Alibaba, Durians and The $36 Trillion A2A Market

Alibaba, Durians and The $36 Trillion A2A Market [su_row] [su_column size=3/4] [su_note note_color=”#fbfbfb”] [/su_note] [su_note note_color=”#fbfbfb”] Greetings from Chiang Mai, Thailand. A local news article that caught my eye this …

233: As Asian Brands go Global – are they Ready for Prime Time? (Digital Lives Asia)

Podcast highlights:

  • 07:00 Graham and Simon discuss the rise of Asian brands, especially in e-commerce. We look at Alibaba’s Taobao and the latest data on them. Are they ready for the prime time? How do they compare to Amazon?
  • 20:30 Interesting data: 48% of internet users in Asia-Pacific delete cookies, and 13% of Asia-Pacific internet users use a VPN – the second highest number right after the Middle East.
  • 45:00 Li Ning Shoes and other Asian brands – what kind of difficulties do Asian brands face outside of Asia? We look at storytelling and how Asian brands have a lot of catching up to do with Western marketers.

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome to Digital Lives Asia with Simon Kemp and Graham D Brown.
  • 02:30 Simon has a whole new set of data for us today! According to Simon, Taobao has just surpassed Amazon in terms of website visits.
  • 07:00 Graham and Simon discuss the rise of Asian brands, especially in e-commerce. We look at Alibaba’s Taobao and the latest data on them. Are they ready for the prime time? How do they compare to Amazon?
  • 12:00 Lalamove – the company that will deliver anything locally. Is this the Asian solution that Asia needs?
  • 14:00 Facebook usage has grown everywhere in the world over the past three months – despite the scandals.
  • 16:30 Data shows that Chinese people don’t seem to be as concerned about online security as westerners.
  • 20:30 Interesting data: 48% of internet users in Asia-Pacific delete cookies, and 13% of Asia-Pacific internet users use a VPN – the second highest number right after the Middle East.
  • 25:30 Did you know that there are as many English-learners in China as there are native English speakers in the US? There are 200-300 million Chinese learning English yet there are still more Americans learning Italian than Mandarin!
  • 30:30 So why aren’t westerners interested in learning Chinese? Are we still waiting for Asia to “catch up”?
  • 36:00 Who else can remember France’s Minitel? That shows how an idea is worth a lot less than its execution. Hear what Simon has to say about digital protectionism.
  • 39:15 As human beings, we have learned everything we know by imitating others around us – how does the same principle apply in technology?
  • 45:00 Li Ning Shoes and other Asian brands – what kind of difficulties do Asian brands face outside of Asia? We look at storytelling and how Asian brands have a lot of catching up to do with Western marketers.
  • 51:00 How did Alibaba get its name? Hear Simon and Graham discuss the power of stories.
  • 55:45 People behind companies like Alibaba, Amazon and Lalamove know what people want – and traveling is a great way of getting there. We look at how soft skills like empathy have a real business benefit
  • 58:00 Thank you for tuning in to Digital Lives Asia with Simon Kemp and Graham D Brown! Make sure to check out Simon’s Digital in 2018 Report.

231: Virginia Tan co-founder of Lean in China (Ashley Talks ASH8)

Podcast highlights:

  • 06:00 Why are there so many successful female entrepreneurs in China? China is one of the best places in the world for a woman to start her own business – we look at the reasons why
  • 13:50 In China, a lot more women are participating in technology than in The West- why is that? We look at Chinese pragmatism and their tendency to be early adopters of technology
  • 23:40 How can men support women in the workplace? This is never an easy subject as many men get scared off by gender politics. The participation of men as the game-changer in promoting gender equality

