Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Copying China Business Models In The U.S. Catches On As A New Tech Startup Trend - Quite the Reverse!

Globally minded startup teams in the U.S. are beginning to adopt Chinese business models and getting funding from American venture capitalists with China experience. An example of this newly unfolding trend is Curse, Inc., an online gaming media company in Huntsville, Alabama that just raised $10 million from Silicon Valley and Shanghai-based GGV Capital.
This new trend is the reverse of the copy-to-China phenomenon of a nearly a decade ago when look-alike sites of U.S. Internet brands such as Facebook, Google and Amazon sprung up in China and were largely funded by Sand Hill Road venture capitalists. It’s being fed by the globalization of tech trends among entrepreneurs and VCs alike.
Hubert Thieblot, the CEO of the U.S.-based gaming business Curse, doesn’t downplay how he got the idea for his startup’s new communications platform Curse Voice. It was inspired by Chinese startup YY.
Keep reading post at Forbes:


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

China Tech Innovator With 200 Patents For LEDs Gains $80 Million More To Break Through

Silicon Dragon tours LatticePower lab in Nanchang
A lot of people are skeptical about China’s potential for technology innovation. But one Chinese company I wrote about in my book Silicon Dragon in 2008, and have been tracking since then, has certainly been setting some new standards in cleantech — and ability to raise venture investment.

LatticePower Corp., which grew out of research by physics professor Jiang Fengyi at his Nanchang University lab in China, claims to be the first company to commercially develop high-quality, reliable and affordable LED lighting — a major step in a goal of replacing conventional light bulbs and fixtures with energy-savings LED lights.

The China-based company is no lightweight. It’s filed for more than 200 global patents and attracted financial support from the World Bank and several leading venture capital investors.

LatticePower has been championed by its lead investor, Sonny Wu of Chinese-US venture firm GSR Ventures. He was tipped off to this ground-breaking technology research happening in Nanchang by a senior official of the Chinese government’s Ministry of Information Industry inn 2000, then sent a team there to investigate further and first backed the company in 2005.

Now, fast forward, and LatticePower has just lured in $80 million in financing to ramp up R&D and manufacturing in the U.S., build research teams in Korea and Taiwan, expand production in China, and finance sales growth globally.
Keep reading post at Forbes, China LED innovator.

Forbes link:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

It's Not All Roses But Thorns Too As Alibaba IPO on NYSE Nears

As Alibaba prepares for its gigantic IPO on NYSE, more concerns over investor risks are popping up. Central to the issues is the corporate structure for Alibaba. Its use of a variable interest entity (VIE), which allows for foreign investment through an offshore holding company, has been under the recent spotlight of Capitol Hill — and Wall Street too. While VIEs have been the accepted way of investing in venture-backed China-based companies listed in the U.S., Chinese courts could strike down its legality in China, which in turn could leave investors with fewer rights. If that all sounds remote, remember what happened with AliPay. The financial business was spun out from Alibaba in 2011 and put under Jack Ma’s control to comply with Chinese regulations — a move that Yahoo YHOO +1.78%, which owns a 22.5% chunk of Alibaba, claims it was surprised by. Corporate governance issues are proving to be a thorn in other ways for the China-based e-commerce company. Keep reading post at Forbes: Alibaba IPO risks Link here:

Monday, June 2, 2014

China Gets A Lot Of Credit In Meeker's Annual Tech Trends Analysis

China gets a big section on its own in Mary Meeker’s annual Internet report. That should be no big surprise considering the wave of innovation that’s been emerging for the past couple of years from China’s online and mobile markets. China’s mobile Internet has more critical mass than anywhere in the world, Meeker points out in the report that pegs the number of mobile internet users in China at nearly 500 million, 80 percent of total Internet users in the country. China Internet brands are also fast on the rise. A year ago, China counted only one Internet brand among the top 10 — Tencent — in a field dominated by U.S. brands such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook. This year, China has four among the top 10 – Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and Sohu. China is proving to be a mobile commerce innovator too. Keep reading at Forbes, China Credit.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

China's Twitter-like Weibo Tests Its Appeal With NASDAQ IPO

Interest in the IPO of Chinese microblogging site Weibo is building as fears over investing in China tech stocks have subsided despite lingering risks. Weibo is seeking to raise $380 million in a spinout from Chinese Internet portal SINA, the third China-based company to list in the U.S. in 2014 after a drought of China IPOs on Wall Street ended last year. Weibo’s public market debut will give China two major social media sites on U.S. exchanges – the equivalent of Twitter and Facebook. Renren RENN +2.76%, considered China’s Facebook, went public on the NYSE in 2011. Weibo, likened to Twitter but with more features, is set to go public this Thursday on NASDAQ. The timing is certainly better than two years ago. Keep reading Forbes post, @silicondragon

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Silicon Dragon Highlights in Hong Kong, See You There April 15!

To sign up, click An idea of what's in store at Silicon Dragon HK 2014: April 15, 2014 HK Cyberport

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bitcoin Exchange BTC China Faces Cooldown

The buzz, speculation and volatility over bitcoin as a digital currency is nowhere stronger than in China. Ask Bobby Lee, the CEO of China’s bitcoin exchange BTC China, based in Shanghai.
Bitcoin trading has cooled off considerably in China after a peak last year, when China contributed half the global trading volume in the digital currency, Lee says.
China still counts six bitcoin exchanges, and BTC China, formed in 2011, is the largest one, says Lee, a former Yahoo YHOO +0.84% engineer in Silicon Valley for eight years and WalMart technology manager in China. Keep reading post at Forbes.
The cooldown has come after China’s central bank ruled that bitcoin cannot be used as a currency while Alibaba determined that the digital currency can’t be used as payment on its Taobao e-commerce website.
While China has not banned the trading of bitcoin, regulations threaten to curtail its development for financial transactions. Interviewed at CoinSummit in San Francisco, Lee cited the main issues with bitcoin in China (and elsewhere) are transparency, security, solvency and false claims about trading volumes to gain market share. See Silicon Dragon video interview with Lee.
BTC China's venture capital investor Ron Cao of Lightspeed China will be a featured speaker at Silicon Dragon 2014 in Hong Kong Cyberport.