William Bao Bean

China is, as the second largest economy, becoming an attractive source of new business ideas, says Shanghai-based VC William Bao Bean. Although the China market itself is a hard one to crack, for startups and larger companies, he tells in WebinTravel.


William Bao Bean, who runs SOSV Accelarator which runs China Accelerator and MOX Accelerator, said that Facebook is copying WeChat and the question is, who can crack the global market first?

“Chinese companies have gone to the US and failed, WeChat tried – spent US$120,000 a day on marketing,” he said.

Chinese companies are now turning to Southeast Asia which he said “is turning into a Chinese colony. Leaders by sectors are being taken out by the Chinese. If you’re building a business, say a family-owned bank, you have to ask what’s the future because Alibaba and Tencent are coming. Riches to rags in three generations?”

“In China, the big got bigger and the small got crushed”…

As for startups who want to enter China, Bao Bean said, “99% of you should not go to China. Look at all the big boys – how many of them have been successful? Uber spent $2b, Didi shut them down. Uber was a company that broke the rules and that works in China but still …”

His thinking is you need an unfair advantage to compete. “We focus on fintech, AI, machine learning and education.”

More in WebinTravel.

William Bao Bean is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

Are you looking for more experts on innovation at the China Speakers Bureau? Do check out this list.



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