Author: Martin Pasquier

A History of Innovation in China: Four Ages of Chinese Entrepreneurs

China and its Chinese entrepreneurs are entering a new stage of development. Expanding overseas to sustain growth, Chinese companies now threaten the GAFA’s territories. In the last two years, news on Chinese companies have frequently hit the headlines: Telecom equipment giant Huawei fell behind Samsung and Apple in the smartphone market. Suning Commerce Group accepted a $6 billion tie-up with Alibaba in online-to-offline efforts (read GMIC conference in Beijing). Tencent’s WeChat reports $50 billion transactions as of 2016. Group-buying website Meituan merged with booking and review app Dianping and raised another $3.3 billion this year. Each story comes from one of the four ages...

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What ex-LINE CEO Akira Morikawa says about the future of C Channel and the video communications industry

Few are able to accomplish what Akira Morikawa has done. In 2007, the ex-LINE CEO rose to the position in a mere 4 years since joining LINE. Previously known as Hangame Japan, Morikawa joined the LINE when it was plagued with minimal sales and a limited number of employees. The motivating story of how he adopted unconventional methods to revolutionize the structure of the company – by basing salary on meritocracy, abolishing daily company meetings, migrating operations to China and retaining key creative employees under his direct supervision – is one that will inspire many a distressed leader. LINE...

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Can South Korean Startups (and the government) Save its Flailing Giant Tech Conglomerates?

With 17 percent of the GDP, it’s fair to say that Samsung is South Korea, or at least has represented it on the global business stage for the last decade or so. But for the last year or so, with the contraction of the global economy and the dynamism of Chinese (Xiaomi) and Indian (Micromax) competitors in the smartphone industry, the giant chaebols of South Korea — Samsung first, then Hyundai and a few others — have experienced difficulty. Not only did their profits stop increasing, but for some like LG, they have been “bleeding money, and subsequently talent,” according...

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Corporate innovation @ InnovFest Unbound: of survival and growth

Visiting InnovFest Unbound, a technology conference, was again a great way to gain insights on how large companies entered, or re-entered, the field of innovation. The theory is now well established: multi-national companies have long been lazy to change their minds, and by sticking to the good old, long, process ridden R&D, they let open the field for fast moving, agile startups, and, as a consequence, feeling more or less strongly the wind of disruption on their necks. We heard and talked with five different and insightful executives from General Electric (GE), Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Oracle, Nestlé, OCBC,...

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A visit of FuturePlay, Korea’s hard tech startup accelerator

It’s hard to find the good wording for FuturePlay, as its founder Jung-Hee Ryu says it’s not an accelerator per se, and the entities they take care of are not “startups” but “techups“, to stress the strong technology DNA of the ventures he supports in their growth. So no e-commerce or photo-sharing app here, but rather amazing technologies developed in part by engineers from KAIST, Korea’s MIT, and their Korean or US partners. Jung-Hee himself is a KAIST PhD and entrepreneur, as he sold a previous startup in face-recognition to Intel. From tech founders to global entrepreneurs His bet...

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