The Negotiation

In this episode, we have the esteemed pleasure of speaking with a tech media mogul in China, Dr. Gang Lu, the founder of TechNode, the number one English-language tech media in China. We discuss the ins and outs of the media landscape in China, and how a young graduate, with a doctorate in computer engineering, educated in the UK, goes on to become a media magnate in China. We discuss how the transformation in family dynamics has a non-trivial connection to the rise of innovation and entrepreneurship in China over the last decade, the future of the 9-9-6 work-life in China, and some discussion around the US / China trade war and current state of blockchain technology. We also chat about the BEYOND Tech Expo planned for June of 2021 in Macau, one that he's hoping will be able to be one of the first in-person tech events in Asia post-Covid. Enjoy!

Show Notes

Topics Discussed and Key Points:
●      How Gang Lu became the founder of the premier tech media in the country
●      The transition from a competitive to a collaborative startup environment in China
●      The connection between changing family dynamics and the rise of innovation and entrepreneurship in China
●      The business of media in China
●      All about BEYOND Tech Expo 2021 in Macau
●      The future of the 996 working hour system
●      Gang Lu on the U.S.-China trade war
●      The current state of blockchain in China
Episode Summary:
Today on The Negotiation, we speak with tech influencer Gang Lu, Founder and CEO of Formerly known as, today is “the leading bilingual tech media in China covering startups and large listed companies, entrepreneurial community, and angel/VC investment activities.” Gang Lu is also the Co-Founder of Workgroup, a blogging network focused on the Asian web industry and enhancing “the intercommunication of local Internet markets.”
Gang Lu speaks to the parallels between the relatively recent relaxing of the top-down cultural dynamic in the Chinese family and workplace as the key that sparked the level of entrepreneurship that we see in the country today. With the government now encouraging the growth of new tech startups, Chinese society has become ripe for innovation that, according to Gang Lu, is only beginning.
The world of media is obviously very different in China than it is in the West. For one, copyright is not enforced at nearly the same level, leading to a lot of outright plagiarism between companies. Advertisements are also valued much lower in China. Instead, to stay profitable, media companies rely heavily on sponsored articles. It of course follows that since articles can be commissioned by outside parties, the integrity of the information being published is often questionable.
With the rise of the tech industry in Asia, TechNode, in collaboration with the Macao International Grand Events Promotion Association, is organizing the first two-day BEYOND International Technology Innovation Expo at the Venetian Macau on June 17, 2021. Gang Lu believed the time had come to shine a spotlight on Asia-based tech startups and other companies at an Asian venue instead of in the West where most of these events are usually held. Calling Macau “the Vegas of Asia”, he pinpointed the Venetian as the perfect place to kick off the first BEYOND Expo.
Finally, Gang Lu speaks on the 996 culture, the U.S.-China trade war, and blockchain. To these three developing topics, he adopts a wait-and-see mindset, saying that China does not currently seem to be budging in its big-picture economic priorities despite (or maybe because of) the ongoing pandemic, increasing global dependence on digital solutions, and the transition of power in the U.S.
Key Quotes:
“I think, before 2011, you didn’t see that many startups. But after 3G took off, suddenly you saw the mobile market booming.”
“If we look at the global tech space, there are so many new companies that are not in the States or Europe. They are in China and other Asian countries. We need not just an event, but a platform where people can go every year to showcase their technologies and innovations in Asia.”
“Why is China moving so fast? I think China, for many reasons, is able to open the market to adopt new applications and infrastructures like 5G.”

What is The Negotiation?

Despite being the world’s most potent economic area, Asia can be one of the most challenging regions to navigate and manage well for foreign brands. However, plenty of positive stories exist and more are emerging every day as brands start to see success in engaging and deploying appropriate market growth strategies – with the help of specialists.

The Negotiation is an interview show that showcases those hard-to-find success stories and chats with the incredible leaders behind them, teasing out the nuances and digging into the details that can make market growth in APAC a winning proposition.