Reflections on China with Kaiser Kuo

Reflections on China with Kaiser Kuo
Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast, joined us to discuss his reflections on the twenty years of stay in China & the evolution of their culture, tech & economy ahead.

Kaiser Kuo, co-founder & host of the Sinica Podcast and formerly from Baidu, joined us to share his reflections on China after 20 years of stay and how he has changed from living within the Great Firewall of China to observe the middle kingdom from the outside. We examined a variety of topics from how the Chinese economy & cultural landscape has evolved across the past decade, and where it is heading. We also discussed the corporate culture of Chinese technology companies, their strategic tax in expanding overseas, and why US tech companies such as Uber with both technology capability & the Chinese playbook are unable to penetrate into the closed and competitive market of China.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Kaiser Kuo, Host and Founder of Sinica Podcast (@KaiserKuo, LinkedIn, Quora)
    • Re-introduction [0:43]
    • You have moved back to the US after 20 years in China. How’s the experience like back home in the US? [1:26]
    • What has happened to the Sinica Podcast? Are you doing this full time or are you working on any side projects? [2:01]
  • Reflections on China [3:14]
    • What are the key differences from being within the Great Firewall of China to now observing it with an external lens? [3:21]
    • How do you explain your experience to people who are curious about China? [6:21]
    • In your opinion, how has the economic and cultural landscape changed in the past decade? [8:19]
    • Is the current economic growth slowing down for China? [10:01]
    • We observe more international recognition of Chinese writers and scientists from Hugo & Nebula Prizes to Nobel Prizes. Does that mean China is making an impact as an intellectual capital of the world similar to US? [12:52]
    • Looking at the technology landscape, China is a very competitive market for any western players. Uber is the latest casualty in the attempt to penetrate into a highly closed market. What would be your advice to others who are planning to expand their business into China. [15:44]
    • What is the culture working in a Chinese technology company as compared to a Silicon Valley company? Has the gap been closed with the emergence of the BAT axis and a startup ecosystem flushed with talent coming out of the BAT axis? [22:00]
    • Most technology companies in China have a strategy tax problem when expanding to the rest of the world. Can they navigate beyond there? [26:17]
    • China seemed to have both hardware and software advantage due to their manufacturing prowess as compared to US where the manufacturing capability has shrunk significantly since 1980s. Do you foresee this dominance continue? [28:24]
    • In your view, what are the forces that will lead China to be a world player and what are the obstacles? [30:45]
    • How do you keep a pulse on China? [33:19]
    • What are the most interesting parts of China you want to tell someone who has not been to China?How do you see China in the next 5 years? [33:50]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Altizen and sign up for their mailing list. Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack.