Episode 28: Chuhai: Why Chinese Entrepreneurs are Targeting Emerging Markets Across the World

GGV Capital’s Hans Tung and Zara Zhang discuss the trend known as “Chuhai” (出海), or Chinese founders targeting emerging markets outside of China, such as Southeast Asia, India, Latin America, and more.

As the mobile Internet market in China reaches saturation, an increasing number of Chinese entrepreneurs are now eyeing other developing markets where mobile Internet is just starting to take off; in fact, many of these countries are seeing their Internet sector dominated by Chinese companies. Factor Daily recently reported that 44 out of the 100 top apps in India (Google Play) are made by Chinese companies.

What are the reasons behind the “Chuhai” wave? How can they best recruit local talents and bridge the cultural gaps? How can they avoid the same mistakes that the US Internet companies made when then came to China?

Transcript


ZARA ZHANG: Hi everyone. We’re excited to announce that GGV Capital recently launched a new podcast in Chinese called Startup Insider, or Chuangye Neimu 创业内幕 in Chinese, which is produced by my colleague Lily based in Beijing. Just like 996, Startup Insider features interviews with top founders and executives from China’s technology scene. Imagine a 996 podcast, but in Chinese. The first episode was with Liu De who is the SVP at Xiaomi 小米 and head of the Xiaomi ecosystem. If you’re a Chinese speaker, I highly recommend checking out this show on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅. You can find it by searching Chuangye Neimu 创业内幕or Startup Insider.

HANS TUNG: Hi there. Welcome to the 996 podcast brought to you by GGV Capital. On this show we interview movers and shakers of China’s tech industry as well as tech leaders who have a US-China cross-border perspective. My name is Hans Tung. I’m a managing partner at GGV Capital and I’ve been working at startups and investing in them in both the US and China for the past 20 years.

ZARA ZHANG: My name is Zara Zhang. I’m an investment analyst at GGV Capital and a former journalist. Why is this show called 996? 996 is the work schedule that many Chinese founders have organically adopted. That is, 9 am to 9 pm, 6 days a week.

HANS TUNG: To us, 996 captures the intensity, drive and speed of Chinese internet companies, many of which are moving faster than even their American counterparts.

ZARA ZHANG: Hi everyone. On this episode we’re going to continue our new series where Hans and I will talk about a topic of interest currently. Today we wanted to cover a phenomenon called Chuhai 出海 which literally means going overseas. It’s a phenomena of Chinese entrepreneurs targeting emerging markets around the world. Hans and I and the entire GGV team have been paying attention to this trend for a long time now. I recently relocated to the Beijing investment team and I’ve seen with my own eyes how so many of the startups we’re seeing these days are in this category, where Chinese entrepreneurs are going outside of China to target consumers and users in emerging markets like Southeast Asia, India, Latin America, and even Africa. If you look at the app store rankings in many emerging markets, many of the top-ranking e-commerce and social apps are actually developed by Chinese teams. So Hans, when did you start to realize that Chuhai 出海, or Chinese companies going overseas, could be a big opportunity?

HANS TUNG: I’m probably the first VC in the world that coined the phrase Chuhai 出海. That was back in 2013. I saw a few things that happened in 2012 that made me decide that this area, Chinese companies expanding overseas, could be a huge opportunity for the next 10 years. Three things happened that gave me the sense that this could be an emerging trend. One, when WeChat came out in 2011. The product is so well designed, you feel that this is a product that at least can expand out of China to the rest of Asia. And over the next 18 months, it started to happen. WeChat was willing to make a push into Taiwan and Southeast Asia and India. And today, it’s doing well in some of these countries, including India.

