Travel

January 30th, 2011

Short Trip in KL

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Made a last min trip to KL for an important meeting (very fruitful). Closed 2 deals while traveling. Unfortunately, I cannot say what it is here yet but I am very excited!

Still have 2 pending transactions, one looks like will have to close next week (during CNY) and one will definitely be after CNY.

Just send my family back to Singapore in the afternoon and now waiting for my flight back to Beijing. Still have lots of work today back in China…

Update 3rd Feb: one of the deal was just announced: Softbank took 35% stake in PPLIVE for US$250m. (also known as PPTV)

Update 27th Feb: another deal was announced: 24券网宣布获得千万级美元注资 (24quan.com is a GroupOn-clone in China)

December 5th, 2010

Stuck in Miami

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Miss my connecting flight due to snow delay in Chicago, I am now stuck in Miami waiting for the next day flight to Cartagena.

Come to think about it, this is the first time I am in Miami. The weather is wonderful, a sharp contrast to the Beijing freezing wind and Chicago snow. But heck, I am in no mood to do anything else after 20 hours on 2 hops of planes, 3 hours in the queue trying to get my next flight. Bath and sleep…and hope I get to Cartagena tomorrow.

March 23rd, 2009

Free market competition

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Try to explain why PVG-PEK-SFO ticket is CHEAPER than PEK-SFO ticket. Same airline and even same flight code.

No, I am so silly to fly back to PVG (Shanghai) only to take a PVG-PEK-SFO cheaper ticket.

Anyway, back in SFO yet again. 3rd time this month. The guy at the immigration was puzzled. Me too.

March 21st, 2009

Wofo Temple – 卧佛寺

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RMB 10 each from Wofo Temple…hand-made from leaves.

Dragon

Phoenix



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March 8th, 2009

Strange Encounters in Bay Area

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I am in the Palo Alto, on a transit back to Shanghai, with strange ecounters in the last 24 hours.

Like sitting at University Cafe talking to some friends (Nick, David and Andy) yesterday and turning my back to see Loic, who is meeting Benjamin, another new friend I just got to know just 2 hours ago. Small world!

And waking up in the middle of the night, jetlag, login to World of Warcraft, only to realized Joi Ito (who is also jetlag) is in SF holding a party tomorrow. (guild-only, no links). Very tempting, almost made me wanted to stay for another day.

Or just an hour ago, as I am about to go through security clearance, to see Ole Jacobson standing inline in front of me on his way to Osaka, and then Nakayama joined us in the lounge who is on his way back to Tokyo.

I guess March is an active month, with ICANN (Mexico), Demo (Palm Bench), ETech (San Jose), IETF (San Francisco), APAN (Taiwan) and WIDE (Japan). The geeks are certainly busy traveling.

October 4th, 2008

Billionaire who wasn’t

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Billionaire who wasn’t by Conor O’Clery

A book about Chunk Feeney, the co-founder of Duty Free Shopping, ranked 23rd richest man who gave away all his money, mostly anonymously until people discover he don’t even own a house or a car. (Incidentally, I realized I was an indirect benefactor of Chunk after reading his book :-)


Didn’t blog much lately due to the heavy traveling between China, Hong Kong, United States. Between my travels, I spend less than a total of 10 days in Singapore with my family the last two months.

Oh yea, I finally did my Segway Tour of San Francisco last weekend, thanks to Dewayne Hendrick who spend an afternoon going on the tour with me. Gosh, I got to get one of those Segway soon!

On an unrelated topic, I have accidentally deleted all the comments on the blog over the years as I was trying to get rid of 20,000 spam comments :-(

Instead of trying to recover from backup, I decided it is perhaps time for me to disable the comment totally. Afterall, i am getting more spams than legitimate comments – and for those who wish to, you can also contact me directly.

