear Joe telling me what he’d learned from reading investment books about such business legends as Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and Rupert Murdoch. He said then he was applying what he had learned from these masters to “buy companies of intrinsic value with a barrier to entry and then nurture them.” And, the biggest lesson he took away? “I want to make sure to have an ample supply of cash to do deals.”

Today, such strategies were rewarded as his Facebook-like Chinese startup Renren scored on Wall Street. Shares rose 28.6% above the $14 IPO price in the first day of trading. Now, having raised $743.4 million in the IPO, Chen certainly has the capital and resources to ride the China Internet wave as CEO of his newly publicly traded company.

In the lightning-fast China web scene, Renren has morphed into a social network powerhouse.
To read more at Forbes, click

Friday, April 29, 2011

Silicon Dragon: Just How Hot Is China Venture? Very!

You don’t need a meter to gauge that after a two dry years, funds, deals and IPOs are springing up in the busiest season yet. How long will it last? Hard to tell, but I do hear echoes of the dotcom boom here.

Let’s count up the IPOs among the leading Chinese venture investment firms. Qiming Ventures has five Chinese portfolio companies in the cue to go public soon: ramped up car rental service eHi from Shanghai, dating site Jiayuan, online video programming PPLive, social networking service Kaixin001 and kids entertainment site Taomee. GSR Ventures has four IPOs in the works. DCM is geared up for the debut of China’s Facebook Renren on the NYSE, closely following last year’s listings of Dangdang and BitAuto. NetQin Mobile, backed by Sequoia GSR, Ceyuan and Fidelity, is in the lineup too.

The recent listings of WI Harper-backed data center deal 21Vianet on NASDAQ and Qihoo 360 on NYSE all add to the buzz.

Consider too the sizeable financings of Chinese startups. GroupOn clone Lashou raised $110 million from a group including GSR Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners. Read more of this post at Forbes.

Watch this space for more of what’s happening: Silicon Dragon Beijing, May 25, at Tsinghua Science Park. We’ll be talking big deals, IPOs and mega funds with a who’s who of China venture and startups in the busiest – if not the best – season yet.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Silicon Dragon Invite: May 25, Beijing

SILICON DRAGON INVITE: Beijing Ventures Bloom
May 25, 2011, 4-8pm
VC panel/Tech Chats/Award/Q&A/Networking/Reception/Dinner Buffet
Tsinghua Science Park, Sunshine Club

Please register here:

Big deals, winning IPOs and mega funds spring up in the busiest season yet for China venture. Join us for our Silicon Dragon Beijing event with our Who's Who of Ventures & Startups.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Silicon Dragon: What's Left To Clone In China

Just how many clone opportunities are left in China, now that the Chinese marketplace has copies of YouTube, Amazon, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, eBay and yes, even Wikipedia (see my photo of founder Haidong Pan).

The latest cloning craze is localized versions of GroupOn. Consider that, a competitor to GroupOn in China, just raised the large sum of $110 million from venture investors.

Some white spaces do still exist for new categories, narrow niches or new local twists on the same ole thing. What’s surprising is how well some look-alikes have done in China despite getting a late start. What helps, of course, is that the big American Internet brands have crashed in China.

Take as one example, China’s most popular business social networking brand.

Read the rest of the post here at

Friday, April 15, 2011

Silicon Dragon: Tick-Tock Goes the Tech Clock as China, India Close Gap

China and India are coming up fast as tech powers though a big gap still exists between these emerging markets and developed nations. That gap is bound to narrow over the next decade. Photo: Tsinghua Science Park, site of our Silicon Dragon Beijing program May 25:
A new Global Information Technology Report by the World Economic Forum predicts that these two powerhouses will drive much of the growth in information technology over the next ten years. Out of 138 countries tracked and ranked by widespread use of mobile phones, Internet, personal computer as well as regulatory environment and IT infrastructure, China ranks 36th and India 48th. Among other high-scoring Asian countries, Singapore excelled in second place while Taiwan checked in at sixth, Korea came in at 10th and Hong Kong as 12th.
Take venture capital investment as another indicator of this balance of power tech shift. Last year, China and India accounted for 13 percent of the $37.7 billion poured into startup and emerging companies globally, according to Dow Jones Venture Source. For 2010, China investment was up 59 percent to $4 billion while India weighed in with a 14 percent increase to $895 million – higher than the 11 percent spike for the U.S. to $26.2 billion.
Patent applications are another trend pointer. Over the past four years, quick gains by emerging Asian nations have put this region at more than one-third of the word’s patent filings, statistics from the World Intellectual Property Organization show.
See my post in Forbes for more:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Silicon Dragon: China Counts in Forbes Midas List

Any surprise that China plays a major role in the Forbes Midas list this year? All in all, three-quarters of the firms on the just-published 2011 rankings are backers of China startups and emerging companies. Ten of the 100 tech investors on the tally have done deals or overseen their firms’ strategy in China.
Jim Breyer of Accel Partners, who ranks tops with Facebook, is also the Palo Alto-based investor’s biggest champion for China deal making. He has led Accel’s deals and funds with Beijing-based IDG Capital Partners, a high achiever in China (think Qihoo 360, Dangdang, Baidu, Soufun, Ctrip, QQ).
Other scorers on the Silicon Valley heavy list who have shaped their firm’s China strategies:
To read more of this post, see my regular blog at Forbes:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sequoia Scores While Kleiner Fumbles in China

