I regularly see interviews with Gary Wang, Tudou’s CEO, through Google Alerts and Twitter, but most are more or less the same. However, today’s interview with the China Daily is one of the better ones I have seen over the past years. I’m normally not a big fan of the China Daily, but this piece shows Gary like how I have got to know him over the years:
As a man who comfortably mixes his work and free time, Wang is happy dealing with business emails while camping during a hike and allows flexible working hour for his employees. As an interviewee he is relaxed to the point of resting his legs on the office table while excitably discussing his favorite books.
Surprisingly, these characteristics, regarded by some as perhaps conceited and arrogant, helped Wang win approval from many investors, one of whom once said he felt “assured” by Wang’s attitude towards work and life.
“Doing business is like playing games: You grow up by passing each level and fight with bigger bosses each time,” Wang said, sitting in his office in Beijing soon after CCTV and Baidu announced they were establishing their own video websites. “I believe we can survive and thrive.”
The article also talks about the business environment and how Tudou sees the entrance of new players, for example like the Hulu clone that Chinese leading search engine Baidu.com will launch soon:
For many like Tudou, the arrival of new competitors is akin to a group of scrumpers helping themselves to the ripe grapes one had looked after for years. But Wang said he knew this would happen “from the first day when I established the company”.
He said: “It is natural that big elephants will come when the market matures, but I don’t believe that anyone can dominate China’s online video market.”
He denies his firm is in direct competition with content makers such as CCTV and Hunan TV because “the licensed content on Tudou.com only accounts for two to three percent of our total traffic”.
Also makes sure you read the Q&A on the 3rd page of the article, it contains some good quotes such as “What makes people great is mainly down to circumstances. If he had lacked proper chances or the right environment, Abraham Lincoln may only have been a village teacher.”