The second thing that happened that caught my attention was Xiaomi 小米. I was part of the team that, as early investors in Xiaomi, helped Xiaomi to recruit Hugo Barra to leave Google and join Xiaomi. This happened in 2013 and we started talking to Hugo as early as 2012. The fact that Hugo was willing to leave as Head of Product for Android to join Xiaomi was a seminal event, I think, not only for Xiaomi, but for the Chinese tech industry. You have an established talent trained overseas, tuned in to where emerging markets are because he was born in Brazil, joining a Chinese company. To this day, I think, his followers on Sina Weibo 新浪微博 outnumber his followers on Twitter. That was the second data point that I thought was interesting, that a Chinese handset player could expand and build a market beyond China.

The third data point that was interesting was that Alibaba was actively looking for ways to partner with SoftBank in Japan, and also looking at expansion and investment opportunities in Southeast Asia, which culminated with their investment in and future acquisition of Lazada in Southeast Asia. And that wasn’t just Alibaba 阿里巴巴 and Tencent 腾讯. Other companies had been trying to do e-commerce and gaming beyond China as well, most recently with ByteDance expanding to social networking. So starting in 2012, these few data points gave me the sense that the Chinese internet sector had already gone through four generations of founders in the internet space. The amount of learning had accumulated. And China is a country with four or five tier cities. So there’s really nothing that has happened elsewhere in the world that doesn’t have a similar condition somewhere in China already amongst those four or five tier cities. So I thought that Chinese companies, once the teams become more globalized and understand foreign cultures better, have the skill set and the requisite knowledge of how to scale and build interesting internet companies outside of China. That was the key reason why I decided to move back to the Bay Area from Beijing, and I’ve been doing investments in this area ever since over the past five or six years.

ZARA ZHANG: Staying in Beijing for the last few months, just from talking with a lot of other VCs and people in the circle, I have a palpable sense that people think mobile internet penetration in China has pretty much reached saturation, so it’s very hard to have that exponential growth that we saw maybe a decade ago. That’s another reason that is pushing a lot of Chinese entrepreneurs to go outside of China, to other markets where mobile internet is just starting to take off.

HANS TUNG: Back in 2013, I did a calculation that Chinese smartphone users, internet users, were roughly around 300 million, PC internet users were roughly about 600 million, and over the next five or six years, both would reach saturation point. And then when the world number of internet users expanded to three or four billion, the next two billion would have to come from outside of the US and China, specifically Southeast Asia, India, Latin America, and to a lesser extent, Africa. So it’s not rocket science, if you know where to pay attention, that at some point in the future, this trend would come. And I thought that Chinese internet founders are ready to take on the opportunity.

ZARA ZHANG: You’ve said before that you can imagine Chinese entrepreneurs moving to Jakarta, but it’s hard to imagine American founders wanting to go all the way there. Why do you think that’s the case?

HANS TUNG: You may have the knowledge of what to do in the internet space, but it’s very difficult to go after an emerging market from your home city because time zone differences and lack of feel of what’s happening on the street makes you less effective when controlling it remotely from back home. So to be effective, Chinese founders or American founders have to be willing to spend time in emerging markets on the ground. And if you look at where American founders are willing to go or send people to, Canada, the UK, parts of Western Europe, Australia, new Zealand, to a lesser extent even Singapore, are obviously places that people are willing to go. They’re easy to move a family to. It takes a lot more commitment to ask people to go to Jakarta, to KL, or even to different parts of China, let alone Latin America and Africa. So just by the ease it takes to move around makes it harder for American companies to expand globally. And looking at the Chinese founders, you can see people working in Southeast Asia, living in India, or even moving to and traveling to Latin America. And you’ve started seeing other opportunities in Africa. So there are more places that Chinese founders and teams are willing to go to and move to and that gives them an advantage to compete on a global basis.

ZARA ZHANG: So why do you think we say that emerging markets will look a lot more like China than the US as mobile internet takes off in these places?

HANS TUNG: When you look at the GDP per capita in India or Indonesia, it’s roughly about $3,000 per person per year. If you look at the GDP per capita for Latin America, specifically Mexico and Brazil, it’s roughly about 9,000, 10,000 per person. 15 years ago, when we started actively investing in China, GDP per capita was roughly about 3,000. And that’s where India and Indonesia are today. If you look at Chinese GDP per capita today, it’s roughly about 9,000 now, comparable to Mexico and Brazil. So it’s very difficult for an emerging market just to copy a model from the US and try to localize it because the stage of development is different for different countries. China spent the first 10 years copying models from the US, but they had to do so much more customization and innovation to make it work for emerging markets. Alibaba and Tencent initially looked like AOL and ICQ Messenger and eBay, but over the first 10 years of Chinese internet history, both became very different companies because the Chinese market is very different. Users have different needs. So as a result, we feel that Chinese consumers have trained Chinese founders and companies to be able to deal with other emerging markets better as well.

At the same time, Chinese teams, in general, are less internationalized than the European and American teams. Chinese teams’ grasp of English and global UI is quite different, so the Chinese teams also need to add more talent that are more globalized to help them to leverage the knowledge they know from China as well. To some extent, we also feel that Chinese companies should avoid the mistakes made by the American companies, and should be more willing to make minority investments or controlling investments into local companies and help them to become local champions. At the end of the day, if an American team or a Chinese team are more willing to transfer knowledge they know and empower local founders to do more, that’s usually a formula that works out better. If you look at Chinese companies such as Alibaba, they took investment from Yahoo, they worked well with some of the Yahoo executives such as Jerry Yang, and that helped them to be able to get validation and focus more on innovation in the home market. So if the Chinese companies and US companies are willing to do that with local champions in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and India, I think that in the long run, they will create bigger outcomes together.

ZARA ZHANG: I think emerging markets across the world are starting to look at Chinese companies instead of Silicon Valley ones for inspiration. This month alone, we have met or heard of the Pinduoduo 拼多多of India, the Toutiao 头条for Southeast Asia, the Meituan 美团 for Turkey, the Yunji 云集for India, the Alipay 支付宝 for Africa, and the 51 Credit 51借贷 for Brazil etc. And if we look at the unicorns in Southeast Asia, pretty much all of them are modeled after a Chinese tech giant. Garena is like Tencent 腾讯 , Tokopedia and Lazada are like Alibaba 阿里巴巴, Go-Jek is like Meituan 美团 , Grab is like Didi 滴滴 , and Traveloka is like Ctrip 携程. And a lot of these Chinese companies have actually invested in these companies as well. So do you think China offers a much better model to replicate for these markets, and what do they need to pay attention to when they try to draw inspiration from Chinese companies?

HANS TUNG: That’s exactly right. Little-known story: when I was investing in China back in 2011, 2012, I was introduced to a company in India called Snapdeal. Back then, they were a Groupon clone trying to find their next biz model. I talked to them about Taobao 淘宝, Tmall 天猫 and JD 京东 . They ended up picking Tmall 天猫 as a model, even though I thought Taobao 淘宝 would be a better fit for them. Then there’s another company called Flipkart that I also put a small amount of money in through another fund. Both are personal investments. Flipkart has since become sort of the Amazon of India and been sold to Walmart. So as early as 2011, 2012, you already started to see some of the emerging markets companies coming to China trying to learn about what the Chinese companies had done in the PC era. The examples you cited were some examples that happened in the mobile internet era. Both in the PC desktop internet era as well as the mobile internet era, we have already seen a lot of founders from Southeast Asia and India coming through China twice a year, sometimes more frequently.

And what’s amazing is that it’s not just the founders that have come. Even the VCs have come. The top VCs from both Southeast Asia and India have come to Beijing and Shanghai, and sometimes they know our portfolio even better than some of our peers in China do. It’s amazing how much they’re willing to study and the amount of knowledge they have. And the sophisticated questions they ask us remind us a lot of what the Chinese VCs and founders did 15 years ago looking at what had happened in the US. VC is a business of recognizing patterns, and it’s very interesting to us that what happened in China 15 years ago is repeating in these other markets.

And what do they have to pay attention to? I think that in every cycle of innovation and growth, you go through certain phases. The initial phase is just try to copy the model that’s worked elsewhere. Over time, as the local teams gain more experience and confidence, they start to realize that some of the problems that they’re solving are common to what’s happening in different parts of China. But at the same time, there are going to be material differences. And so when they are different, how do you apply the differences to your advantage and leverage what you know to create something that’s more localized and fits the local market? That becomes key. If you look at the example of Alibaba 阿里巴巴, if they just copied eBay and charged 15% commission like eBay did, they would never be big. The fact that Jack Ma 马云 ’s willing to make that free so that they can attract more sellers than anywhere else – and when you have more sellers, you have more SKUs – makes it easier for Taobao 淘宝 to become more popular than EachNet 网易 /eBay. And coming up with the local innovation of Alipay 支付宝 , which functions as an escrow service to guarantee that transactions are safe and secure and minimize disputes, is also another great localization that Alibaba 阿里巴巴 did without the benefit of having credit cards and PayPal. So these are the kinds of changes that I’m sure the Indian companies and Southeast Asian companies and Latin America companies are making. And that’s what will make them successful, when they can do that well.

ZARA ZHANG: When I meet Chinese founders, sometimes I sense this hubris that because something worked in China, of course it will work in all these other emerging markets. But a lot of times, the infrastructure is not in place, like mobile payments are not in place or the logistics network is not as strong. WhatsApp is not like WeChat 微信. There’s still a lot of differences. So I think that’s another factor that people need to pay attention to. With these other markets, even though they’re developing fast, there are a lot of conditions that are not in place like they were in China.

HANS TUNG: Right. That’s a great observation. 15 years ago, a lot of American teams showed a lot of hubris when it came to China as well. Sometimes we even see that happen today. They think that whatever works elsewhere around the world should work in China too. Unfortunately, some of the Chinese founders have that same degree of overconfidence as well. And when you do that and you don’t show enough respect for the differences in local markets, you’re in for a rude awakening.

ZARA ZHANG: So what advice do you have for Chinese Chuhai 出海 companies that are trying to hire for local talent to understand these markets better?

HANS TUNG: I think they need to start with hiring local Chinese who have lived in those communities for a long time. For example, if you look at Shopee in Southeast Asia, Forrest and his partner were able to recruit Chris to join them to run Shopee. Forrest himself moved to Southeast Asia after getting his MBA from Stanford. He was born and raised in Tianjin, and his wife wanted to live in Singapore, so they started a business in Southeast Asia. That was in the gaming space. They became sort of the Tencent Games of Southeast Asia. And when they decided to go after e-commerce as well, they were able to recruit Chris to join them. Chris is someone who had worked at Lazada before, and even before that, moved to Singapore when he was in middle school. So he’s someone who grew up through the Singapore education system and had a lot of friends locally. At the same time, he still remained quite Chinese and stayed connected to what was happening in China. If you can recruit talent locally that understands both China and the local market, then they are able to figure out the similarities and differences and make adjustments accordingly. So having people who know the local markets well but at the same time have Chinese roots is the first kind of executive that Chinese companies should hire in order to leverage. Over time, many of the people that report to Chris are from Southeast Asia itself. You have to have local teams that understand how the local consumer tastes are different, but at the same time, you continue to leverage lessons learned from China to help you to stay ahead of your competition. Teams that are more cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary and know the differences and similarities and are able to make the right adjustments will most likely succeed best.

ZARA ZHANG: And what about the other types of talent? In markets like India, there are not a lot of Chinese people who moved there a long time ago. There’s less of that.

HANS TUNG: In places like India, it’s easier to see that a lot of talent from Huawei 华为, ZTE 中兴 , Alibaba 阿里巴巴, who have operated a business there on behalf of these Chinese companies, end up either coming out or joining startups that are tackling those markets. So if you don’t have overseas talents who have lived there for a long time, the next best thing is to hire Chinese executives who have operated in those markets for five to ten years to help you get started. But over time, the ability to recruit and build a local team is critical. If you can do that on top of the Chinese knowledge you have, your chances of succeeding will be much higher.

