Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 16-June 8 Special Art Exhibit : Relics From A Disaster

This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the China's great disasters: the Cultural Revolution. Some 1.5 million people were killed during the revolution, and millions of others suffered imprisonment, torture, and seizure of property. The nations schools were closed, China's culture and art destroyed, social resources wasted. Mao's ten-year program devastated the country. 
Art Curator Shu Jianhui has put together an exhibit of surviving art pieces. They will be on display in his gallery for the next two weeks. Stop by. 
Where: Silicon Valley Asian Art Center, 3777 Stevens Creek Blvd, 4th Floor
When: May 16-June 8, Wed-Fri: 11:00-4:30, Sat/Sun: 11:00-6:00, 
**Don't miss a special lecture on May 30 from 2-5. 

China in the News

Be sure to read these fascinating articles on China:

China Turns Pro-Entrepreneurship: A World of Start-ups

Robinhood is an American start-up company that uses technology to allow anyone to buy and sell stocks on a cell phone or iPhone, with no broker fee, with intent to democratize the market. DJI of China is the world market leader in easy-to-fly drones and aerial photography systems. What do the two have in common?
Innovation and technology.
In mid April, our speaker Jason Tu spoke to us about business innovation, technology, and financing startups in China. Jason has a long acquaintance with the USCPFA, dating from school in Evansville, Indiana, then Purdue, then France. He worked in Hong Kong in a British bank, then in Shenzhen in Financial Technology. Now he's an MBA student at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Recently he led a group of Stanford business students to visit new media and technology companies in China.
Jason told us about three key features of the recent technology startup trend in China.
1) China has moved from reverse engineering copycat to global innovation. Example: the Drone Market, where DJI accounts for 70% of the global commercial drone market share. Drones controlthemselves using deep learning, a kind of artificial intelligence. The Chinese use the drones to inspect railroad tracks, to inspect high-voltage power lines, and in agriculture to spray pesticides and fertilizers. Jason talked about how early drone technology evolved from ban open source code from Carnegie Mellon and how the Chinese further developed that to world standards.
2) China is bypassing some technology to focus on the future. Example: while still unable to manufacture good gasoline engines, China puts a lot of focus and investment into electric vehicle development and in other high-tech areas such as robotics. In 2015, China produced 33,000 electric cars, and has intent to produce 5 million by 2020.
3) Numbers and population really matter. Example: e-commerce. Wei Xin (WeChat), a smartphone app, reaches 700 million users—including me. Like the iPhone, one can do free calls, video, text, and even get a taxi and pay utility bills on the ap. One can find others on WeChat in ones area and connect with them. Consumer technology companies have gone far beyond their counterparts in the US, with many new business models flourishing in China. But the real engine behind the fast-developing consumer technology is its large population whose members constantly have a thirst for new things.
Where does the money come from?
From both public and private sources. There are a great number of venture capitalists nowadays in China, whose money is primarily from high net worth individuals and companies that made their money from traditional sectors such as manufacturing, real estate, and large tech companies. Some private companies, such as Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu, put money into private financing as well.
Public sector money depends on the city, each of which has its startup incentive schemes rolled out by the government. Some venture capital firms and private equity firms have government backing as well.
Jason talked about Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Beijing. Of the three, Shenzhen will match private money that exceeds 1 million Renminbi. Beijing has a very large startup community. While Shanghai has its Free Trade Zone, it has the most rules and regulations, seemingly never-ending ones that keep changing.
With the current economic slowdown, there is great concern that the traditional big companies won’t provide enough jobs to new graduates. Sixteen million Chinese enter the labor market every year. Hence the Chinese government is now very pro-entrepreneurship—encouraging the private sector to expand.

By Jason Tu and John Marienthal