Who knows if this is true or not but it’s certainly plausible and certainly entertaining.
Hello, I’m Amy Jiang. On the surface, I could be a poster woman for the face of modern China. I am a mostly successful 20-something, savvy English-fluent woman with international business experience as a buyer and translator. But the truth is that I’m currently working for shady Russian businessmen posing as legitimate buyers in Shenzhen and Hong Kong. And while much of Shenzhen seems occupied with smuggling counterfeit handbags and shoes to the west, Sacha and Bogdan, as we will call them, are preoccupied with smuggling more serious stuff.
Officially I work for a textile exporter that supplies a distributor in St. Petersburg with cut-rate Chinese lingerie, swimwear and sportswear. But even that side of the business gets complicated when Bogdan and his partner delay payments to the Chinese textile sellers in order to juggle the wobbly finances fueling their major unofficial business — shipping Shenzhen-manufactured counterfeit Nokia, Motorola and Samsung cell phone parts and accessories (cases, chargers, batteries, head sets) both in crates of Chinese-made clothing or simply the parts themselves in boxes marked with Cyrillic letters as “anything a customer wants to say it is,” according to a Chinese co-worker who handles the bulk of the several thousand phony phone parts shipped to Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan and Georgia per month.
This is why Silicon Hutong is in my daily reading. He takes the news about Yang speaking at the Hua Yuan Science & Technology Association meeting (it was 2 years ago at this same event that Jack Ma and Jerry Yang discussed the $1 bil. Alibaba-Yahoo! China partnership) and properly breaks it down for all of us.
First, he [Yang] decided to sneak Yahoo! into China – take the stealth approach, as it were. That worked so well that Yahoo! was stomped by local players like Sina, Sohu, and Netease who did not feel compelled to fly low and avoid the radar.
Then, he got talked into having Yahoo! buy local search engine 3721 and turning over Yahoo! China’s future to the control of 3721’s mercurial founder. Eighteen months and over $100 million later, that imploded, and Yahoo!’s position in China had slid even further.
Finally, he handed the China business and $1 billion to Alibaba. That hasn’t failed yet, but the jury is definitely still out. Yahoo! China has apparently fallen to a distant third in the search engine rankings behind Google and Baidu. Yahoo!’s Chinese landing page looks like a rip-off of Google’s, so there is no pretense of competition with the portals anymore.
Any other executive with a similar track record would have been reassigned, if not fired, long ago.
And now Jerry wants Yahoo! China to be in the advertising exchange business.
Is anybody at Yahoo! the least bit concerned?
If you are watching the hyper-growth of China as I am, you would have noticed that the NY Times reports “Kleiner Perkins to Expand With Two Offices in China.”
What the average reader would not know is who is running that new fund and those two shiny new offices. Pacific Epoch would tell you that “KPCB’s new China offices will be led by former Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund (SAIF) partner Joe Zhou and TDF Capital partners Tina Ju, David Su and Forrest Zhong.”
Interesting profile of Isaac Mao, a leading blogger in China.
Blogger leads China to free-thinking revolution