What’s up with Kleiner Perkins in China? While Sequoia Capital China continues to score one IPO after another on NASDAQ and the NYSE, Kleiner struggles in China.
Just this week, Sequoia saw the listing of Beijing portfolio company Qihoo 360 Technology, its ninth IPO of a Chinese company since July 2010.
How about Kleiner? Sure, the firm has seen listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, but there aren’t any high-profile IPOs in the states for several years. Yes, Kleiner counts such trophies as Baidu, Alibaba, Focus Media and Hurray, but that’s going back to 2005. AND, these deals were under the watch of TDF Capital, which formed an alliance in 2007 with Kleiner to set up KPCB China.
The same story goes for acquisitions or portfolio companies. Portfolio company CGen was sold for $168 million to Focus Media, but that deal dates back to late 2007. And last year, portfolio company United Automobile Association was sold but that was to Legend Holdings, whose venture firm Legend Capital had earlier invested in UAA.
Meanwhile, partners have continued to defect from the Kleiner team in China.
See more at Forbes post:

Monday, February 21, 2011

China's Facebook May Be Next Big Tech IPO

Chinese entrepreneur Joe Chen could claim title to the next hot Chinese tech IPO when his Beijing-based social networking brand Renren goes for a $500 million public listing on NASDAQ this spring.

Chen won’t match the stratospheric $63 billion market valuation for Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook. But that’s not taking anything away from Chen. Renren should reach an estimated market cap of $2 billion to $3 billion when investment bankers Morgan Stanley, Credit-Suisse and Deutsche Bank take the startup public – significantly, the first Chinese lookalike brand to go IPO ahead of its American counterpart – putting it on par with two recent China IPO hits, YouTube lookalike Youku and Amazon replica Dangdang.

Read my blog at Forbes for more:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why India doesn't have a Baidu--and May Not Ever

I remember venture capitalist Sumir Chadha telling me that he had just made his best business decision. That was back in 2006 when he merged his young firm Westbridge Capital Partners with the well-known tech investor Sequoia Capital.

The move certainly did jump-start his career as India’s premier venture capitalist. But now that Chadha and his core team of three partners have split from Sequoia Capital India to focus on investing in public companies, the break-up spells a new era not only for the Goldman Sachs-trained investor but also for venture capital in the subcontinent market.

India does not yet have a Baidu or Alibaba – two of the most successful among dozens of Chinese startups that have gone public. And the odds for India startups to fly high are slimmer now that one of the most experienced venture teams in India is shifting to PIPE (private investment in public equity) deals. Their reasoning? Why do venture when you can invest $10 million like Sequoia did in late 2008 in Nagarjuna Construction Co. and get $23 million in six months. Sequoia Capital India has made at least seven PIPE deals.

Venture deals in India take a much longer runway and only one startup has generated a return that could measure up to China – though the promise still remains. As five remaining managing directors take over at Sequoia Capital India, it’s not going to be business as usual at India’s leading venture firm and its portfolio of 94 tech, consumer, financial, healthcare, energy and outsourcing deals.

Could the same thing happen at Sequoia Capital China? Not too likely. But keep in mind that founding managing partner Neil Shen has trended from venture investments in startups to larger funds for fast-growth emerging companies. He’s also done some PIPE investments – just like the India team under Chadha’s leadership.

My reasoning why it won’t be repeated in China? Investment returns in China startups have far outperformed those in India, and many more young Chinese companies are set to go public this year.

Read more in my blog for Forbes:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

China, India & the Next Silicon Dragon Frontier

Announcing our February 9, 2011 Silicon Dragon event:

China, India & the Next Silicon Dragon Frontier for Startups, Ventures & Fortunes
Bill Draper, Draper International and author, The Startup Game
Bill Tai, Partner, Charles River Ventures
Jake Seid, Managing Director, Lightspeed Venture
Claudia Fan Munce, Managing Director, IBM Venture Capital
Keith Larson, Managing Director, Intel Capital
Ajit Nazre, Partner, Kleiner Perkins
Charles Comey, Partner, Morrison & Foerster
Chris Evdemon, General Manager, Innovation Works

Steven Chan, president, Suntech America with KPMG parnter Maria Walker
MakeMyTrip investor Vispi Daver of Sierra Ventures with NASDAQ Senior VP Bob McCooey

Panels/Networking/Q&A/Cocktail Reception

Rosewood Sand Hill, Menlo Park, CA
February 9, 2011 6-9pm

For those who can't make it to "Sand Hill Road"
Viewers can chat online, query the panelists, and archive the video

Thanks to our event sponsors: KPMG, Wells Fargo, Morrison & Foerster, NASDAQ OMX
Reception host: K&L Gates
Marketing partners: AAMA, Asia Society, CCICE, CSPA, SFEntrepreneur, IVCA
Media sponsor: DingDing.TV
Live webcast courtesy of Intel Capital