Don't Ignore Asia Tech with Catherine Shu

Don't Ignore Asia Tech with Catherine Shu
Catherine Shu shares her perspectives on the evolution of Asia Tech in the past decade and future prospects.

Fresh out of the studio, Catherine Shu reflects on her 12 years at TechCrunch, chronicling the evolution of Asian tech from China to India. She highlights the rise of Chinese apps such as WeChat and TikTok's global impact and the shifting international views on Chinese tech. She explores India's rising tech scene, South Korea's startup growth with the rise of Coupang and Southeast Asia's expanding tech influence, with a focus on Grab. Shu offers her advice for journalists covering Asia's dynamic tech landscape and articulating what great looks like for Asia Tech in the future.

"When I wrote about it, in addition to assuming that all Asia tech companies, particularly in China, were copycats of Western companies, I think there are also a lot of misperceptions about how easy it is to enter a market, especially when they're an Asian market, especially when there are incumbent players already. For example, Uber failed. Basically, they failed. That's a harsh word, but they failed in both China and Southeast Asia, where they were acquired by Didi in China and Grab in Southeast Asia. And then Facebook really fell flat on its face with a lot of markets with free basics, it undermined Net Neutrality and also assumed that consumers just because maybe they had to be price conscious, were willing to access only a handful of sites as opposed to having access to a free Internet. I think people also underestimate the influence that Asia has had in other parts of the world." - Catherine Shu


  • Catherine Shu, Former Senior Reporter in TechCrunch (@catherineshu, LinkedIn)
  • Since our last conversation, what have you been up to? [Note that Catherine was on episode 14 in Analyse Asia's early days]
  • I am sorry to hear about you being laid off by TechCrunch recently, and you have been active on Twitter before your last article. What was the experience like suddenly engaging many people online?
  • What are your plans from now on? 
  • Given your career journey, what are the interesting lessons you can share with my audience? 

Don’t Ignore Asia Tech with Catherine Shu

  • What is the inspiration behind this final article on TechCrunch? 
  • Over your 12 years with TechCrunch, how have you seen Western perceptions of Asian tech companies change?
  • What were some common misperceptions about Asian tech you encountered and sought to correct in your writing?
  • How did your perspectives about Asian markets evolve, especially from your location in Asia?
  • Since you are based in Taiwan, do you cover Foxconn and TSMC, the tech giants there?
  • What is the one thing you know about Asia Tech with China included that very few do?
  • How has China's tech scene shifted from being seen as a hub of copycats to a leader in innovation, especially in social media and fintech?
  • What impact has TikTok had on global social media trends, and how did it change the game for Chinese tech companies internationally?
  • How does WeChat's super app model compare with similar attempts in the West, and what lessons can be learned from its success?
  • What are your thoughts on how the China tech ecosystem was caught flat-footed by ChatGPT from OpenAI and now playing the catchup game?
  • With the shift in venture capital trends, how do you see the future of Chinese startups and their global influence?
  • Can you discuss the evolution of India's tech ecosystem and how it's challenging Western preconceptions, especially in the smartphone market?
  • How is South Korea's startup ecosystem developing, especially with the influence of chaebols and government support?
  • Can you share more about Coupang's success and its approach to e-commerce and logistics?
  • Discussing Taiwan's startup ecosystem, what are the main challenges and opportunities you see for startups in sectors like AI and healthcare?
  • Can you share insights into Southeast Asia's tech ecosystem's growth and global impact?
  • What was your experience covering the evolution of companies like Grab and how they've influenced the super app model?
  • In your article, you discuss fintech innovations in Southeast Asia. Can you elaborate on their potential to influence global markets?
  • What advice would you give to journalists and analysts covering Asia's dynamic and diverse tech landscapes?
  • What does great look like for Asia Tech from your perspective?


Podcast Information: Bernard Leong (@bernardleongLinkedin) hosts and produces the show. Proper credits for the intro and end music: "Energetic Sports Drive" and the episode is mixed & edited in both video and audio format by G. Thomas Craig (@gthomascraigLinkedIn).