2007年12月28日星期五

JiWai.de Xinhua-FT Group #3 of 4 - Desperate, dedicated, but no despair


2007年11月26日,新华社国际经济部的15个记者,在英国 Financial Times 的martin 带领下,前来叽歪办公室视察指导工作。


工作报告 #3 of 4 - Desperate, dedicated, but no despair
- Passion is all that about, writes Xinhua-FT group

Zero profit, 10 staff, 6 months’ operation, 100,000 US dollars burnt, -- such is the situation faces Li Zhuohuan, founder of China’s twitter clone, Jiwai.de.

What kind of business model to apply Li does not know, but that does not hamper his determination to turn money out of his cyber platform, where users can broadcast their throwaway thoughts to friends and the world through instant messaging, mobile phone text messages and their own websites.

Instead of making profits, Jiwai.de., much similar to the US "Web 2.0" service www.Twitter.com, has to pay message fees if it reply text messages to mobile phones.

“We will find a way out as soon as possible,” grinned the 28-year-olds, sitting at a couch in a virtually-no-decoration room in a building in Zhongguancun, China’s Silicon Valley and the earliest science park in the country, where more than 10,000 high-tech companies situate.

The rapid growth of a great number of high-tech enterprises in China has made them the most dynamic and promising sector of the economy in recent years.

Blocks away from Jiwai stands another mansion that belongs to Founder Group, one of the country's most successful IT companies, whose PC business has secured No. 2 in China for the past 7 years, with 3.5 billion US dollars of total assets.

When four Peking University teachers set up Founder at a basement with a merely 400,000 yuan of registered capital 20 years ago, Li was just a primary school student, who might have no clue at all that he, after graduated from Tsinghua University, cradle for many China’s leaders, would follow suit of these forefathers of China’s high-tech industry.

At the grandiose dome-shaped multi-media auditorium on the top floor of Founder group, Zhang Bingxian, its deputy CEO, envisioned that they were focusing on up-stream chips and circuits boards. Along its path of development for more than two decades, Founder’s business has expanded to health care and pharmaceuticals from mere PC manufacturing.

Li, who requires himself and his colleagues to work 7/24, admitted learning from others (namely, twitter) was "necessary" at the early stage but also emphasized that his company have been trying hard to create more.

He cited his latest invention of "Jiwai screen", where instant messaging and phone messages can be displayed in a large screen. "We are applying for a patent," he said.

"Be it a success or a failure, this is worth trying," Li took a deep breath, ready for his biz trip to Shanghai for his “Jiwai screen” promotion.

Obviously there is a long way to go for Li, yet, in such a fast-developed economy as China, who can deny Li and his colleagues will not create another IT empire in 20 years? Or maybe just 10?

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