I have finally tidied up my notes on Niklas’ interview and wrote a proper article. Here is the article printed in Asia Times, after professionally edited by their editorial team based in Thailand.
Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom, who sold his innovative Internet phone-call business to eBay in 2005, is turning his talents to what may prove his toughest challenge yet – channeling funds into Chinese start-up outfits with a view to bringing them to the international stage.
Asia Times started as a regular newspaper in Thailand. As newspapers lose their appeal due to the internet, it runs its operation totally on the net nowadays. It covers Asia news, political and business. It has 2.5 million readers a month – about 65% from North America, 18% from Asia and 12% from Europe. It has offices in both Thailand and Hong Kong.
I work with them because one of my former editor, Chris Stewart moved there. Chris was my editor when I worked for South China Morning Post – he responsible for the tech sector. A seasoned business editor, he also worked for Bloomberg, Asia Wall Street Journal, etc.
My previous articles with them included:
The iPhone-led smartphone revolution that has swept much of the world, as people find ever more reason to access the Internet while on the go using high-speed connections, has yet to sweep China, the world’s largest mobile phone market. That is about to change, with one major difference – Apple’s high-priced iPhones will be largely absent.
Five years ago, hundreds of entrepreneurs in China were trying to imitate the hugely successful Craigslist classified site. Today, the sector has consolidated, and Ganji, founded in 2005 by Mark Yang, is emerging the winner with revenue it expects to double to US$20 million next year.
The Chinese government’s decision this week to renew the license for Google to operate in the country was something of a surprise, not least as the United States-based Internet search company had delivered an insult to authorities in Beijing in March by bypassing their control and sending search traffic “overseas” to its Hong Kong site – and the Chinese government cares about losing face.
“Despite what it has done, the Chinese government does not want to kick Google out of China, as the entire world is watching,” said a former senior Google executive.