Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Flying to China

I'll be flying to Hong Kong this afternoon to visit one of my best friends in HKUST. Then I'll go back home in Shaoxing for a short while before flying to Beijing for a meaning trip.

The initial purpose for visiting Beijing this summer holiday is to know more young entrepreneurs, especially tech entrepreneurs of similar age, who might be my future partners in a future startup in China. That might sound unreasonable in such a short time(1-2 months), however, I still consider it as a very good opportunity and a wise investment.  Another purpose would be to find the pains in today's Chinese market when I, as a overseas university student, haven't yet known enough about China.

I applied two companies of my top interests- Douban and Xiami, both of which are music related. Unfortunately, Xiami is not recruiting summer internships due to the unpredictable changes in this July's regulation of digital music in China. Douban is good. It's a combination of both tech and arts which fits my taste. I do foresee a sustainable eco-system in douban's most products. For instance, it's famous douban.fm is adopting the free-premium model of Spotify. I passed their first round online tech interview. The last round was on the demo day of CS3217 and I requested to postpone the interview date for project showcase.Though the HR(intern) who was in charge of arranging my interview date promised to arrange for another interview, she didn't get back to me until all the recruitments for this summer were finished. I feel quite disappointed about the HR.

Fortunately, I have some other contacts. One senior who started his own business in both Singapore and Beijing is seeking for iOS/Android developers to move his service further. Honestly, I don't think his company's products create a lot of value, though millions of users access his social network app every day. Compared to the social network app, I'm more interested in voluntarily helping another friend setting up his non-profitable open university.  I met the friend in Paris when I visited the Versailles. He graduated from Peking University and Ecole Normale in physics and received full scholarship from ETH. Instead of going to ETH for physics research, he went back to China to start his own non-profitable teaching organization named One-Man University(万门大学). The vision is to provide good university education to every Chinese student, which is similar to Coursera. My friend really devoted a lot of his energy to building up the community in social network services. However, he is not a tech guy and he didn't really make the technology behind the university as great as Coursera. He needs more help. I think what he is currently doing is really meaningful. Maybe he is going to work on education until he die. That's so passionate and persistent.  I'd love to contribute as much as I can.

Other highlights:

I went for the WalkAboutSg entrepreneurial activity which allows every one to visit the local startups. I am really impressed by the Plugin@Blk71 incubator. The people there are so focused and passionate.  One of my CS3216 classmate, James Dam was there coding a photo sharing app. I met a Chinese team who works on the travel planning service. They quit high salary jobs to work on this project with only 50k fundings.  In the afternoon, I talked with Sharon from NUS about my current status. It was a nice sharing. She introduced Ruiwen to me via email and I visited him in BillPin on another day. It was such a nice sharing with Ruiwen. I feel so encouraged and bright. I also went to visit 2359 media in downtown with Kaiwei, who gave me some advise of whether to continue working with my professor on the social annotation project. He also gave some more advices as an entrepreneur. I feel so grateful to Ruiwen, Kaiwei and Sharon.







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