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 ASH8 – Ashley Talks with Ashley Galina Dudarenok
  • 00:10 Today with Virginia Tan: co-founder of Lean in China, She Loves Tech, Teja Ventures
  • 01:00 How did Virginia’s journey with Lean in China, the first international Lean In circle outside of the US, start? A backstory on Virginia about growing up in Singapore, spending early parts of her career in Europe and the Middle East before quitting her job as a lawyer to the shock and disapproval of parents, moving to Beijing in 2013, meeting girls in a bar then Lean In China
  • 03:35 What was the most influential and empowering factor in Lean In – the book by Sheryl Sandberg – that motivated Virginia to start the organisation? The trigger was in the book but it’s the women she met in China that inspired her to start Lean In group
  • 06:00 Why are there so many successful female entrepreneurs in China? China is one of the best places in the world for a woman to start her own business – we look at the reasons why
  • 09:10 Do Chinese female entrepreneurs think differently? The combination of work ethic and the appetite for risk caused by the general environment benefits women (although it applies to the Chinese generally)
  • 12:20 Working 9-9-6 (9am to 9pm, 6 days a week) in China – the legacy of the hard work ethic. If you are going to start a business you need to think big
  • 13:50 In China, a lot more women are participating in technology than in The West- why is that? We look at Chinese pragmatism and their tendency to be early adopters of technology
  • 17:05 Are women also active in finance? Foreign-owned companies in China say the percentage of senior female leadership in China is much higher than in other countries
  • 18:25 The different relationship of Chinese women with money – China as an extremely pragmatic market and its women embracing that financial independence and economic empowerment
  • 20:25 Is the future female? Will the rest of the world catch up and will there be more women returning to work and starting their business and going into tech and finance?
  • 23:40 How can men support women in the workplace? This is never an easy subject as many men get scared off by gender politics. The participation of men as the game-changer in promoting gender equality
  • 28:40 What advice would Virginia give to women who are looking for mentors? Virginia never looked for mentors but was fortunate enough that her clients, bosses and even friends were her greatest mentors
  • 31:05 Who are the most important people in Virginia’s life that push her to improve and get better? Her guy friends focus on her professional development while girl friends focus on her personal development
  • 34:40 Success is relative but for Virginia, success is being able to pursue your dreams, having the freedom and autonomy to give your dreams a shot
  • 36:30 How can you achieve your life goals? Know what your dreams are – a long and tiring search, the things you can live with and can’t live without, then take that leap of faith and try despite the fear, but make sure you have a safety net
  • 39:35 What books would Virginia recommend to anyone out there to read about female entrepreneurship or the way that women can contribute to the workforce or personal development? How Google Works, Alibaba’s World to understand technology, Daring Greatly on emotional intelligence, Malcolm Gladwell books
  • 42:25 www.leaninchina.com.cn, one of China’s leading women’s non-profits, education and training and data research, 120 communities across China and more than 100,000 members. www.shelovestech.org, the world’s largest startup competition for women and technology entrepreneurs launching in May 8 and will be in 12 countries this year, including Hong Kong
  • 43:40 www.tejaventures.com – will be up soon but you can reach Virginia for queries at virginiateja@gmail.com
  • 45:00 Subscribe to ashleytalks.com

226: John Artman – China Tech Talk

Podcast highlights:

  • 16:00 How moving around when you’re young impacts future life. What kind of skills are required to adapt to new places and new people in Asia?
  • 32:00 People’s concerns and objections using technologies, mobile payment systems like WeChat in Asia. The contrast between WeChat and Whatsapp. Is this the result of protectionism?
  • 48:00 John Artman shares a 5 day itinerary of places in China that will that will blow your mind. We also discuss the vast differences within China, eg between Beijing and Shanghai.

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome John Artman, Editor in Chief of Tech Note and the Co-Host of The China Tech Talk Podcast to Asia Tech Podcast Stories.
  • 03:00 John Artman’s background, how he found his way to China, how it became his home and what he hoped to accomplish there.
  • 06:00 John Artman’s beliefs and the influence of eastern philosophies. How has the mix of American and Eastern culture in his life changed his outlook living as a foreigner in China?
  • 10:00 Coping with the traffic in China and perfecting Chinese communication skills.
  • 13:00 The troubles some foreigners go through in Asia. Culture Shock! The key to making China work is the people you hang around with. Choose wisely.
  • 16:00 How moving around when you’re young impacts future life. What kind of skills are required to adapt to new places and new people in Asia?
  • 20:00 Being an outsider in China. John Artman’s history and experience working with China Radio.
  • 27:00 Chinese society and what’s going on with the China Tech Talk podcast. John Artman’s partner Matt and what he finds interesting about the podcast that keeps him going.
  • 32:00 People’s concerns and objections using technologies, mobile payment systems like WeChat in Asia. The contrast between WeChat and Whatsapp. Is this the result of protectionism?
  • 38:00 The evolution of WeChat in comparison to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Chinese technology market, people’s mindset and the overall competitive environment.
  • 43:00 The loyalty of Chinese consumers. Do they stay loyal to one platform provider like TenCent or Alibaba? A brief discussion on Pony Ma, the CEO of Tencent.
  • 48:00 John Artman shares a 5 day itinerary of places in China that will that will blow your mind. We also discuss the vast differences within China, eg between Beijing and Shanghai.
  • 54:00 A look at current projects and John shares his contact info.
  • 225: Asia’s $36 Trillion A2A Market (Asia Matters)

    Podcast highlights:

