Hugo Shong, Executive Vice President of IDG, Chairman of IDG Greater China and Founding General Partner of IDG Capital Partners, is one of the most influential and experienced venture capitalists. At Macworld Asia conference, I had the chance to do an on-stage interview with Hugo Shong. The conversation covers many topics, including venture capital, angel investment, mobile internet, doing startups, and innovation in China.

IDG China has invested ~20 mobile internet companies. I questioned about the business models in mobile service as the hottest startups like Instagram, Path etc did not make money with millions of users. Hugo said, We (VCs) invested companies like Tencent, Baidu etc 12 years ago, at the beginning (probably during the first 5 years), no one knew how they could make money because at that time China only had 20millions internet users, but now they are hugely successful. We are now betting on mobile internet and we must be patient.

“What are the most important criteria for you to pick up the startup to invest? ” I asked Hugo. “For us, the team is always important, ” he said, “but even more important is the market they are working on. Picking the market is like picking a river for a journey. If you pick up the one running towards the right direction, then no matter how long it may take for the boats (startups) to arrive at their destination, you will be fine because the water flow will eventually take you there.”

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Gang Lu

Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.