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China Tech Talk on Smash Notes

China Tech Talk podcast.

April 03, 2020

China Tech Talk is a weekly podcast about what's happening on the ground in China's tech and startup ecosystems.

It is hosted by John Artman, Editor-in-Chief of TechNode English, and Matthew Brennan, founder of ChinaChannel



Episodes with Smash Notes

As the coronavirus swept through China, communities, local governments, and business have been trying to figure out how to best follow social isolation rules. This being China, of course, tech majors and telcos jumped at the chance to serve the country by leveraging their vast data pools. But how much tech is actually behind the country's health code systems? Should we be more worried about how China is using data

The coronavirus epidemic doesn't show any signs of getting any better just yet. While the future of the outbreak is still unclear, the winners and losers of this are clear. In this episode, Matt and John discuss how the coronavirus is changing the face of tech in China.

This episode, Matt and John embark on a wide-ranging discussion about China tech in 2019. Using Bytedance as a lens, they explore the disruptive power of new companies, Bytedance's successes and challenges outside of China, as well as what the world is learning from China tech.

China's social credit system (SCS) gets a lot of attention outside of China yet it's still very misunderstood. Many scholars and China watchers have shed light on the topic, but none have done it so concisely and accessibly as Kendra Schaefer and her team at Trivium China. She joins us this week to explain how the SCS is a broad framework for better regulation and enforcement and how it applies to companies, individuals, and government agencies.

After an extended hiatus, John and Matt are back! This week, they look at the increasingly effective trend of private traffic. Powered by WeChat and its mini programs, marketers and brands are increasingly creating and driving organic traffic to their shops. Like owned traffic in the West, this is a direct response to the rising costs of reaching fans and followers. Matt delivered a presentation on the topic during the ChinaChat 2019 conference and they take a deep dive into the phenomenon this week.

John and Matt talk with Zennon Kapron about Libra, QQcoin, and China's digital currency.

At the end of 2018, Connie Chan of Andreesen Horowitz, wrote about how podcasts in China monetize. However, what she calls podcasts aren't really what we call podcasts: they're more like paid-for educational audio content. Podcasting, like what we do at China Tech Talk, is actually still very immature in China. But that doesn't mean there aren't content creators following the "traditional" podcasting model. To talk about this, we're joined this week by Rio Zhan, early stage VC and host of the Crazy Capital podcast. We share notes on podcasting and talk about how China's content models have evolved away from the open web. Key questions

Why is the China market different for audio content? Why is the open web almost non-existent in China? What role does culture play in creating acceptance of paying for content? How might Facebook's Libra enable monetization for Western podcasts?

Links

Crazy Capital (in Chinese) Outgrowing Advertising: Multimodal Business Models as a Product Strategy The Dark Forest Theory of the Internet WeChat Conference: CHina CHat 2019! Become a member of TechNode Squared

Guest

Rio Zhan, @RioJot

Hosts

John Artman, @knowsnothing, TechNode Matthew Brennan, @MattyBGoooner, ChinaChannel

Editor

Peter Isachenko

Podcast information

iTunes Spotify RSS feed Music: "Theme from Penguins on Parade" by Lee Rosevere, Music for Podcasts 3

In the tech and startup ecosystem, there's always another conference to attend. The landscape isn't all that clear, however, with some conferences getting more public hype and others keeping it low-key. After organizing and attending many of them, John and Matt sit down this week to go over what's out available, what makes certain conferences different, and which are some of the best to attend and why. Key questions

What kinds of conferences are there? What should you consider before going to a conference in China? How do conferences monetize? How much work goes into a successful conference?

Links

WeChat Conference: CHina CHat 2019! Become a member of TechNode Squared

Hosts

John Artman, @knowsnothing, TechNode Matthew Brennan, @MattyBGoooner, ChinaChannel

Editor

Peter Isachenko

Podcast information

iTunes Spotify RSS feed Music: "Theme from Penguins on Parade" by Lee Rosevere, Music for Podcasts 3

In June, Carrefour sold 80% of its China operations to electronics retailer Suning. The news is representative of a much broader shift in the new retails space. When we first covered new retail in 2018, unmanned stores were gaining traction and it was unclear if Alibaba was going to win. In 1.5 years, unmanned stores are almost dead and Alibaba is a clear winner. To discuss this shift, we're happy to welcome Michael Norris, research and strategy manager at AgencyChina. This episode was recorded on June 25, 2019. Key questions:

Why would Suning be interested in Carrefour? How did JD lose the new retail battle? What makes Hema and the Alibaba model so successful? What makes the China market so difficult for non-China retailers?

