Cowboys Meet Rookies in China

December 12, 2009

Cowboys went to China and Hong Kong to find something interesting but also to meet their friend who met at Infinity Ventures Summit (IVS).

They have known a president of a company whose office is in ShenZhen. The company recently focuses on applications for Facebook and mobiles. So to share our experiences, they visited the office there.

There is an area of office buildings far from electronic market, about 20km or so. Buildings are really big. Also guards are found everywhere. Maybe, more protected than LA!

The office cowboys went was of 中友集団。They creates SNSs, mobiles, Facebook applications and so on.

This is the development floor.

MTK has the biggest share among Chinese mobiles. Thirty engineers developed the software for MTK.

MTK’s merit is that keeps complete backward compatibility. It is like MS-DOS.

All applications can be developed in Java.

Cowboys noticed that in China, they don’t need CMS which we develop in Japan.

The differences between devices are only colours and shapes. Specs and features are the same.  That is the characteristic of MTK platform devices.

That means it doesn’t need high-tech and complicated systems such as displaying using career depend emoticons or dividing movies which are necessary for usual mobile CMS.

This is the floor to develop Facebook applications.

We were aware again that MTK is the most popular in Japan and many mobiles are depend on it.

So, they didn’t know Youtube. Also, instead of Twitter, they develop their original “tweet” systems!

Although Great Firewall in China is usually disliked, it surely protects domestic IT development. They welcome the Great Firewall protecting their business and life in China. So they dare not use international services.

They said that the Wall is as “customs barrier” of Web applications.

Generally the barrier is applied to trades in special products like liqueur to protect domestic business. However, it has not been applied to the trade of Internet of information technology and domestic business were not protected.

That is why JustSystems in japan was trampled by Microsotf, and the sales of Cybozu, the biggest japanese groupware development company,  is only a few billions. Sales Force, IBM, or Microsoft is in the same trade of Cybozu, but their sales are much higher than it.

Some say that is faults of Japanese companies, some say it is of the government.

Japan also copied web contents for Japanese market. For example, main services of “hatena” are not completely original. Language played a role of barrier and made it look original at that time.

There is no customs barrier for web so web services in Japan are completely out of law.  Pornography come across the Pacific ocean to Japan. Online casinos make illegal profits.

On the way to hotels, the CTO of the company showed them a building.

There was a huge building from a distance. far.

He told it was the headbrunch of QQ, and about 10 thousands work there.

QQ users are a billion. The number is almost the same as the population in China. Because all use QQ to use the internet in China. It is the standard.

QQ’s stock prices is now 160 yuan, 40 times of the price 4 years before.

However, general salary for university graduates are about 50 thousand yen in China. In Japan, it is about 200 thousands.

He was surprised at the salary and said that is because Japanese work hard.

However, Keith couldn’t agree with that. He thinks that Japanese worker nowadays are a lazier than before and lost a kind of ambition to create their own companies. They were rather tamed and only follow to their company’s will. Also, “Hikikomori,” being unsocial and doing nothing productive,  or NEET is problem in Japan. There are few people who work really hard.

There is surely the gap between the image of Japanese that was often described in movies or books decades ago, and of current Japanese.

The recent problem in Japan is lack of motivations. People can live even they don’t work hard. “Richness” causes further lack of motivation.

However, in China, people are suffering from lack of jobs. Even people who obtained PhD, they cannot find better job and work for grocery shops.

Though cowboys were a little shocked by what he said, but felt a kind of relief. Because, current Shenzen is like Akihabara 50 years ago. The city, originally for black markets, grew up to the most active electronic market in the world.  The electronic market assisted the development of high-tech in Japan, and Japan became, I think, a one of leading technology developed country. Now, we believe Shenzen is as electronic market in the World.  In the city, there are many smart and industrious people like him.

When cowboys said such things to him, he showed smiled shyly.

We think people in Japan do not work hard as before. They seem not to be enthusiastic about their work. Contrary to that, people there were really studious, active, and smart. Their presentation was impressive. They effectively exchange their opinions with their president. He said that status doesn’t matter to express their opinion. Keith thought that such company will goes well.

That is why we thought that people in China would be richer than us in near future. Also, felt a kind of anxious that Japan would be a “formerly” tech influential country.

Cowboys were shocked at what they said and thought then.  At the same time, though ambiguously had, they clearly noticed that it is truly possible for Japan to be a following country in the world.

Thinking Chinese population, its influence, and earnest of the people, we cannot but felt that we were in a critical phase. We should take an action and should not be satisfied with current situation.

From the conversation with him, cowboys and we could realize such things. It was really nice meeting with him! Thank you Shenzen!

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