Chinese Internet companies expanding overseas

On: April 5, 2008
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About Pieter-Paul Walraven
Besides enjoying my MA New Media and doing research on Web 2.0 developments in China at the UvA I am working 2 days a week as a project assistant at KREM ( KREM is a web 2.0 oriented company which specializes in so called corporate social networks. Movies: Koyaanisqatsi, O Brother where art thou?, Amores Perros. When not studying: Golf!, running, traveling, China, Web 2.0. Books: Life of Pi, War and Peace, The World is Flat. Furthermore I am currently doing research on Web 2.0 in China and Chinese Web companies expanding overseas. For this MA thesis research I will travel to China on the 14th of April to interview the most prominent Chinese Web companies that have the ambition to expand internationally.


A nice cup of cha in ChenduThis Friday it is finally happening; I will head off to China for my research! After months of stalking people with interview requests and reading everything I could about Internet in China, I am going to visit some of the most innovative and prominent Chinese Internet companies. I am really looking forward to traveling through China, finally meeting all the people I have corresponded with, and discussing my research with them! The focus of my trip to China for my Masters Thesis research will be on the international ambitions and strategy of Chinese Internet market leaders.

During my stay in China I will visit the following companies to talk about their international strategy and ambitions:

Baidu (search engine market leader)
Sina (online media company for China and Chinese communities around the world)
Giant Interactive Group Inc. (online role-playing game developer )
Hipihi (Virtual world developer)
Netease (one of China’s leading Internet and online game services providers)
Perfect World (online game company specializing in MMORPGs)
Sohu (Internet Portal operator)
Tudou (online video site)
Tencent (Internet service portal)

Besides speaking with representatives from these companies I have corresponded and set up meetings with prominent bloggers, research companies, foreign companies in China, intellectual property legal experts, and everybody that could help me create a better insight in future developments of the Chinese Internet market and the Chinese creative industry as a whole.

These are most of the other companies or persons I am visiting:

Danwei (Chinese media, advertising, and urban life)
DLA Piper (International law firm)
JL Mc Gregor and Company (research and consulting services focused on China)
Ogilvy China (communication experts)
+8* (Mobile and Internet business consulting)
Spill Group Asia (casual gaming websites)
Springtime (PR and communications company)
Thomas Crampton (blogger: ‘Internet, media, and new ideas seen from Asia’)

Also I am planning on visiting Shenzhen High Tech Industrial Park (SHIP), Shanghai Pudong Software Park (SPSP) , and ZhongGuanCun Science Park. When on sight I hope to be able to arrange meetings with English speaking officials concerned with these designated innovation, and self-owned intellectual property boosting parks.

After five weeks of research in China, where I will pass through Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai and finally Beijing, I will hopefully be able to answer the following questions: which companies have global ambitions and what are they, how do companies see the near and far future, how are they trying to fulfill their international ambitions, do they stimulate creativity and innovation, and what does their strategy look like, also how will they be able to differentiate themselves from international competitors?

Theories on the development of Chinese cultural and creative industries – from made to created in China – will play an important role in my research. Other elements that will be taken into account are: intellectual property rights, the pro-active role of the government and international political and economic influences.

During my stay in China I will keep track of the interviews, lost in translations, proceedings, multiple 20 hour train rides, interesting cultural experiences, dim sum breakfasts, chicken feet dinners, etc. on my blog ‘Pieter-Paul’s Masters Thesis: Chinese Internet Companies Expanding Overseas’.

For further reading on my Ma Thesis subject I recommend the following books, articles, blogs, websites, and articles:

From made in China to created in ChinaAndrew Keane
My Creativity Reader: A Critique of Creative Industries – edited by Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter
Fast Boat to ChinaAndrew Ross
Silicon Dragon – Rebecca Fannin
China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Inc. – Willem van Kemenade (Dutch)
The Internet an Etnographic approach – Miller and Slater
The World is Flat – Thomas Friedman
Catching Up Fast: PR and Marketing in a Web 2.0 China – Björkstén, Lockne, Spännar, and Thorstenson
China’s Emerging New Economy:The Internet and e-Commerce – Wong and Nah
The Search for Modern China – Pei-kai Cheng and Michael Lestz
CHINA Contemporary
ReORIENT: Global Economy in the Asian Age – Andre Gunder Frank

Blogs and websites:
The China Dreamblogue

Ogilvy China Digital Watch
Ich Bin Ein Beijinger
China Web 2.0 Review
China Blogging
China: Tech news from CNET
Danwei – Media, Advertising, and Urban Life in China
Marc van der Chijs’ Shanghaied Weblog
The MOBINODE – Tracking Dragon’s Web – Best China Tech Blog
Community Blogs: Little Red Blog
Shanghai China Snippets

WangR English
Travelers’ Tales – The FEER Blog
All Roads Lead to China
Thomas Crampton

Web Marketing China
The China Vortex
ING Asia/Pacific’s Blog

BDL Media
Online Marketing in China. SEO.

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