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Four Chinese entrepreneurs share expert advice on China's Internet and media market

04 October 2010

SHARING ON CHINA'S INTERNET AND MEDIA MARKET: Venture Partner of Northern Light Venture Capital Mr John Wu, Founder of Mr Lerry Zou, Founder of PPLive Mr Bill Yao, and CEO of Mr Wang Jian Shuo
Four Internet entrepreneurs shared their perspectives on future opportunities and challenges in China's Internet and media market and their experience in building a business at a seminar organised by NUS' School of Computing and supported by NUS Enterprise and Computer and Information Science Alumni Association (CISAA).

Some 350 students, alumni and industry partners attended the seminar which featured talks by Founder of PPLive Mr Bill Yao, CEO of Mr Wang Jian Shuo and Founder of Mr Lerry Zou.

Mr Yao raised four important points in setting up a first venture. Summarising the four points as F.A.C.T., he said: "First, focus on your dream; ask yourself why do you want to start your own business. Second, achieve your goal step-by-step and aim high. Third, be consumer-driven; in other words, know the consumer's requirements and improve the business daily. Lastly, and most importantly, build your team - expand your social network and find the best partners."

Mr Wang highlighted three key factors enabling a successful start-up: focus, cost consciousness and simplicity. As the business expands, Mr Wang emphasised, it is important to hold fast to the vision of the company and stay focused on one area. The business must also be as simple as possible. This means to keep improving on the product instead of expanding and losing focus on the main feature of a product.

Third speaker Mr Zou shared his experience in creating a Social Network System (SNS) in China. He stressed that the most important thing is to provide products and services that meet client and user requirements. He also spoke of the importance of timeliness in product release in the SNS market and product quality in order to generate good publicity.

The three speakers were joined by Venture Partner of Northern Light Venture Capital Mr John Wu during the panel discussion. Looking back at China's Internet market 10 years ago, Mr Wu noted many changes and advancements in the industry since then. He said: "If you're thinking of starting an Internet company targeting the China market, the degree of difficulty is a lot more than 10 years ago." However, he added: "The Internet is a dynamic field, and you can never say that it is impossible for new stars to rise."

The panelists recognised the emergence of new trends and increasing opportunities for new technologies and applications, especially in the mobile sector. However, they cautioned, due to the vast size of the China market, each company needs to have an area of specialisation to stay competitive.

By Alicia Bok, School of Computing, NUS