Links

New Retail Keynote (Dropbox) Carrefour sells 80 per cent of its Chinese retail operations to Suning for 4.8 billion yuan Why it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee on Luckin WeChat Conference: CHina CHat 2019! Become a member of TechNode Squared

Guest

Michael Norris, LinkedIn

Hosts

John Artman, @knowsnothing, TechNode Matthew Brennan, @MattyBGoooner, ChinaChannel

Editor

Peter Isachenko

Podcast information

iTunes Spotify RSS feed Music: "Theme from Penguins on Parade" by Lee Rosevere, Music for Podcasts 3

On June 18, Facebook announced the Libra cryptocurrency, a solution to their P2P payments conundrum. As to be expected, this move has gotten a lot of attention. In China, that attention has taken the form of comparing Libra to Tencent's breakthrough Q Coin as well as how WeChat has integrated payments. Key questions:

What is Q Coin? What's the difference between a virtual currency and a cryptocurrency? What is the relationship between Libra, Calibra, and Facebook? Will China ever have something like this?

Links

Everything you need to know about Libra, Facebook’s ambitious cryptocurrency Can Facebook’s Libra replicate WeChat Pay’s digital payment dominance? Facebook, Libra, and the Long Game FACEBOOK’S CALIBRA IS A SECRET WEAPON FOR MONETIZING ITS NEW CRYPTOCURRENCY Become a member of TechNode Squared

Hosts

John Artman, @knowsnothing, TechNode Matthew Brennan, @MattyBGoooner, ChinaChannel

Editor

Peter Isachenko

Podcast information

iTunes Spotify RSS feed Music: "Theme from Penguins on Parade" by Lee Rosevere, Music for Podcasts 3

Facial recognition has taken off in China. Perhaps the most widely implemented use case, facial recognition is used to deter jaywalkers, track attention and behavior in schools, catch criminals, monitor live streamers, and more. Unlike Western countries, China's privacy protections laws are almost non-existent, but that is changing with draft legislation soon to be released Key questions:

What is China's plan for facial recognition? How is facial recognition being used now? What are the local attitudes toward the technology?

Links

Video: Facial recognition is on the rise in China Upgraded AI surveillance helps nab student suspected in mother’s murder Inside China Tech podcast Become a member of TechNode Squared

Guest

Zen Soo, @zensoo, SCMP

Hosts

John Artman, @knowsnothing, TechNode Matthew Brennan, @MattyBGoooner, ChinaChannel

Editor

Peter Isachenko

Podcast information

iTunes Spotify RSS feed Music: "Theme from Penguins on Parade" by Lee Rosevere, Music for Podcasts 3

Last week, the White House announced a ban on US companies doing business with companies deemed a security risk. Over the weekend, Google announces that they must suspend Huawei's access to Android. This episode, Matt and John have a short discussion about what the announcement means for Huawei and what the company may be able to do about it. Correction: In this episode, John says that "HongMeng OS" could be translated as "Red Dream." This is incorrect. The characters for HongMeng are 鸿蒙 and refers to the Chinese mythology's primal chaos. Links

Hongmeng, Huawei’s proprietary OS, incorporates next-generation technology Shanghai tech board to push semiconductor independence Why Huawei’s ‘wolf culture’ will help telecom titan fight off attacks and thrive Halt and Catch Fire (TV series about making an OS) Frontline: Trump's Trade War Become a member of TechNode Squared Get your tickets to the first annual Emerge

Hosts

John Artman, @knowsnothing, TechNode Matthew Brennan, @MattyBGoooner, ChinaChannel

Editor

Peter Isachenko

Podcast information

iTunes Spotify RSS feed Music: "Theme from Penguins on Parade" by Lee Rosevere, Music for Podcasts 3