This afternoon everyone once again filled the lecture halls for the discussion panels. A group of three innovators and founders of Chinese tech-companies spoke at a panel on technology. The panel was moderated by Rebecca Fannin, the author of “Silicon Dragon” and an expert on global innovation and investment trends.
The first panellist was a German entrepreneur Dirk Eschenbacher, who co-founded Zanadu, a luxury travel service company. He shared his experience on working with a very specific Chinese demographic that is willing to pay high price in order to have an individual and high quality trip. The company not only provides online services, but has also expanded into releasing an offline magazine and providing support on WeChat. Currently it is now even delving into the VR market to provide a cheaper, but still immersive way to “see the world”.
The second panellist was Joe Xia, the co-founder and CTO of Mobike, a bike-sharing platform. Joe Xia spoke about the founding of this start-up several years ago, as an outcome of awful traffic and pollution in big cities of China. He shared various new innovations with the audience, especially one having to do with the redistribution of the bikes depending on the demand. Before, this was done by the company, however, since this week, the users themselves are financially incentivised to help distribute the bikes. This is both cutting on the expenses and creating a feeling of community among consumers. Joe Xia also mentioned the possible global expansion. Only a couple of days ago Mobike was introduced in Singapore and the next perceivable market in the list seems to be the US.
The last panellist to share his experience of owning a tech-company in China was Paul Xu, the Vice President of Shenzhen DaJiang Innovation Technology. This company is currently one of the most innovative and largest drone manufacturers in the area. However, the initial popularity of the products came from the directors in Hollywood, who needed simple-to-use drones for movie production. Paul Xu talked about the move back to the Chinese market and attempts to expand here. In China, he said, they mainly focus on making the drones an enterprise tool that can be used in architecture, fire-fighting, even farming. Paul Xu also highlighted their success in commercialisation and marketing, after all they are not involved in engineering “rocket science”.