    • 07:10 The A2A Metatrend – Asia to Asia trade. Asia now does more trade with itself than the rest of the world. The Asian Middle classes will be worth $36 trillion by 2030
    • 34:52 Why Asian brands have a massive advantage over Western competition. This is bad news for Amazon, especially in high growth markets such as Southeast Asia.
    • 73:20 The rising power of the middle class in Asia and how it is going to shape the future of key sectors like automotive

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 ATP610 – Asia Matters with Graham D Brown on the biggest growth opportunity of the next 10 years
    • 01:05 The phenomenon of Bakugai or ‘explosive shopping’, a Japanese description of how Chinese tourists go shopping in Tokyo
    • 05:44 Going way back to when the Americans turned up in Europe
    • 07:10 The A2A Metatrend. Asia to Asia trade, projected to be a 36 trillion dollar market by 2030
    • 09:25 The construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and its potential implications
    • 16:36 The explosion of wealthy middle classed Asians over the next 10 years and its possible influence on world trade with Asia
    • 19:04 A comparison of Asia’s economy back in the 80s to what it is today, from Japan’s growth to China’s technological advancements
    • 27:43 An example of growth – bike-sharing startups are facing steep competition in Shanghai
    • 29:05 An overview of the A2A (Asia to Asia) market in terms of what it is today
    • 34:52 Why Asian brands have a massive advantage over Western competition
    • 44:25 Asian brands are using personal information data to optimise the retail experience as mentioned in the second AshleyTalks podcast
    • 46:42 There is access to large markets in Asia as a short flight from Singapore gives you access to half the world’s population
    • 48:25 There are smaller time zone differences within Asian countries compared to the West. Sounds trivial, but this has a big difference in ongoing communication
    • 49:24 Physical connectivity within the Greater Bay and Asia, from the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge to China’s One Belt One Road project
    • 53:30 The power of the Bamboo Network in Asia – interconnected Chinese families across Asia
    • 55:40 Western companies are going to find it a lot harder in Asia as their honeymoon period wears off
    • 58:58 Graham forecasts that in the next 5 to 10 years, Asian brands are going to take on Western competition on their home turf. We’re already seeing this with Alibaba.
    • 60:35 Rapid advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in China and Asia
    • 63:55 Lessons from the automotive industry. If you look at automotive you see a recurring pattern in history – success isn’t based on disruptive innovation but from one country borrowing (or stealing) the ideas of another. Today in China it’s no different.
    • 67:05 The Lean Startup methodology in entrepreneurship and its history. Lean Startup owes a lot to a fusion of ideas from East and West
    • 73:20 The rising power of the middle class in Asia and how it is going to shape the future of key sectors like automotive

    213: Jame Dibiasio – Disruptive Fintech in Asia

    Podcast highlights:

    • 32:51 Disruptive technologies like blockchain. What is it and what are the general trends in Asia? Are populations that lack access to traditional financial infrastructure the right markets for blockchain?
    • 40:44 Asian countries like Vietnam, Indonesia and China clamping down on digital currencies.
    • 51:48 What is there to look forward to in the next 20 years regarding Fintech in Asia? Where does Jame see Asia in terms of global finance in the future?

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 Welcome Jame Dibiasio to Asia Tech Podcast Stories, hosted by Graham Brown
    • 00:54 A little bit about DigFin
    • 03:10 Why did Jame go to Asia back in 1997?
    • 07:20 Jame’s experience of being in the middle of the Asian crisis
    • 10:20 The implications of the Asian Financial Crisis
    • 12:04 Economic freedom in Hong Kong and Singapore. What do these countries do right?
    • 14:06 The stories that Jame writes in Dig Fin. The variety of markets in Asia (hyperdeveloped markets, giant emerging markets, frontier markets) and profound changes with regards to Fintech in Asia
    • 17:20 Living cashless in China especially in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai
    • 22:52 Internet companies in China like Alibaba collecting large amounts of personal data
    • 27:12 Can Chinese Internet companies take their business models outside, first to Asia and then globally?
    • 29:36 The difference in mindset and approach between Internet companies in the US and China
    • 32:51 Disruptive technologies like blockchain. What is it and what are the general trends in Asia? Are populations that lack access to traditional financial infrastructure the right markets for blockchain?
    • 40:44 Asian countries like Vietnam, Indonesia and China clamping down on digital currencies
    • 44:18 Singapore as the place someone outside of Asia should look at to get a glimpse of Fintech in Asia
    • 47:25 Putting the Singapore dollar on ledger and digitizing the Singapore dollar
    • 50:06 Project Ubin: Does the Fintech community see this as the way to go? Decentralized vs digitized currencies.
    • 51:48 What is there to look forward to in the next 20 years regarding Fintech in Asia? Where does Jame see Asia in terms of global finance in the future?
    • 57:00 What’s happening in Asia will probably surprise some people
    • 58:43 Go to www.digfingroup.com find out more about Jame and read his stories about the financial world

