October 13th, 2006
Arrived in Beijing yesterday. After a long jam, finally arrived in Haidian District (海淀区), put down my lungage and then head off to Minzu Hotel for dinner with Andy Jacobs who happens to be in Beijing for a company party at the Great Wall tonight.
Went to CNNIC this morning to catch up with catch up with Mao Wei and bang into Shen Yang (沈阳), the editor of the QianLong. Havent met Shen Yang since Kyoto two years ago but he got a new title now: Comittee member for WG for Blog, Internet Society of China (ISC). Apparently, they are having a meeting to discuss the “policy for blogs in China”. Wow, I want to be in that meeting! But damn, Shen Yang said ‘No way!’.
Regardless, I spend a wonderful morning with Mao Wei who gave me an update of what they are doing. They just launched a mobile keyword service, a service where you can search and look things up using SMS on mobile phone. Pretty cool but it is not making a lot of money yet. Speaking of making money, I was pleasantly surprised when Mao Wei said that Chinese IDN under .cn is making as much money for CNNIC as the English domain names. The numbers are still small (~300,000) but Chinese IDN is fetching a prenium (~20USD chinese over 3USD for english). This is mostly thanks to the support of IDN in IE7. :-)
After that, I rushed to Beijing University to have lunch with Dr. Charles Lee who is giving lecture here this week. I met up with the team of MBAs who is working with him on his new venture fund. Young and smart folks! How smart? Statistically, the chance for someone to enter Beijing University is equal to the chance for someone in Singapore to win the President Scholarship. So go figure.
After a wonderful lunch, I went over to PayEase. I think I can finally blog about this now since the deal is closed – we invested in PayEase last month. PayEase is the oldest (>7 years) e-Payment company in China supported by Beijing government with one of the largest transaction volume. It was one of the award winners of Red Herring 100 Asia 2006. I was asked to keep an eye on this investment so I catch up with the management to get a progress update. They did good this quarter! :-)
24 hours in Beijing and now I am back in the airport flying to Xiamen. Going to spend a night there before flying to Shanghai tomorrow.