Tag Archives: China

You are here: Home » Posts tagged "China"

23 - Meet "Jim", a Chinese "internet street vendor" selling likes on social media

“I knew it was an empty threat. First of all, it’s cross borders, how are you going to sue me? You don’t even know who I am.”

Today’s guest goes by “Jim” and considers himself to be a “street vendor on the internet”. What he means by that, is that often times street vendors aren’t legal or licensed to sell food on the street corner.

Despite their questionable legal status, often times these vendors are good people who are just trying to scrape out a living, taking just a little money here & there where they can find it.

Jim considers himself to be the internet equivalent of this – running a small business that’s not exactly “approved of” but that allows him to use his tech “hacking” skillset to take just a little bit of money away from the internet giants.

Currently his business is selling his services to individuals who want to get ahead on social media platforms, buying fake stats there to help them accelerate their presence. Is it life-changing tech? Not really. Does it help him earn enough money so he doesn’t have to take a job with insane hours, making massive profits for someone else? Yes.

So let’s hear why Jim does what he does and take a peak behind the scenes of a ‘gray-hat’ internet business that you might be okay with or hate, based on what he’s doing to social media.

In this episode:
+ Why he left China to study on the West Coast of the US
+ Why he feels that not being a great student, not going to an Ivy League school actually helped him
+ Hacking at tech since he was a kid
+ How being online was a privelage growing up in China
+ Stealing his neighbors phone identity to go online when his parents couldn’t afford it
+ As a techy Chinese, what he thinks of Jian Yang from Silicon Valley
+ The C2C model, aka Copy to China business model
+ China as internet business model innovators
+ Fighting against fake lawsuits from competitors only to end up in a ddos war that took out both sites
+ How the startup exit model in China is more about being bought by Tencent or Alibaba
+ Taking VC money in China, benefits & risks
+ Leveraging tech loopholes for social media attention

Sadly no links for Jim as he wanted to use a pseudonym to protect himself and his business interests, past & present.

Music:
http://www.bensound.com

Subscribe to The Beertelligence Podcast on….

22 - How growing up Chinese in Valencia helps Victor Chi Sun run a design studio in Shanghai

“I gain through those super stressful moments, like in a restaurant, rush hour, delivering everything, I love it.”

Victor is a graphic design freelancer turned entrepreneur who runs Chi Studios in Shanghai. Although he wanted to design cars as a kid, he’s now an owner of graphic, branding & visual design studio.

Victor’s parents are Chinese but he was born & grew up in Valencia, Spain. There he was one of the only Chinese kids around, growing up with people looking at him & saying ‘oh Chinese, Chinese…’.

We spend some time diving into how his early experiences impacted his life & career. For example, how he inherited his work ethic from his parents while working in their restaurant as a kid. Or how early in life he was shy & introverted, wanting just to be invisible & to fit in. But how that ultimately changed later in life as he embraced his differences and it led to him being more successful.

Now Victor fully embraces his unique upbringing to combine Chinese culture with a global design perspective for his clients in China.

+ How he transitioned from freelancer to Entrepreneur
+ Being one of the only Chinese kids in Valencia
+ Struggling to be ‘invisible’ as a kid
+ Working in a Chinese restaurant in Spain
+ Benefits of working from a young age
+ How he saw being different as an advantage in college
+ The value of Chinese culture but with Spanish / global mindset
+ Transitioning from an industrial designer to car designer to visual designer
+ Maintaining single or multiple version of oneself
+ Separating family & business apart with his wife leaving the business
+ Working with spouses & cofounding a company together
+ How ‘being yourself’ can even help to the grow the business
+ Getting shit on by a bird and how it can help with networking
+ How to get rid of work stress
+ How happy people work harder

Victor’s studio – Chi branding & design
http://chistudio.cn/en/home

Victor on linkedin
https://www.linkedin.com/in/victorchisun/

Music:
http://www.bensound.com

Subscribe to The Beertelligence Podcast on….

17 - How being sued at 13 years old led to building startups in Asia with Ryan Shuken of MOX & Chinaccelerator

“He bought cocacola.com & sold it for $2million. And I thought, that’s so stupid, I could do that.”

Ryan Shuken started his life as an entrepreneur at a very young age and he now shares his years of learnings as the Program Director for Mobile Only Accelerator (MOX), a start-up accelerator that focuses on Android applications in developing countries. He and his team work mostly with start-ups that already have their product and now need to grow it in multiple countries around the world, often at the same time.

Ryan (33) was born in California & moved to China when he was 18. He started his first business when he was 12 years old, just as the internet was starting to become more widely adopted. He bought web domain names of neighborhood businesses and waited for them to sue, before counter-suing and settling on terms to sell the domains, all accompanied by his mother of course. He went on to teach himself to code and also to clone popular websites as he crafted his own path through entrepreneurship.

Once in China, Ryan studied International Trade and Culture and then had short stints at other colleges around the world, before settling in Shanghai and working with The China Startup Pulse, then Chinaccelerator, and now MOX.

Ryan says he has done all of this with the support of his family, most of whom also run their own businesses. Then we dive into how this fuels his motivation to help other startup entrepreneurs realize their dreams.

In this episode:
+ How MOX’s program for startups works.
+ Buying domain names when the internet was young.
+ Making web clones with people you meet on the internet.
+ Why Ryan moved and the lessons from living in China for more than 15 years
+ ‘Secret Co-founders’ and the importance of discussions.
+ Can anyone be an entrepreneur?
+ Accepting weaknesses and making up for it with hard work.
+ Getting perspective through failure. Then using these perspectives for mentoring.
+ Teachings of rapid iteration, reduced risk, and building for the customer.
+ How problem solving and focus helps a messy ‘backstage’ look polished and perfect to the outside world.
+ Home brewing beer
+ A new community podcasting space in Shanghai

Links:

SOSV (MOX and Chinaccelerator):
https://sosv.com/

The Original Content Room (The OC) podcasting studio:
Located in Shanghai, People Squared, 28 Yuyuan Dong lu, building 3
[Not currently public – add brandon-owens on WeChat to get connected to Ryan for more info]
http://www.people-squared.com/hero_center.html

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries:
http://theleanstartup.com/book

Ryan’s Twitter:
https://twitter.com/rshuken

Ryan’s Linked in:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rshuken/

Music:
http://www.bensound.com

Subscribe to The Beertelligence Podcast on….

16 - Managing a company while being an introverted CEO with Ronan Berder of Wiredcraft

“Managing people is still an enigma for me”

Ronan is founder and CEO of a successful app-development agency in Shanghai called Wiredcraft, which has offices in Asia & Europe.

They eventually found themselves working on projects in the international development space, such as building apps for the South Sudan referendum and other projects for both the UN & the world bank. Now they’ve focused more on larger corporate clients like Starbucks.

He was born in the south of France and moved to Tahiti when he was young, moving around a lot as his family was working in the army. He has spent many years in the US as well.

He considers himself a massive nerd, all the way from childhood through to studying math & physics later in life. He leads his company as a very intelligent but fairly introverted CEO who has to balance how to manage others & constantly be in social situations.

 

In this episode:
+ How he started his company as freelancing that snowballed into a proper company
+ Differences between building an agency vs building a product
+ Underestimating what it takes to build a product
+ Differences between design & engineering
+ How to sell the methodology by almost making an agency itself into a product
+ How he used drinking as a crutch to handle introversion
+ How he designed experiments to figure out how to interact with people better when he was young
+ Challenges of managing people as an introvert
+ How a lack of sugar coating leads to misperceptions of arrogance
+ The effects of alcohol on introverts networking

Links:

Linkedin:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronanberder/

Wiredcraft:
https://wiredcraft.com/

Music:
http://www.bensound.com

Subscribe to The Beertelligence Podcast on….

11 - Managing large corporate teams in China at Apple & IHG with Starbucks China CMO Emily Chang

“In China, everything is possible but nothing is easy.”

Emily Chang talks with us shortly after she joined Starbucks as CMO in China. Before that, she was managing a large team and overseeing more than 270 hotels in the hospitality industry at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®).

Before that she was the Head of Retail Marketing, Asia for Apple where she worked ‘in startup mode’ to be the face of Apple brand in Greater China. She shares some of her favorite stories about how they handled the size and stresses of new store launches there.

Emily is a very down to earth executive who has managed to be extremely successful in the world of marketing without ever feeling that she was a marketing person. We touch also on some of the cultural differences she sees when working in the US & China.

Her background was originally in Biomedical Engineering but found herself excelling at Procter & Gamble (P&G) working across every aspect of consumer package goods in the US & China.