September 5th, 2008

Updates and P2P in China

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I had a crazy month traveling across Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Palo Alto, Los Angeles and finally back in Singapore. It was great trip, mostly business but in between some personal stuff, catching up with ex-boss, old friends and making new ones. A great evening with Marc Canter and his family (love the Canter’s song! :-)

It was also a great time traveling in US as a Chinese. Taxi drivers rave non-stop about the amazing Chinese Olympic openings and for the first time, see China differently. (Well, I wasn’t born in China but still I am a Chinese :-)

On my way back to Singapore, AIMS published the recommendation on the changes to media policy in Singapore. I was one of the stakeholder they consulted early in the process so I got swamp by reporters who got an early preview of the document. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to read the final version before them so I couldn’t really answer most of their questions. Anyway, suffice to say, I was happy with the progress. It is a much bigger step in media liberalization that I expected.

So I was back in Singapore and I met a fund manager yesterday. She asked an interesting question:

“Why are there so many P2P companies in China and not in US?”

It is worthy to reflect on that question because in some ways it is true. In US, we have bittorrent.com but other than that, most P2P applications have pretty much gone. Napster, Kazaa, etc, gone.

Wait, what about Skype? Firstly, Skype is not US company. Secondly, Skype P2P is actually very simple – connect A to B, both behind NAT, via a supernode C. In fact, their Kazaa background has more complexity than Skype architecture.

Now compared it to China, the land of P2P Streaming with PPLive, PPStream and UUSee. There are numerous P2P downloads the most famous being Xunlei (backed by Google). And all of them are very successful : PPLive has over 100M installation based, 34M active users monthly.

So what happened?

I think it has to go back to the early 2000 when music industry decided to clamp down Napster. The defining moment was when Napster was shutdown by the court after years of lawsuit. Since then, anyone with a bizplan that even has the word “P2P” is unlikely to get funded. Innovation in P2P basically stop dead, with the exception of bittorrent and Skype, but both become relatively successful without VC backings.

On the other hand, P2P has no such stigma in China. Investments in P2P continues to flourish and today China can claim to have one of the most advance P2P technology in the world. To the extend that when people are finally trying to do video these days, people are looking towards China and see how video are being delivered in the number 1 broadband country in the world by number of subscribers but probably one of the worst by quality.

Look at the Olympics numbers. PPLive alone has more peak concurrent viewers (1.6M) than NBC (600k) and BBC (200k) add together.

There is a lesson to be learned: The unintended consequences of slapping a “evil” label on a technology where in reality, technology is neither good or evil, but rather the use of it.

Disclosure: I am associated with PPLive.

May 28th, 2008

Sailing to Tioman

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We set off on 24th early morning. We did our immigration clearance on the west side of Sentosa. We set off immediately to the east. Wind condition was bad so we were on our engine assisted sailing. Along the way, we saw a Malaysia police marine heading towards Pedra Branca, for the first time in 30 years allowed to be near there since the Malaysia now owns two (strategic) rocks. We also saw the Singapore stealth ship (I think) near there.

I done my fair bit of sailing but this is my first extended trip. The difference is like playing golf at the range and at the green – similar yet dramatically different. When you are out in the sea, no land nor ship in sight, you suddenly realised you are so insignificant. Your life is really in the hand of God, regardless of how much planning you do.

When the sunset, it sea sparkled and shimmered across the horizon, quietly, only the sound of the wind and the splashing of the waves.

Nightfall is the time to find a place to anchor, flipping through maps, wind and tide forecast and using GPS as a guide, you wonder how the heck sailors in the past did it without all the modern technologies.



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May 3rd, 2008

Next Stop

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Goodbye lands of the Vikings.

Waiting for the plane to go back to Singapore for a short transit (a warm bath and change of cloths) before flying to Shanghai. See you on the other side of the globe.

May 2nd, 2008

Copenhagen

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I think this is my first trip to Copenhagen but I am not sure. Small city (about 1M people) but lovely town. And gosh, they love their hotdogs!