The Chinese Internet: A Reflection of China

Date: 12 November 2010
Speaker: Dr Kai-Fu Lee


The Father of the Internet, Vint Cerf, said: "The Internet is a mirror of the society." This talk will take the audience in a tour inside this mirror. The Chinese Internet is a great mystery to many, because of its enormous size, unfathomable growth, government regulations, beaten American giants, and fascinating stories. In this talk, Dr Lee will explain why the foreign companies failed and local ones succeed. He will compare the Chinese Internet to the American Internet in their development, usage, and demographics. He will explain why the Chinese video, social networking, search, gaming, instant messaging, marketplace, payment, blogging/microblogging evolved in somewhat different directions from the American Internet. He will analyze the three giants (Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent) and their rise to power. He will evaluate market opportunities in e-commerce, gaming, mobility, and cloud computing. And he will remark on cultural and societal implications based on these observations.

Speaker Bio

Dr Kai-Fu Lee

Chairman and CEO of Innovation Works

Dr Kai-Fu Lee founded Innovation Works in September 2009.  Innovation Works is a business creation platform geared to create the next wave of Chinese high-tech companies and to mentor the next-generation of Chinese entrepreneurs.  It is focused on Internet, Mobile Internet, and cloud computing.  Every year Innovation Works will prototype some twenty new ideas, aiming to spin off several independent companies.

Prior to starting Innovation Works, Dr Lee was a Google Vice President and the President of Google Greater China.  During his tenure at Google, Dr Lee has built-up a 700-person organization with many successes.

Dr Lee spent seven years at Microsoft before joining Google and held the position as Corporate Vice President. During his days at Microsoft, he founded Microsoft Research Asia, one of the world’s top research labs, and is called  “the hottest computer science laboratory”  by MIT Technology Review.

Dr Lee taught as an Assistant Professor from 1988-1990 at Carnegie Mellon, where he received his Ph.D..  His Ph.D. thesis was the world's first speaker-independent continuous speech-recognition system. This system was selected as the "Most Important Innovation of 1988" by Business Week.  He also developed an Othello-playing program that won the world championship and defeated the human champion.

Dr Lee is the author of four best-selling books in China, and has given speeches to about half a million students in China.  Dr Lee is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Vice Chairman of the Committee of 100, an elite group of Chinese Americans.

Video (Eng)

Video (Chi)