Having said that, should companies that have done well in China expand to Southeast Asia or India on their own? Initially, they should probably try. But by the time they start going into those regions, there will be companies there that want to be the local version of what you’re doing. So be open to partner. After you compete and get a sense of how the local competitors behave and how strong they are, it actually makes sense to explore strategic investments and be able to partner. The more you’re willing to partner, that should grow the pie bigger as well.

ZARA ZHANG: I think there’s a lot of power in combining founders of very different backgrounds into one team. There are a lot of cross-border e-commerce companies that are trying to leverage the Chinese supply chain to sell to these emerging markets. But the people who understand supply chain in China tend not to understand local consumers in these markets and vice versa. So if you have two people who are very good at each being co-founders together, it can be a very powerful combination.

HANS TUNG: One of the best investments that I made was probably Wish. The co-founders came from Eastern Europe and China, met in school in Canada, and were trained professionally in California before teaming up to do Wish. So you have people from different parts of the world, both technologists so they have a common background. And at the same time, they were willing to add a local team in Shanghai that we helped them to get started, and they were able to hire a lot of folks from China to help with the supply chain. That seems to be the formula we’ve seen in other places and other categories as well. Founders with different backgrounds willing to partner with different skill sets, willing to work together, are more likely to build more successful cross-border businesses.

ZARA ZHANG: So I guess one tip for prospective entrepreneurs is to step out of your comfort zone and make friends from other backgrounds, perspectives, or skill sets. I think it will always pay off in the end.

HANS TUNG: Yes. When we give talks at different MBA programs, whether it’s in China or the US, we highly encourage people from different disciplines to get to know one another. The example you gave for e-commerce, it makes sense for someone who’s a supply chain expert to work with someone who’s better in consumer-facing areas. In the area of enterprise, we also see teams do better when they have a strong salesperson that knows how to get SMBs to adopt the technology, plus someone who has a very strong software or SaaS development background to be able to architect the product and understand the pain points of people in different verticals. When you have founders from different disciplines that can work well together because they went to the same school or worked in the same firm professionally, they can bring complementary skill sets to the table and the chances of them succeeding is much higher.

ZARA ZHANG: As investors, we’re faced with the question of whether to pick the Chinese founders or the local ones. For example, there are two companies doing exactly the same thing. How would you choose between a Chinese team versus a local team?

HANS TUNG: That’s usually a very tough choice. In different categories, whether it’s social networking or gaming or e-commerce, it’s difficult to say which one is better than the other. We have seen successful examples from both camps in each of these categories. When it comes to social networking, it’s easy to generalize and say the local team will understand local markets better. But then you see someone like ByteDance, Toutiao 头条 , and Douyin 抖音 that came out with TikTok 抖音国际版, that’s done very well internationally with a team that’s mostly based in China. Musical.ly is another good example. Musical.ly beat a lot of local teams in the US and Europe with a product that was designed by teams in Shanghai with an LA operation to back it up. So even in social networking where we think that local teams should win, you can see counterexamples.

When it comes to e-commerce in Southeast Asia, Tokopedia is doing well. It competes against Shopee. And a lot of communities are torn as to which one will win out, Tokopedia or Shopee. So even in e-commerce where having the supply chain managed from China should be helpful, you can still see local teams compete effectively. So I think it’s very difficult to generalize which camp is better. It comes down to execution and how fast the founders are willing to learn. I see founders from Tokopedia and Bukalapak spend quite a bit of time in Hangzhou – one was invested by Alibaba and the other by Ant Financial 蚂蚁金服 – to spend time learning things. So I think the key differentiation is not whether it’s a local team or Chinese team, it’s really how fast the teams learn about what they don’t know.

ZARA ZHANG: So what are some examples of successful Chuhai 出海 companies and what do you think was the key to their success?

HANS TUNG: I think the original Chuhai 出海 company that has done well is Huawei 华为 . I think Huawei 华为 is amazing. They have gone from a telecom equipment player to become a consumer-facing handset maker building a global operation. A lot of Chuhai 出海 people that you and I have met came out of Huawei 华为 and ZTE中兴 . You see that they’re well-trained and can do things. Increasingly, when you look in the pure internet space, one has to say that Toutiao 头条 and Douyin 抖音 have done an amazing job with TikTok 抖音国际版. And ByteDance is an impressive company that can expand beyond China. In the e-commerce space, both Shopee and Wish have shown that if you have the ability to understand local markets as well as training in the Chinese supply chain, you can build a very successful business in the e-commerce space as well. I think these are some of the names that people will watch for a long time because they all have what it takes to do something interesting.

Lastly on Xiaomi 小米, I think India has become the fastest-growing market for Xiaomi and they’re number one in India now. To see a Chinese brand do well in a country that, historically, has not been as friendly or open to Chinese ideas is remarkable. And I think that a lot of credit goes to Manu at Xiaomi India who has done an amazing job of building a brand that touches the hearts of hundreds of millions of Indian consumers. How to hire the right GM for that local market and empower them to really localize the way he or she sees fit is an art, not a science. But Xiaomi seems to have cracked the code for India so far.

ZARA ZHANG: In terms of picking markets, we’re seeing a lot of activity in Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, Latin America, and a little bit of Africa. Each of these markets have different characteristics. India is a huge market, but the middle class is a bit smaller and the ARPU is very low and it’s very competitive. The Middle East has a lot higher ARPU, but the population might be a little bit smaller. So when Chinese founders try to pick a market, what do they need to pay attention to?

HANS TUNG: Different stages require different kinds of companies. For India, the companies from China that do well tend to be the handset makers because that’s the first thing Indian consumers will need to buy to get online. Whether they have a lot of money to spend after they buy the phone or not– it takes time to be able to ramp up disposable income level in order to buy more things beyond their phones. So it happens in stages. For Southeast Asia, the e-commerce market is less competitive compared to India because the American players are not there as much. It’s really Chinese companies competing against the local players, some of which are invested by Chinese companies anyway. It’s interesting. Alibaba owns Lazada and is also an investor in Tokopedia. And Ant Financial, its affiliate, is an investor in Bukalapak. So three of the top e-commerce companies in Indonesia are all Alibaba-related. And it’s just fascinating to see Chinese e-commerce companies doing well in Southeast Asia.

When you look at which markets Chinese companies should go after, I feel that there are enough markets out there where both GDP per capita is high enough and the population base is big enough, and that’s actually Latin America. This is why I think that Didi 滴滴 did the right thing to acquire 99 in Brazil and leverage that platform to grow through Latin America. If you look at Brazil, Rio and Sao Paulo are two of the top three cities for Uber worldwide outside of China. Latin America is actually a market where not as many Americans are willing to go. You see more European-trained executives there. And Chinese companies actually have an advantage of being there if they’re willing to work with local players and local champions.

So Latin America is a market where you don’t see a lot of Chinese companies today. But you will later because the GDP per capita is high enough – in the $7,000-10,000 range – and also the population size is about 600 million plus, with Brazil and Mexico taking half of it. So that’s a market that I think we will hear about more going forward. Right now, going to India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East is easier from China, so you see teams doing that. But each of these three regions may have its own limitations. And the local teams in Southeast Asia and India are learning so quickly that the advantage that Chinese teams may have is getting less and less. So for the next five years, I still see Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East as the most popular places for Chinese teams to go, but the upside may not be as high as it could have been five years ago. And I think the upside that people are missing is Latin America.

ZARA ZHANG: And it takes a lot more hours to fly there, so it’s probably more rewarding if you can do it.

HANS TUNG: We did a calculation. It takes anywhere between 26 to 30 hours to go from Beijing to Sao Paulo. It is not an easy trip, so it favors the teams that are willing to make that happen. This is why I admire Didi so much for being able to do that.

ZARA ZHANG: And I think Tencent also invested in Nubank.

