What Mike Moritz got wrong about China Startup Ecosystem with Benjamin Joffe

What Mike Moritz got wrong about China Startup Ecosystem with Benjamin Joffe
Benjamin Joffe, partner at HAX, discussed the evolution of the hardware startup accelerator in Shenzhen, China & what Mike Moritz from Sequoia Capital got right and wrong about China's technology startups.

Benjamin Joffe, partner of HAX from SOS Ventures joined us in a conversation about the evolution of their hardware startup accelerator and discuss what Mike Moritz from Sequoia Capital got wrong and right about China’s technology startup ecosystem. We discussed the intention of Moritz’s article to Silicon Valley and how the Chinese startups will pose a challenge to them globally.

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

  • Benjamin Joffe (@benjaminjoffe , LinkedIn, Medium), Partner at HAX [0:38]
    • Since our last conversation, what have you been up to? [1:20]
    • How has the hardware ecosystem in Shenzhen evolved in the past two years and what’s the trajectory look like in 2018 since we last spoke? (Ref: “What Hardware Investors want in 2018 and what they don’t”). [4:25]
    • Will Shenzhen become the Silicon Valley of China given that it has both hardware and software companies situated in that region? [5:34]
  • What Sequoia’s Mike Moritz don’t understand about startups in China [7:04]
    • Introduction: Silicon Valley would be wise to follow China’s lead by Mike Moritz from Sequoia Capital – a critique to the work ethic of Silicon Valley and praising the 9-9-6 i.e. startup entrepreneurs & employees work 9 am to 9 pm & 6 days a week coupled with the frugality mentality in China. What are your initial thoughts on the article? [7:56]
    • From your observation, you feel that Mike Moritz did not really get China. My first question is: how does China differ from US from the market size, education focus and economy growth? [9:34]
    • Why can’t US copy China as the latter has done so in the past decade? [11:44]
    • It is really surprising that we often hear US tech companies speak of China as a market to expand to but we don’t hear the reverse. Why are most Chinese technology companies (other than Tencent and Alibaba) competing for the US market? [16:57]
    • With the recent deal to acquire MoneyGram by Ant Financial failed and the collapse of the AT&T deal with Huawei, do you think that these events stopped Chinese companies from entering US? [18:24]
    • How does the Belt and Road initiative open the path for Chinese companies in global expansion?
    • In your opinion, what did Mike Moritz get right and wrong about China startups? [21:52]
    • Is China’s 9-9-6 culture shifting towards more or less sustainable (like 0-0-7 i.e. 0 am to 0 am and 7 days a week) for the Chinese tech worker? [23:19]
    • Where do you see the Chinese technology companies in the next 5 years? [24:18]
  • Closing [25:26]
    • Can you recommend a book or movie or podcast or anything which recently made an impact to your work and personal life? [25:40]
      • Ben Joffe’s recommendations:
        • GGV Capital 9-9-6 podcast by Hans Tung and Zara Zhang, produced by SupChina.
        • SOS Ventures, “VC Lingo
        • Sam Harris, “Waking Up podcast
    • How do my audience find you?

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong & weibo) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack.