Silicon Dragon Newsletter 
December 2008
In This Issue
FT tech writer gets it
Dragon/Tiger meetup
Bokee bows out
Taiwan hotel trauma
Author on China TV
Financial Times review supports China's rise as tech innovator
 "The country that invented gunpowder, paper and the compass may spring a surprise with the speed at which it achieves a lead in many modern technologies." 
  So writes tech columinst Alan Cane in the November 19, 2008 edition of the Financial Times. Cane obviously read the book!

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Tina Ju & Sumir ChadhaDragon/Tiger meetup
Tina Ju of Kleiner Perkins and Sumir Chadha of Sequoia are not usually in the same photo op. But these two venture capitalists, pictured here at the Asian Venture Capital & Tech Forum in Hong Kong, have a lot in common. Both linked up with high-profile Silicon Valley VCs firms after a few years of running their own funds. Tina started Venture TDF in China and Sumir formed Westbridge Capital in India. The decision to pair resources with larger, more established players has paid off for both. When times are tough like now, it helps to have seasoned partners who have been through down cycles plenty of times before and know how to respond. For Tina, Sumir and the entire VC community, it's time to "go back to basics" after a few frenzied years of venture investing.
Peking DuckChina's first blogging portal, Bokee, is the first and only one of the startups I profile in Silicon Dragon to go bust. The site's pioneering founder Fang Xingdong determinedly tried for three long years to make money, but couldn't make it. In 2006 alone, Bokee lost $4 million as the major portals grabbed market share from the startup. Now employees have gone unpaid, and the venture capital investors who supported Bokee with $10 million have lost too. Investors were Granite Global Ventures, Mobius Venture Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund.
For the full story on what went wrong at Bokee, including a dramatic battle over control between the board and the CEO, see Silicon Dragon site.
Taipei protestsBumpy Launch
This security force kept guard outside my hotel in Taipei as an angry mob protested a visit by a high-level China envoy to discuss cross-Straits relations. The envoy, Chen Yunlin, was trapped inside the hotel until 2 a.m. when this squad began shoving the protestors away from the entrance of the Grand Formosa Regent. Luckily, I was safely inside on the quiet executive club floor, having returned from a book launch event several hours earlier that evening. Fortunately, too, I missed the grenade that was fired, though the loud boom did awaken me.
Little did I realize that the week picked for my book's debut in Taiwan would be marked with so much political turmoil. Police vans and troops lined city streets and several blocks were closed around government offices during Chen's five-day visit--the same days I was in Taipei! See Silicon Dragon in Taipei
                         McGraw-Hill Taiwan
                         U.S. bookstore locations  
CCTV interview China TV interview
China's international TV channel, CCTV-9 recently interviewed Silicon Dragon author Rebecca A. Fannin (me!) in Beijing for the network's half-hour program, Dialogue. Anchor Tian Wei had some probing questions for Sequoia Capital investor Fan Zhang and myself. See CCTV show.
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