Last week I received a call whether it would be possible for me to give a presentation at Tudou to Mrs. Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission and in charge of the EU Digital Agenda. Of course I was honored and I immediately invited her to visit the Tudou office.
Mrs. Kroes came to visit us this morning with a small EU delegation and several journalists. We started the visit with a tour around Tudou’s headquarters in Shanghai (Tudou has 2 offices in Shanghai and other offices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu), during which it turned out that she knew a lot about my background already. I assume she was briefed well before the visit, and I am sure my blog and Twitter made that briefing a lot easier!
After the office tour I gave a presentation about what Tudou is and how we are different from video aggregators like YouTube or local competitors. We also talked about the Internet in China and how that is often more innovative than the Internet outside China. We talked (of course) also about online games and from there we got to the topic of micro payments. In my opinion China is ahead of the EU in this respect, and a good micro payment system (for very small transactions, say 1 or 2 Euro cents) will be beneficial for for example the transition from traditional media (like papers) to new media.
I also mentioned that I think that traditional TV stations have no future if they do not quickly change to stream to online channels as well. In China TV audiences get older, poorer and less educated compared to online video audiences. What’s happening in China will also happen in the EU, just a few years later.
When the presentation was over there was a photo opportunity for the journalists outside the Tudou office, before Mrs. Kroes had to go to the airport for a flight to Europe. We at Tudou enjoyed hosting Mrs. Kroes and discussing about the Internet with her. Too bad there was not enough time to go into details, but maybe there will be an opportunity for that in the future.
A set of all pictures of Neelie Kroes’ visit to Tudou can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chijs/sets/72157623952471285/