Posts Tagged ‘china’
Live @ IBM InterConnect 2012: A Q&A With IBM’s Steve Wilkins On The Asian-Pacific Economic Juggernaut
IBM’s vice president for IBM Software Marketing in our Global Growth Markets organization, Steve Wilkins, has a unique perspective on the Asia-Pacific region, and was also instrumental in helping make the IBM InterConnect event a reality here in Singapore.
The last time I saw Steve, we were sharing a cab in Seoul, South Korea, comparing notes about our respective BlackBerry Bolds and various mobile travel applications we had been trying to help us maintain our sanity while on the road.
That was only a short two years ago, and the fact that neither of us continues to carry the Bold says more about just how fast the market is moving, in Asia and beyond, than can I! (We both carry iPhones these days, along with my newfound Nokia 1280 “global” phone acquired here in Singapore this week.)
I sat down with Steve here in Singapore to get the lowdown on the Asia-Pacific market. Steve offered insights ranging from the slowdown and structural shifts we’re witnessing in China (shifts that are creating massive new economic opportunity for individuals and businesses alike) to the ability of Asia-Pacific telecommunications providers to keep pace with the massive growth in mobile computing in the region!
Thanks again to Steve for taking the time to share his wisdoms and insights about this incredibly exciting area of the globe, one that offers massive opportunity but which also requires close attention be paid to the idiosyncratic needs and customs of the various countries that the region constitutes.
You can see our interview here.
Dr. Ronald Zhang left his home city of Beijing to attend the University of Central Florida, and didn’t go back home for eight years.
When he returned, how found there were new buildings and roads and shopping malls, and he almost didn’t recognize the place, never mind couldn’t find his way around.
After catching the American entrepreneurial bug during his time in the States, along with his PhD, Dr. Zhang concluded that what was missing in the GPS, location-based services market was the inside out view.
Google Streetview and Keyhole had captured the outside in view, but Dr. Zhang explains that people spend 90% of their time indoors — at shopping malls, restaurants, and the like. Where was the data feed for them?
And that’s how Palmap came to be founded, a Shanghai-located company now with offices also in Beijing and Xi’an.
Though American entrepreneurialism may seem to be far removed from the Confucian approach to orderly development in the East, that’s precisely what drew Dr. Zhang to the U.S. “With American entrepreneurs, there are no rules, boundaries, you can just go mad and crazy, and only be limited by your imagination. More and more, that’s what’s happening in China, but here (in the U.S.), there’s a spirit that we want to bring back to China.”
Dr. Zhang went on to explain such people “don’t necessarily make revenue yet” but that “they have services that can change the world and make life better.”
His idea for Palmap started around the time the iPhone was released, and he explained that “the Internet changed everything in China, and those technologies are implemented by people like us. So that’s my dream, to do something with my own mind.”
Zhang’s ultimate vision with Palmap is to bridge the divide between click-n-mortar and brick-n-mortar, or as he explained it, “online to offline.”
Between those two endpoints — and not unlike his transcendence of two very different worlds, the U.S. and China — Dr. Zhang and his team plan on making a lot of people happy…and then, and perhaps only then, will the money follow.
This has been an interesting week.
I’ve not been blogging much because I’ve been too busy playing work catchup after SXSW.
Hope you’ve been digging the podcast interviews Scott Laningham and I conducted as much as we did producing them. We talked to some really interesting people here in Austin last week.
Of course, time rolls on, and everything changes, including in the interactive space. I’ve been watching the Google/China situation with great fascination.
When I was in Beijing, it was before the Olympics and I stayed in the Beijing Hilton, and far as I could tell, I never had any issue with Internet filtering.
But boy have Google and China gone at it this week. Last one out turn out the Great Firewall.
My own personal take is that while information wants to be free, China wants to keep it locked up, and Google can’t get a high-enough cost-per-click to make it worth their while.
So they reroute their mainland search queries to the “special administrative region” of Hong Kong, forcing the China government-owned mobile companies to rethink their mobile search deal, and in the end Microsoft’s Bing is the beneficiary.
You really can’t make this stuff up.
Even GoDaddy.Com has told the Chinese to take a domain-sales hike, which is really disappointing, for I was looking forward to someday seeing Danica Patrick scream around the corner Chairman Mao’s visage overlooking Tiananmen Square NASCAR style.
Of course, they may, in fact, be fighting the last Internet war — smartphone traffic has taken off like a rocket, up 193% year-over-year, according to AdMob.
The iPhone leads the way in terms of share, at 50% (up from 33% last year), followed by Android (up from 2% to 24%), and Nokia losing share (from 43% down to 18%…ouch!).
This just in time for Microsoft and FourSquare to start cozying up, with Bing now offering up a Foursquare map application that allows Bing map users to see check-ins on FourSquare.
Hey, maybe the Chinese Communist Party can use Bing maps to see Foursquare check-ins of Google sales reps running around Beijing trying to avert the wrath of the Golden Shield?!