Leaders & Founders

News and interviews with China tech's start-up leaders and founders. 
  1. If you want to know how Alphabet Inc’s new Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai will run the company you do not need to look very far – he has essentially been doing it for several years already.Pichai, a 47-year-old engineer, grew up in India and immigrated to the US to attend graduate school. His resume reads like the typical Silicon Valley operator: a Master’s degree from Stanford University, an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and a stint as a consultant at McKinsey…
  2. Elon Musk says he does not have a lot of cash.Musk’s wealth came up in the second day of his testimony before a federal jury in Los Angeles where the Tesla Inc. and SpaceX chief executive is on trial over a tweet in which he referred to a British cave expert as a “pedo guy.”After an unsuccessful objection from his lawyer, Musk told the jury he has Tesla stock, and SpaceX stock, with debt against those holdings, and his net worth is about US$20 billion. But contrary to public opinion, he said,…
  3. Tesla co-founder Elon Musk said Tuesday he did not literally call a British caver a paedophile during their infamous spat on Twitter, telling a Los Angeles federal court that he had simply defended himself from “unprovoked” insults.The tech billionaire told the defamation trial jury he had been “upset” when he described British diver Vernon Unsworth – who helped rescue youth soccer players trapped in a cave in Thailand – as “pedo guy” in a tweet.During the July 2018 row, Unsworth had described…
  4. Just over a year ago, Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and founder Ren Zhengfei’s daughter, lived a busy life in Shenzhen, China, a southern coastal metropolis where the world’s largest telecommunications equipment company is headquartered.Meng had a packed schedule, crammed with back-to-back meetings starting at breakfast and often going long into the night.Today, her life has taken a 180-degree turn. Canadian police, at the behest of the US, apprehended Meng on charges of bank…
  5. After a successful listing in Hong Kong this week, Alibaba Group Holding chief executive Daniel Zhang Yong said he remains focused on the long term and empowering people through technology.“Today, because of digital technology, we can enable people and our merchants to do business in a digital way. We are able to help traditional companies transform themselves into a digital, data-driven company,” Zhang told the South China Morning Post this week. “That was our mission from day one. We have a…
  6. Back in March 2016, an artificial intelligence (AI) programme developed by Google made headlines when it bested world Go champ Lee Se-dol in what has been called humanity’s most complex game.What few know is that to achieve the decisive victory, the AlphaGo programme had to be powered by nearly 2,000 central processing units (CPUs) and 300 graphics processing units (GPUs). The electricity bills were as high as US$3,000 a game at the time, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor…
  7. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's fresh attacks on China are stoking tensions with Facebook's Chinese employees, according to a report from The Information on Tuesday.The Information does not go into detail, but writes that Zuckerberg's increasingly aggressive stance on Beijing's free speech policies is not going down well with Facebook's base of Chinese employees, many of whom actually hail from mainland China.During a speech at Georgetown University last month, for example, Zuckerberg went on…
  8. Five years ago, Alibaba Group Holding chose New York over Hong Kong in what would be the world’s biggest initial public offering ever – worth a whopping US$25 billion.The listing on the New York Stock Exchange made the Chinese technology and e-commerce giant a globally recognised name – American pop star Taylor Swift performed several of her newest songs as part of a record Singles’ Day shopping event on Monday – and turned its founders into billionaires many times over. It also propelled Jack…
  9. Ren Zhengfei, founder and chief executive of Huawei Technologies, is looking to hi-tech suppliers in Europe and Japan for support, as the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker nears its sixth month on the US government’s trade blacklist.“It remains a question mark for Chinese companies [to create alternatives to core technologies from the US] because of their relatively low-end skills,” Ren said on Wednesday at a panel discussion hosted by Huawei at its headquarters in Shenzhen.That was…
  10. Ren Zhengfei, founder and chief executive of Huawei Technologies, has responded to employee complaints about the telecom giant’s working conditions aired online saying that he supports discussion of contentious issues but that this debate should be kept within the company’s internal community.Ren’s statement comes after an internal post by an HR staff member, listing complaints such as the long working hours at Huawei among other matters, was leaked and ended up going viral on social media…