My Op-Ed: The Legacy of Umbrella Man

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Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests have lasted for months with no solution in sight. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an opinion piece on Al Jazeera America, in which I argue that the best possible outcome could be that students negotiate a partial or symbolic victory.

Hong Kong could be a testing ground for Xi Jinping to pioneer the “one country, two systems” model of governance, a move toward a more open and democratic China — although it will not be in the form of Western style of democracy. If this happens, a symbolic victory for Hong Kong students could be a significant one for China in the long run, and Xi Jinping could be one of the greatest leaders in China’s recent history.

Whatever the end result of the protests, Hong Kong will no longer be the same. “Tank Man” has disappeared but is not forgotten. “Umbrella Man” may also disappear but will become an inspiration for future generations of brave young men and women who want to live in a better, more democratic world. Read full article on Al Jazeera.

Apple Pay Is Not Innovative Compared to What’s Happening in China

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With Apple’s fanfare announcement of Apple Pay on new iPhone6 and Apple Watch, Gary Rieschel of Qiming Ventures seemed unimpressed and said it was a non-event in China as Alipay and Tenpay had been doing exact that for years.

Watch the Silicon Dragon show:

Are we seeing a reversing tide when it comes to innovation in consumer and mobile sectors? Your comments are welcome.

Will China Lead Innovation In Mobile Social Commerce?

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Social commerce is a novel term in the US, and many people are not familiar with it. Some think it refers to those annoying ads on Facebook. According to Wikipedia, social commerce is the use of social networks in the context of e-commerce transactions.

In China, social commerce has taken up a life of its own and become the backbone of e-commerce.

While the “Ice Bucket Challenge” has gone viral on Facebook, Chinese consumers use social media in a much more thoughtful way. Instead of posting some silly videos and pictures, they turn to social media to solve real life problems, to seek advice from friends and opinion leaders, and to decide what products to buy or not to buy.

Read the full article on Forbes.

The Rise of the New Global Middle Class

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The global middle class will explode in the next fifteen years, growing from 1.8 billion in 2009 to 4.9 billion in 2030. About 66 percent will be in Asia Pacific, compared to only 7 percent in North America and 14 percent in Europe. New Asian Pacific consumers will wield nearly 60 percent of total purchasing power, double that of North America and Europe combined. This is a significant shift in economic power from West to East that hasn’t been seen in the last 300 years. Its impacts could dwarf the Industrial Revolution.

China and India will make the biggest waves in this surge of the new global middle class. In 2009, these two Asian countries comprised just over 5 percent of global middle class consumption; in 15 years, their share of global middle class consumption will increase to 41 percent or more.

What do you make of this? Comments are welcome.