In this episode we discuss:
– Blogging on LinkedIn vs writing a book
– Her motivation for writing & sharing
– How ‘congruence’ is essential in a career
– Strategies for balancing a marriage and career, across multiple geographies
– How to manage culture changes at a large corporation
– The ‘end’ of marketing & rise of customer experience
– Differences between CPG, retail & hospitality
– Need for ‘play’ in corporate settings
– How balancing a personality paradox like confidence & humility can appear as powerful
– How her family uses their spare room to help people in need
– What it’s like growing up as an immigrant in the US
– What makes a good mentor
– The differences in work culture & style between the US & China

Emily on Linkedin:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilychang8621/

Congruency: critical to job satisfaction.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/congruency-critical-job-satisfaction-emily-chang

Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie
http://amzn.to/2tz3i3L

Baobei Foundation
http://www.baobeifoundation.org/

Music:
http://www.bensound.com

Subscribe to The Beertelligence Podcast on….

10 - WeChat marketing expert Matthew Brennan discusses latest trends in China

“WeChat is like the operating system for your life in China”

Matthew Brennan has been in China for 13 years, working in many different cities and eventually finding his way to research and becoming a WeChat expert.

Matt cofounded China Channel, which organizes China’s largest WeChat marketing conference series for international companies. They also produce a massive amount of content in the form of blog posts about WeChat & China tech.

Matthew spends his time working as a consultant, trainer, writer and public speaker. He’s also in the process of writing a book called ‘Building your Business through WeChat’ and his opinions regarding WeChat and the China digital ecosystem have been featured in global media:
– The Economist
– BBC
– The Financial Times
– Forbes and more.

In this episode:
– how to operate official account as foreign company
– the challenges of writing a book
– some of the ad products coming from Tencent
– how Tencent is driving search & AI forward for WeChat
– the decline & transition of the newsfeed, pushing people out of WeChat
– the challenges of social networks when they become a hybrid of colleagues & life mixing together
– how Tencent thinks about getting people out of WeChat & to talk more
– how people can make a job just selling in WeChat groups, like buying luxury bags in Paris & selling through WeChat groups
– live streaming & other unique China business models
– the state of micropayments in China

Matthew on WeChat
https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-brennan/

Amazon FBA in Guangzhou – sourcing from China selling on Amazon
http://www.chineseimporting.com/how-to-get-your-shipments-from-china-to-amazon-fba/

Fenda:
http://chinachannel.co/fenda-answering-questions-wechat/

Xiaomiquan:
https://www.xiaomiquan.com/

Dedao: subscription content for audio
Download on itunes link

Music:
http://www.bensound.com

Subscribe to The Beertelligence Podcast on….

5 - Marius Ionita - F&B Photography - The Beertelligence Podcast

“We wrestle bears, that’s what we do in our country.”

Marius is a 20-year veteran of the Shanghai Food & Beverage (F&B) industry having worked in clubs, bars and even opened his own restaurant.

Marius was born in Romania and moved to South London when he was 18, finding work early on in restaurants. From there he moved to China in 1999 and became a part-time DJ for 15+ years.

Now, with 18 years in China under his belt, he’s the CEO of Kollektiv, a group of design & photography freelancers . His company also dabbles in Event Management from time to time.

What is the “jpeg horse”?
As a bit of background, the “jpeg horse” refers to a picture in Brandon’s apartment provided by his landlord that is a picture printed of a horse that is such low quality that you can see the pixels clearly when you are up close. And luckily this is glued to the wall.

 

In this episode:
+ Differences between Shanghai 1999 & Shanghai 2017
+ Russian jokes in the office
+ Menu & food photography
+ The “Shanghai slide”, how great restaurants quality drops dramatically after 6 months
+ How being crazy helps in the restaurant business
+ Lack of music growing up in communist country
+ How ‘drunk talk’ can lead to good business ideas
+ How in 1999 all the foreigners knew each other & they partied with the Marines
+ Tips for eating street food & avoiding skewers outside nightclubs at all costs
+ Project management, communication & how to manage last-minute client deadlines
+ The importance of full debriefing of clients to ensure smooth projects
+ How entrepreneurs should invest more story, time, energy & soul into their brand
+ A school for F&B owners
+ How music controls flow in restaurants
+ How running a restaurant dominates your life & why so many people quit
+ Staff turnover in China issues
+ Partying & waking up an another town

Mentioned in this episode:
Tai An Table
http://www.smartshanghai.com/venue/13949/taian_table

El Willy F&B group & Tomatito:
http://www.elwillygroup.com/venues/tomatito/

Find Marius online
LinkedIn:
https://cn.linkedin.com/in/mariusionita

Web:
www.kollektiv.co

Wechat ID:
Kollektiv_Hub

Music:
http://www.bensound.com

Subscribe to The Beertelligence Podcast on….