    209: Are You Ready for the Asian Century? (Asia Matters)

    Podcast highlights:

    • 06:20 The year 1915 in context – End of British century, start of the American century when the Old Powers financed The Great War, building “walls”, while America financed connectivity that made them the world leader
    • 34:00 The Asian century is about East AND West – the case of Santa Clara-based company Intel having their innovation accelerator in Shanghai China
    • 48:25 The best ways for Silicon-Valley people to prepare for the Asian century – surround yourself with people who get it, stop talking, start showing up in Asia

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 ATP590 – Asia Matters with Graham Brown
    • 00:15 The Asian Century – What’s coming next? The important trends to look for in Asia and does Asia’s rise mean the fall of the West?
    • 00:50 Going back in time to recognise patterns that help predict and understand the future better – The case of San Francisco in 1915 when the World Fair opened and the technology early in the information age
    • 06:20 The year 1915 in context – End of British century, start of the American century when the Old Powers financed The Great War, building “walls”, while America financed connectivity that made them the world leader
    • 12:10 A look at Donald Trump building walls physically and figuratively through protectionist policies especially against Chinese immigration and their limited access to areas of strategic importance like science and technology
    • 19:30 What the Asian Century looks like – A look at the parallels and the pattern of the old world building figurative walls while the new world building figurative bridges
    • 24:20 Going back to the World Fair – A look at Thomas Edison and the beginning of San Francisco as the hub of innovation and the parallels with Asia creating the foundations for innovation from grassroots to top-level now – inviting talent in and not building walls
    • 28:25 China the biggest investor in renewable energies while Donald Trump wants to make coal great again – A look back at the Suez Canal crisis and America’s control over Great Britain
    • 34:00 The Asian century is about East AND West – the case of Santa Clara-based company Intel having their innovation accelerator in Shanghai
    • 38:30 From national identities into cross-boundaries – the benefits of not only learning the Chinese language but also experiencing the culture and the comparison between Amazon which is doing everything right yet still trailing Alibaba which starts in a position of strength in Asia
    • 42:50 The Asian mindset is the right mindset to survive and thrive in the Asian century and the change from Asia needing the West to Asia needing Asia
    • 45:40 A look at the Asian middle class driving the Asia to Asia growth story – Silicon Valley will need Asia more than Asia will need Silicon Valley
    • 48:25 The best ways for Silicon-Valley people to prepare for the Asian century – surround yourself with people who get it and stop talking, start showing up in Asia

    204: Ramesh V.Raghavan – Startup Investor and Advisor

    Podcast highlights:

    • 18:45 Cultural differences between South East Asian and Israeli startups; being outcome versus process driven, barriers in communication and having different approaches to problem solving
    • 27:25 The inherent challenge of the South East Asian corporate innovation space compared to more developed countries; South East Asian corporates want to protect their margins by ‘milking the cash cow’
    • 33:34 Does the top down approach to start-ups and wealth creation in South East Asia build sustainable ecosystems, compared to SF or Israel?

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 Welcome Ramesh Raghavan to ATP Stories with Graham Brown
    • 00:50 A little bit of background about Ramesh starting out as an agricultural commodity trader
    • 05:17 How did Ramesh’s engineering training fit in with his work in the commodity business
    • 08:40 The move from commodity trading to the financial service industry
    • 11:30 Going to Hong Kong in December 1997 and his career in Morgan Stanley
    • 14:23 Getting involved in the venture capital start up stage in Asia in 2012
    • 14:48 Ramesh’s trip to Israel to understand the success of Israel and bring back lessons from Israel to Asia
    • 16:20 Hosting the first Israeli conference in Singapore with 15 AI, big data technology, analytics, e-commerce space companies from Israel
    • 18:45 Cultural differences between Asian and Israeli startups; being outcome versus process driven, barriers in communication and different approaches to problem solving
    • 23:10 South East Asia as an agglomoration of different Chinas, a ‘Greater Bay’ of different countries instead of different regions. A wide variety in demographic profiles is the biggest advantage of South East Asia with big opportunities for frugal innovations.
    • 27:25 The inherent challenge of the South East Asian corporate innovation space compared to more developed countries; South East Asian corporates want to protect their margins by ‘milking the cash cow’
    • 31:07 Wealth creation in South East Asia is changing from real estate to new technologies brought in by the younger generation, the real estate kids
    • 33:34 Does the top down approach to start-ups and wealth creation in South East Asia build sustainable ecosystems, compared to SF or Israel?
    • 37:10 Talented Singaporean graduates should leave to other more risk friendly South East Asian countries where there are bigger problems to be solved
    • 40:26 Can entrepreneurship in Singapore be taught, when there isn’t a ‘hunger’ to fix things?
    • 43:45 Parallels between long term travel and entrepreneurship, from being an outsider in an unfamiliar environment to having faith that things will work out in the end
    • 45:00 Three things in common between successful start up founders: an interest in reading fiction, an interest in multi player gaming and being an immigrant
    • 47:45 The mindset shift when becoming an entrepreneur and having to do it all yourself
    • 50:00 Find out more about Ramesh on LinkedIn

