This is the next blog in the continuing series of interviews with top-echelon and renowned professionals. In this blog, I interview London School of Economics (LSE) Alumni Alex Lin Yong Qing. Alex is a leading CEO in China who provides a unique perspective on this growing region.
Alex Lin Yong Qing is the leading international business and information technology authority, founder and CEO of ChinaValue.net, the largest top-ranked online business media, professional social networking service, and business marketplace intelligence service. In late 2009, the London School of Economics (LSE) profiled Alex in "Blazing Trails", due to his unique success as an entrepreneur and visionary innovator transforming the world.
- Alex brings an extensive history of accomplishment and successes to his many ventures. Previously in China, over a period of seven years as Intel's senior executive, he built and then managed the world's largest IT sales channel. Moreover, as Deputy General Manager and VP of Marketing, he supported the growth of the "TOP 3" PC maker in China, TsingHua TongFang Computer Ltd.
- Alex was the first MBA (XiaMen University) with Intel (China), and the first global EMBA in China from the prestigious TRIUM program jointly sponsored by the London School of Economics and Political Science, New York University Stern School of Business, and the HEC School of Management Paris (www.triumemba.org, Ranked No.2 amongst Global EMBA programs by the Financial Times).
- Alex is a special advisor to the MII (Ministry of Information Industry), which controls the IT industry in China. He also advises CIW, and CCID, the two major official outlets. CCID manages the only official IT research group in China. One of the Alex's key executives is the father of the Internet in China - Hu Yong. Hu contributed as a visiting scholar at Berkeley due to his recognized standing. In March 2010, Hu was invited by the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to observe onsite how the US Government is using Web2.0 in e-politics—amongst a small elite group of 20 invited worldwide.
- In late 2009, Alex was a special nominee and CEO delegate to the World Economic Forum (WEF) and then to the Global Leaders Summit in New York held concurrently with the G20 Summit attended by President Obama and President Hu of China.
To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link
Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic
Alex, you bring an incredible background of innovation, business, and technology success to our audience. Considering your very busy schedule, we thank you for doing this interview with us. Tell us a little about ChinaValue?
"....ChinaValue is the first "Real name verification website in China in which the members are required to prove their identity in order to build a creditable and trusted business environment online. We are also the first professional social media community providing information for different levels of business executives in China. Professionalism is one of our core competences which differentiates our value from others...."
You were recently invited to participate at the World Economic Forum (WEF). Share your insights and experiences?
"...In the past 3-5 years, there were many Chinese companies "going out" to increase the growth rate and explore more business opportunities for business expansion and development in North America and European countries; however, you can see today China has been one of the biggest foreign capital destinations and it became the major topic during the World Economy Forum...."
In September, you participated in the global leaders forum in New York City which was held concurrently to the G20 summit. Share your sights and experiences from this work.
"...The conference was jointly organized by the UN Assembly and Foreign Policy Association of US. The conference invited some top global leaders in politics, industries and finances. They were discussing critical global issues like financial crisis, climate changes and new energy development during the conference...."
Due to your standing as a noted innovator, you are invited to provide your views on the world's largest television network, CCTV. What insights can you share from this work?
"....From a long term perspective, I think governments should open the market of the TV industry in order to enhance competence and knowledge through competition...."
Can you share your key lessons from building the world's largest sales channel for Intel?
"....I learned two key lessons from Intel. First, you have to believe everything is possible. You also have to set a higher goal and vision than normal standard and try your best to achieve it. Second, an opportunity was given by Intel for me to broaden my horizons...."
Alex, can you talk about the TRIUM program, your fellow alumni, and share your best practices that you gained from the experience?
"....TRIUM program is jointly organized by the London School of Economics (LSE), HEC Paris and NYU Stern. Financial Time ranks it as the world's number two, three and two in 2007, 2008 and 2009 EMBA program respectively....The program is very helpful and valuable and it really helped in my career path. It also opened my mind and broadened my horizons and I gained much knowledge and expanded my inter-personal relationships. It gave me the confidence and belief that Chinese entrepreneurships are also capable of changing the world and becoming the business leaders...."
You regularly talk to global leaders. Can you choose 3 of them and insights that you want to share from them?
"...When I talked to global leaders, such as John Naisbitt, Jim Rogers and Don Tapscott, they gave me so much enlightenment....Now is the time for globalization and to learn from others from all over the world, and it is very helpful to talk with them and to learn from their insights or their observations...."
What were the initial drivers behind your founding of ChinaValue in 2004?
"....Our position is to be the professional business media and social community which can provide knowledge and a business networking platform for Chinese online...."
What are the major accomplishments of ChinaValue now?
"....There are over five hundred thousand members registered in ChinaValue. They are not only reading the information and articles; they also contribute content for the platform. ChinaValue has fifty million to sixty million professional readers ranging from undergraduates to the managing directors of listed companies....We have proposed the draft for legislation to Chinese Congress and even though the proposal has been rejected, it showed our determination to the real name system on the Internet and drew attention from the general public...."
When comparing with other web2.0 sites worldwide, what are the key innovations of ChinaValue?
"....We have built a new model of a web2.0 ecosystem in China. From the standpoint of ChinaValue, it means every member can fully utilize the functions and environment that are created by ChinaValue to build relationships and more importantly, to contribute to the community by making use of their expertise and knowledge. In addition, ChinaValue provides a series of functions that members can get most of the information they may need in one single website. In my view, web2.0 is not a product or technology innovation, but a system innovation....."
Please share your views about the entrepreneurship of Chinese people?
"....Most of Chinese entrepreneurships are at the grass-roots level...On one hand most Chinese entrepreneurs are very diligent and hardworking, but on the other had I think the entrepreneurs here need to be more critical thinking and need to be more innovative....."
What do you think is the role of ChinaValue in China and in the world?
"....China will be the center of world economy in the 21st century. If knowledge is the most powerful asset, ChinaValue is trying to become the engine of China economy....The power of professional knowledge and collective wisdom will help ChinaValue and China's economy...."
What do you see as the key trends shaping the planet?
"....Buddha states that today's thoughts are tomorrow's world. We can see that the world is built based on humans' thoughts. In addition, the world is flattening by the speed of the development of networks across the world. People have more exchange due to the ease of communication. It also creates a favorable environment for globalization and cultural exchange...."
Can you describe some of your other activities that shape China and the world?
"...I actively participate in youth education because the youth generation will be the pillars of our future. I think Chinese youth should learn more from the traditions both in the West and in China. Many local universities have invited me to be the speaker to share my experience and thoughts on how to become a successful entrepreneurship. In addition, ChinaValue has helped many foreign publishers and authors, translating their books into Chinese version as we think it may help Chinese youth to better understand the key factors for their success. I am also the general advisor of the biggest student organization - AIESEC in China....."
You are a distinguished mentor-advisor or professor for the top business schools in China including Beijing University, Beijing Normal University, and Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. You are also a lecturer on Chinese Entrepreneurship to the Peter Drucker Academy. What 3 tips can you provide on entrepreneurship?
"....The mission and vision of a company is more important than just making a profit....Everything is possible, you need to believe in yourself and insist your belief....The best way to predict or estimate the future is to create it instead of just following it....It is better and more efficient to learn from others' success than from your own failure....If we all know the fundamental concept of entrepreneurship means building something from zero, you'll realize that knowledge is the most critical and only asset in a knowledge-based economy....."
What questions would you ask and what would be your answers if you were doing this interview?
"....'What is your philosophy in your life?'....'What should China continuously learn from this world?'....'What will be the role of China in this world?'...."