Wednesday, November 04, 2009
China Internet Conference 2009
It's probably the biggest conference in China's IT industry. That's for sure, since this is a conference serving over 360 million web users and 192 million mobile internet users. I estimate there are over 5000 people attending the conference held in Beijing's International Conventional Center, most of them are young people under the age of 30.
Speakers are trying hard to promote their companies. Big posters such as Google or Sina can be seen anywhere. Internet guys are talking about the big monopoly such as Baidu, Sina, Netease and Tencent, while mobile guys are complaining about mobile operators. The keyword is the market, instead of technology, which for me, is a pity for a lot of technical talents.
Can China have a big Internet company as innovative as Google? I have no answer. Since I arrive here for only two months, I definitely see the struggling start-ups who are trying to survive first. The first question on a start-up is business model, though most of the investors know Google never make money when they get funded, or Craigslist just don't want to make a lot of money. For a lot of Internet companies, making money is always the first priority, which make them start charging users soon, instead of focusing on improving user experience. Kaixin001.com may be one of the few who has done well without thinking too much about the revenue. But beyond that, I see CEOs are busy thinking about how to charge users, instead of delivering a better service.
I hope the conference will have more innovative speakers and topics next year, at least something exciting, something that can give people a good dream.