Tonight I went to the second Mobile Monday event in Shanghai. During the first Mobile Monday I was in Europe so I could not join, but this time I made sure I could attend. The event was held in Kathleen’s 5, actually a bit of an upclass location for an IT event, but it also gives it some style. For those who don’t know the place, Kathleen’s is an excellent restaurant on the top floor of the Shanghai Art Museum, overlooking People’s Park. I suggested to Bruno Bensaid (one of the organizers) to use the Tudou office for one of the next events, that saves them some money and it’s more Mobile Monday-like.
There were three presentations, all related to user generated content (USG). Fred Yu, CEO of Waptx.com (Wap Tianxia) kicked off. His company is a mobile portal, where people can upload their own content and others can comment on it. According to his presentation, his site has 70 million page views per day, which seems a bit too much considering that he ‘only’ has 400K unique IP’s. Anyway, maybe a typo. A very interesting company, that seems to know how to do things right in the Chinese market.
Then Mu Rong took the stage, the CEO of PepTalk. This is a mobile IM service, based on an IP based network. For non-techies, you can do a lot of things with your phone, and you can do it virtually for free over a wireless network. Some of the examples he gave seemed a bit farfetched to me, such as a user who reads all her news on PepTalk while on the bus to school. Since when do buses in China have wifi? Or does she first download it all before leaving home. Or maybe I just misunderstood his concept. Anyway, if it works like he says it works it can be big as well, especially after 3G will be launched.
The last person to present was Sam Flemming, CEO of CIC Data. His company is not directly mobile related, because it does data mining of China’s BBS and blogs for corporate clients. So if you are Motorola for example, CIC Data can tell you exactly what is being said and written about your brand on the Chinese internet. Not a typical dot com start-up, but one that builds on the USG on the Chinese internet. A fast-growing company with a lot of potential.
After the presentations there was a panel discussion. Because Fred Yu had to leave early, I was asked to take his place in the panel and tell a bit about Tudou’s experiences with USG. We had some good questions from the audience, and the concensus was that mobile internet will have a very interesting future, with lots of new applications. If you plan to do a start-up in China, this is an area you should look at in my opinion.
The evening was concluded with some drinks and a bit of networking. Because I was on the panel, several people came to me to introduce their start-ups. I heard some interesting ideas, and will check their sites over the next couple of days. A well-organized event, glad I took the time to go here tonight.