HANS TUNG: Yes. They invested in Nubank about a month ago. It’s the biggest investment that a Chinese company has made in Brazil, and in Latin America in general. You’re going to see more China to Latin America initiatives happen, especially given where CFIUS is with the US. It’s very difficult for any Chinese company to go to the US market.

ZARA ZHANG: So, if we talk about the Chinese tech giants, BAT – Baidu 百度, Alibaba 阿里巴巴, Tencent 腾讯 – and the baby giants, TMD – Toutiao 头条, Meituan 美团, and Didi 滴滴- I think we came to the conclusion that ByteDance has the highest chance of becoming a global internet company by offering its own services, not just by investing in others. Do you think that still holds true? I think what they’ve done in India with Helo is very impressive. Helo is their vernacular short video app for non-English speakers in India and has gained a lot of traction lately.

HANS TUNG: I think ByteDance wants to keep a low profile, so I won’t talk about them too much. But what they’re doing is very impressive. I also give Didi a lot of credit for being able to make that acquisition in Brazil and leverage that regionally within Latin America. I think both companies are showing that Chinese companies can expand beyond China, but it just takes a lot of work. Both teams also have a lot of room for improvement and growth by becoming more internationalized and localized in the key regions. I think, in general, the Chinese teams have enough skill set and drive and experience to win internationally. What they lack is the understanding of the local markets and tastes and needs. Japan is a market we haven’t talked about very much, but Toutiao 头条 and TikTok 抖音国际版are doing well in Japan. So over time, as there are more innovations coming out of China, there are even opportunities in markets like Europe and Japan that are more developed.

ZARA ZHANG: To finish off, GGV actively invests in Chinese founders targeting overseas markets, as well as local founders in emerging markets. So if you are an entrepreneur or you have friends who are working on this category, we’re always open for conversations. Hans, do you want to add on to say our investment strategy and thesis in this space?

HANS TUNG: We have offices in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Beijing, Shanghai, and from early next year, Singapore. That’s five offices. People have asked us whether we’re going to have offices in India or New York or Latin America at some point. We will see. But we definitely have teams that look at all these markets. For us, we have investment theses around four buckets. That’s commerce and new retail, internet services including social networking, on-demand services, and O2O services like transportation and so forth. The third bucket is enterprise. And the fourth bucket is deep tech, frontier tech. In any of these four buckets, we’re actively looking for investments across these regions because we see similarities in information arbitrage and knowledge-sharing that our team can bring. So if you have any interest, feel free to contact Zara or myself on WeChat.

ZARA ZHANG: We talked about how founders should try to meet other people of different backgrounds and skill sets. One way of doing that is to join our 996 meetups across different parts of the world. You can join the communities at 996.ggvc.com/community and all of our events and meetups will be posted there. We’re looking to host a lot more in other parts of the world like Southeast Asia and India going forward. Thank you for listening.

HANS TUNG: Thank you.

Thanks for listening to this episode of 996.

ZARA ZHANG: GGV Capital is a multi-stage venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, Shanghai and Beijing. We have been partnering with leading technology entrepreneurs for the past 18 years from Seed to pre-IPO. With $6.2 billion in capital under management across 13 funds, GGV invests in consumer new retail, social, digital internet, enterprise cloud and frontier tech.

GGV has invested in over 290 companies with more than 45 companies valued at over $1 billion. Portfolio companies include Airbnb 爱彼迎, Alibaba 阿里巴巴, Ctrip 携程, Didi Chuxing 滴滴出行, DOMO, HashiCorp, Hellobike 哈啰出行, Houzz, Keep, Slack, Square, Toutiao 字节跳动, Wish, Xiaohongshu 小红书, YY and others. Find out more at ggvc.com.

We also highly recommend joining our listeners’ WeChat group and Slack channel where we regularly share insights, events and job opportunities related to tech in China. Join these groups at 996.ggvc.com/community.

HANS TUNG: If you have any feedback on this podcast or would like to recommend a guest, please email us at 996@ggvc.com.