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Sinica Podcast

A weekly discussion of current affairs in China with journalists, writers, academics, policy makers, business people and anyone with something compelling to say about the country that's reshaping the world. A SupChina production, hosted by Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn.
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Now displaying: January, 2018
Jan 26, 2018

Yukon Huang thinks that China’s economy is extremely unconventional. Unsurprisingly, then, that nearly all the conventional economic wisdom we hear about this economy — particularly the two hugely popular poles of opinion that treat it as either an unstoppable force or a crisis-in-waiting — is wrong.

So goes the contrarian take of the former World Bank Director for China and Russia, who is now Senior Fellow in the Asia Program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Huang detailed his thoughts on China’s economy is his most recent book, Cracking the China Conundrum: Why Conventional Economic Wisdom Is Wrong.

http://supchina.com/2017/10/24/cracking-the-china-conundrum-makes-bold-claims/

He sat down with Jeremy and Kaiser at SupChina’s NEXT CHINA Conference on January 17, and in this live podcast, answered provocative questions and defended surprising statements: 

  • "Why is it that people think China's unbalanced growth is a risk, when it actually is a positive development?"
  • "Why do people think [China] has a debt problem, when actually it's a sign of financial deepening?"
  • "Why is it that corruption is seen as an impediment to growth, when in China actually it's been a booster to growth?"
  • "We assume that the more innovative you are as a country, the faster you grow, when actually it's the opposite."

Recommendations:

Jeremy: The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power, a fantastic collection of essays by scholars at Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, edited by Jennifer Rudolph and Michael Szonyi. And radiooooo.com, a site you should definitely check out if you are a music lover.

Yukon: The recent movie Hidden Figures, about black women mathematicians who worked for NASA in the 1960s.

Kaiser: A two-part documentary on Channel NewsAsia called China on Film, a collection of the earliest footage ever shot in China, dating back to the last years of the Qing Dynasty.

 

Jan 17, 2018

This week on Sinica, we bring you a special preview of a new podcast called 996 Podcast with GGV Capital, which we are very excited to co-produce. Subscribe to the 996 Podcast here on iTunes, and here on Stitcher

GGV Capital’s Hans Tung and Zara Zhang interview Jerry Yang, the founder and former CEO of Yahoo, who orchestrated arguably the best deal in tech history: In 2005, he arranged for Yahoo to invest $1 billion for a 40 percent stake in fledgling Chinese ecommerce site Alibaba at a post-money valuation of $5 billion. Today, Alibaba is worth almost half a trillion dollars. During the interview, Jerry conducts a postmortem for Yahoo’s China strategy, and offers advice for U.S. tech companies looking to expand into China.

We’d love to hear your feedback! Please send comments and suggestions to 996@ggvc.com.  GGV Capital also produces a weekly email newsletter in English, also called “996," which has a roundup of the week's most important happenings in tech in China. Subscribe at 996.ggvc.com.

The 996 podcast is brought to you by GGV Capital and co-produced by the Sinica Podcast. On this show, we interview movers and shakers of China's tech industry, as well as tech leaders who have a U.S.-China cross-border perspective.

GGV Capital is a multi-stage venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, Shanghai, and Beijing. It has been partnering with leading technology entrepreneurs since 2000 from seed to pre-IPO. With $3.8 billion in capital under management across eight funds, GGV invests in globally minded entrepreneurs in consumer internet, ecommerce, frontier tech, and enterprise. GGV has invested in over 200 companies, including Airbnb, Alibaba, Ctrip, Didi, Domo, HashiCorp, Hellobike, Houzz, Keep, Slack, Square, Toutiao, Wish, Xiaohongshu, YY, and others, with 29 IPOs and 22 unicorns to date. Find out more at ggvc.com.

Jan 11, 2018

China is a world leader in artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

If you had said that even five years ago — or in many circles, as recently as three years ago — you might have been laughed out of the room. But around the spring of 2015, a recognition of China’s progress in AI began to spread widely. As private companies have invested billions in research and the government has made it a top priority in the years since, that recognition has turned into shock and awe.

This week on Sinica, Jeremy and Kaiser are joined by Jessi Hempel, a senior writer with Wired magazine who recently published an excellent piece titled “Inside Baidu’s bid to lead the AI revolution.” Jessi explains on Sinica how the smallest of the three big Chinese tech companies (Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent) is applying extraordinary talent to AI puzzles, and where its advantages and disadvantages lie in the revolutionary new world of Chinese AI research.

Jeremy, Kaiser, and Jessi also discuss:

  • Should we be afraid of our new robot overlords?
  • Are Chinese less afraid of robot overlords than of Westerners? Why?
  • What is the role of the Chinese government in AI research?
  • Will SkyNet be real in China?
  • What are the challenges in making new AI technology?
  • Why does China have unique advantages in this field?

Recommendations:

Jeremy: Magpie Digest, a newsletter about contemporary China, written by a few ethnographers and social scientists.

Jessi: Who Can You Trust?: How Technology Brought Us Together and Why It Might Drive Us Apart, by Rachel Botsman. It’s the best book that she’s read about understanding how the shift in tech is impacting the shift in organization. Also, it will help you understand bitcoin.

Kaiser: The newly released audiobook narrated by Michael Page of The Long Ships, a famous Swedish story of 10th-century Vikings by Frans G. Bengtsson.

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