To go viral in China, creativity may be pointless
Can virality be taught? The more than 20 people gathered in a room in Shenzhen, in China’s southern Guangdong province, certainly think so.  Some have forked out as much as $1,400 for a weekend crash course on how to create short, funny videos that will get lots of views on Douyin, ByteDance’s Chinese version of its short-video app TikTok. Lots of clicks lead to potential advertising endorsements, or so the equation goes. Zhang Bo, a moon-faced man in his late 30s, is the man who promises to unlock the secrets of creating crazy popular videos.  Perched on a white table at the front of the class, Zhang regaled us with how one client made over $10.1 million in just three days following his met
To go viral in China, creativity may be pointless
How the smartphone completely transformed China in a decade
When finance industry employee Ringo Li relocated back to Beijing from Tokyo in 2010, he brought along his first smartphone – an iPhone 3G. Although one of the most advanced handsets available at the time, it was mainly used for text messages and phone calls, and occasional internet-surfing where Wi-fi was available. Life was mostly offline back then. Li would go to restaurants to order food, pay bills with cash and hail a taxi with an outstretched arm standing on the roadside. Fast forward 10 years and Li’s life has completely changed. No longer in finance, he communicates via WeChat and uses apps on his iPhone XS to order food, hail taxis, pay bills and shop. Most of the apps that permeate
How the smartphone completely transformed China in a decade
The short video app at the center of a US security debate
The videos look innocuous enough. Selfies. Stunts. Scripted comedy. cat lady in training pic.twitter.com/LKovVQYknh — TikTok (@tiktok_us) November 2, 2019 But TikTok, a rare Chinese-owned social media app that has thrived outside China, has found itself the target of a serious accusation: threatening American security. The intensifying scrutiny on the app, owned by the Chinese internet giant ByteDance, has come amid rising suspicion in Washington of Beijing’s growing global influence. US lawmakers and critics of the Chinese government have accused the popular video-sharing app of potentially allowing China’s ruling Communist Party to exploit information about its millions of American users f
The short video app at the center of a US security debate
Beijing has more tech unicorns than San Francisco and New York combined
When US venture capitalist Aileen Lee coined the term “unicorn” in 2013 to refer to privately-held startups worth more than $1 billion, San Francisco was leading the world with 15 of them.  “It’s really hard, and highly unlikely, to build or invest in a billion-dollar company,” Lee wrote in 2013. She said the odds of building one were more than 100 times tougher than getting into Stanford.  Now, Beijing, China’s capital, has 82 of those companies, making it the world’s top city for tech unicorns.  San Francisco ranks second with 55. Shanghai, China’s eastern metropolis, takes third with 47, followed by New York with 25.  China also leads the US in the total number of unicorn startups at 206
Beijing has more tech unicorns than San Francisco and New York combined