    196: Gautam Ganguly – Building and Selling Software in Asia

    Podcast highlights:

    • 10:45 It’s easy to fall into your comfort zone. Why should every entrepreneur get out into the field and spend time with the people you are creating solutions for?
    • 21:30 A look inside the sales process of selling software to different sectors e.g. food delivery and retail
    • 55:00 Joining a start up instead of a regular job. How do you address that issue when your parents have mapped out your career for you? Advice for the young start up founder about having that dinner-table conversation with the folks.

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 Asia Tech Podcast stories with Gautam Ganguly, Founder and CEO of Eworks, hosted by Graham Brown
    • 00:30 How did Gautam get to Bangkok?
    • 05:50 What did Gautam enjoy about working in manufacturing?
    • 08:15 Going from the computer world to the manufacturing world
    • 10:45 It’s easy to fall into your comfort zone. Why should every entrepreneur get out into the field and spend time with the people you are creating solutions for?
    • 13:20 The move from New Delhi to Thailand. How did people react?
    • 16:50 A little bit about EWorks Consultants
    • 21:30 A look inside the sales process of selling software to different sectors e.g. food delivery and retail
    • 24:20 Talking about paying points to a customer
    • 27:40 How does Gautam get referrals for EWorks?
    • 33:13 How does Gautam spend his time?
    • 37:05 A rise in young founders who lack life experience
    • 39:42 Balancing the need to get the code right and the need to get some feedback from clients
    • 42:10 Is there a vision for the future of Eworks or is it done on a day to day basis?
    • 45:20 The experience of having clients in Laos, a frontier market
    • 48:30 Are markets like Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam prepared to take on new technology?
    • 51:35 What kind of advice would you offer to a new graduate from an Indian university?
    • 55:00 Joining a start up instead of a regular job. How do you address that issue when your parents have mapped out your career for you? Advice for the young start up founder about having that dinner-table conversation with the folks.
    • 58:45 Find out more about Gautam Ganguly on LinkedIn

    181: China’s New Retail Frontier (Ashley Talks ASH2)

    Podcast highlights:

    • 03:24 What do we need to know about the Chinese e-commerce phenomenon that is 11/11, ‘Singles Day’?
    • 15:17 What is the O2O trend in China all about? A look at offline shops running on big data technology and livestreaming from hair salons
    • 23:30 How are department stores in China using Alipay and facial recognition technology to create a better customer experience?

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 ASH2 – Ashley Talks with Ashley Galina Dudarenok, hosted by Graham Brown
    • 00:29 Update on book sales of ‘Unlocking the World’s Largest E-Market’
    • 03:24 What do we need to know about the Chinese e-commerce phenomenon that is 11/11, ‘Singles Day’?
    • 10:30 What did Ashley do on 11/11?
    • 13:31 What about girls eating noodles on livestreams, what do they do?
    • 15:17 What is the O2O trend in China all about? A look at offline shops running on big data technology and livestreaming from hair salons
    • 18:05 Changes in retail over time
    • 20:00 AliBaba’s chain of supermarkets (Hema supermarkets)
    • 23:30 How are department stores in China using Alipay and facial recognition technology to create a better customer experience?
    • 25:48 Mom and Pop stores identifying customers using Alipay
    • 28:28 What is AliBaba doing right for Hema that the others aren’t doing?
    • 31:55 Who are Alibaba’s main competitors?
    • 34:25 China as a battlefield between Tencent and Alibaba
    • 39:30 How does it work for consumers on a day to day basis?
    • 44:00 What are the possibilities of retail going outside of China?
    • 48:28 Acquisitions by China in other regions, China going global
    • 52:50 Chinese attitudes towards usage of personal data
    • 55:56 Which is the best store to visit in China to experience all this?