Issue 4 | September 25, 2017

A Big Deal
Baidu released Apollo 1.5, a new open-source autonomous driving framework, shortly after announcing a $1.5 billion fund to invest in 100 autonomous driving projects over the next three yearsAccording to the company, Apollo is widely regarded as the “Android of the auto industry.” Its GitHub repository has already received over 2,000 commits and 5,000 stars.

A Number
#1 – Hangzhou’s rank among all Chinese cities in terms of net talent inflow. The southeastern city’s “brain gain” can be partly attributed to the large number of Silicon Valley returnees working at Alibaba, which dominates the city’s economy. Within Ant Financial (Alibaba’s fintech arm), there is a WeChat group called “Return of the Heroes (大圣归来)” with over 130 employees who joined the company after returning from overseas. Many of them used to hold important positions on the engineering teams of Silicon Valley companies like Google and Amazon, but chose to return to their home country, lured by the excitement of working at fast-growing domestic companies. “They used to say that our motherland needs these returnees. Now, the returnees need our motherland,” Ant Financial’s head of HR told a newspaper.

A Picture

Apple store in China

iPhone 8 was met with a cold shoulder in China as it hit the stores this week. In sharp contrast to previous iPhone releases, hardly any lines formed outside Apple stores in major cities. The security guards that had been hired for crowd control ended up not having much work to do – except for disassembling the railings that were installed in anticipation of long queues. Several media outlets described the scene as “awkward.” Many consumers said they are “waiting for iPhone X to come out.” iPhone’s market share has been declining in China thanks to the increasing popularity of domestic brands, which are much more affordable.

A Quote

In 2005-06, Tencent revamped its corporate structure into one based on business groups. When a company undergoes significant structural changes, the biggest challenge is whether its leadership is prepared. Each business group must have a “mini-CEO” who is extremely capable and integrated into the company culture. If you don’t have this talent reserve, it’s hard for organizational overhauls to take place successfully.
– Tony Zhang (Zhang Zhidong), co-founder and former CTO of Tencent, during a speechat Tencent University
A Buzzword
十万加 Shí Wàn Jiā (a hundred thousand plus)
Anyone who reads articles on WeChat knows that the bottom of the page shows the number of views each article has received. Tencent stops counting after a hundred thousand, only reporting its signature “100000+.”
十万加
Thus, Shi Wan Jia has become synonymous with “viral;” articles usually need to be shared thousands of times to achieve this status. For many reporters and independent writers in China, Shi Wan Jia is the holy grail, as their performance and salaries are often tied to the number of views of their articles.

In an age where there is so much information vying for Chinese readers’ attention, the race to Shi Wan Jia has encouraged some unhealthy tendencies in the media industry, including the use of sensational (sometimes downright untrue) headlines and widespread plagiarism.

An Event
GGV Capital will be bringing together entrepreneurs and technical executives from major Chinese tech companies including Alibaba, Tencent, JD.com, Dianping, and others to discuss why they have forgone lucrative opportunities at American companies to jump into China’s tech scene. It will take place at 4pm on Saturday, October 7 at Stanford GSB. This event will be in ChineseRegistration is required.

Speakers include:
Zhang Tao, Founder of Dianping
Hu Xi, Partner at Alibaba; VP at Ant Financial
Ma Song, Senior Vice President at JD.Com
Xu Peng, Senior Director of Engineering & Head of Silicon Valley AI Lab at Ant Financial
Liu Han, Director of Machine Learning at Tencent AI Lab
Zheng Zhaohui, Founder & CEO, Particle Media; Founder, Yidian Inc.
Hans Tung, Managing Partner at GGV Capital
Shuang Yang, Principal Engineer & Senior Director at Ant Financial (Silicon Valley)

– Zara Zhang & Hans Tung at GGV Capital