China Innovation Decoded



The China Innovation Decoded powered by Microsoft for Startups Shanghai taps into the startup ecosystem in China and reveals some behind the scene operations that are driving the local innovation.


  • Is AI a threat or opportunity with Jason Tsao, AI and Area Transformation Lead of Microsoft Greater China Region

    30/08/2019 Duración: 45min

    For the first episode of this new season on Microsoft, we invited Jason Tsao, AI and Area Transformation Lead of Microsoft Greater China Region. Jason received his Bachelor’s Degree from Duke University in Electrical Engineering and then went on to pursue a Masters in Engineering Management at University of Ottawa. He joined MSFT as a License Executive in Beijing responsible to establish business process for cloud in China and prior to his ATL role, Jason was the M&O lead in Taiwan since FY18 and Chief of Staff of GCR CVP since FY17. In this episode, Jason discussed with us what takes a company to bring AI in, the relationship between AI and human as well as the potential ethical challenges behind AI application. Today, with Jason Tsao, we learn about his past careers and the impact AI has brought to various industries and human life.  Show Notes0:59 Personal experience 2:39 Day to day life surrounding the topic of AI 6:17 Case of a shipping company 7:36 You need a sharing culture to bring AI in 9:20 You

  • Generating a smart lab with Kenny Li, CEO and Co-founder of iLabService

    16/08/2019 Duración: 23min

    SummaryLab has always been a place where the newest ideas and innovation emerge. So what does a smart lab look like? This episode we invited Kenny Li, CEO and Co-founder of our Batch five startup iLabService. Kenny received his Bachelor’s Degree from Zhejiang University and then went on to receive his Masters from Nanyang Technological University. He came back to China around 2010, and his follow-up careers were mostly in lab-related industries. In 2016 to 2017, Kenny started iLabService as a Co-founder. iLabService focuses on providing automatic solutions to all labs, aiming to create smarter labs. Kenny’s ultimate goal is to help scientists to become more efficient through digital transformation, advanced analytics and automation. Today, with Kenny Li, we learn about his past careers and how he has used his industrial know-how to make a difference in the lab industry. Show Notes0:33 Introduction1:06 Kenny’s personal experience2:04 How did Kenny get involved in lab service4:01 Problems encountered when

  • The secret formula of tech plus design with Steve Wang, COO and Co-founder of Tezign

    19/07/2019 Duración: 21min

    This episode we invited Steve Wang, COO and Co-founder of Tezign. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from ZheJiang University and then went on to receive his Masters from Columbia University. He is an expert of A.I. and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. Previously he worked in U.S. and In 2015, he joined Tezign as a cofounder. Tezign is a creative and marketing supplier platform and data intelligence solution trusted by world's leading brands. In Tezign, Steve focuses on developing leading mar-tech products and also participates in many research projects of “Design A.I. LAB”. Today with Steve Wang, also known as Wang Zhe, we learn about his experiences in the West, and how he brought his knowledge back to the East.1:23 Intro  1:57 Steve's personal journey  2:53 How Tezign was born  4:05 Tech + design  4:33 Why Tezign chose this area of focus 5:54 Challenges faced when they first started  7:22 What’s Tezign’s biggest advantage  11:02 Why chinese market  14:23 How design thinking is different in ch

  • Exploring the world of investing with Yipin Ng, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Yunqi Partners

    08/07/2019 Duración: 33min

    In this episode YiPin Ng tells us how he went from an engineer at Sun Microsystems to founding Yunqi Partners and how he got into the world of investing. He then explains the many factors that contribute to his decision when investing such as the idea, its team, and most importantly the founder. He then explores the idea of starting your own business and fitting in a startup such as learning from your mistakes and determining to try again. We conclude the discussion with the future of AI and the idea of traditional and corporate VCs working together. Throughout this podcast we learn many insights from Yipin surrounding startups and VCs with many examples to back them up.  Yunqi Partners specializes in AI, big data, cloud computing, fintech, B2B, and other industries, with assets totalling billions of RMB.Shownotes: 1:13 Getting to know YiPin2:32 How Yipin got into the world of investing5:28 What fascinates Yipin the most about investing and what keeps him in the industry7:07 Core qualities of a founder 9:38 B

  • How a leading AI and big data foreign startup enter the Chinese market, a special CES Asia episode with DefinedCrowd

    21/06/2019 Duración: 17min

    Today we brought in Walter Benadof, COO of DefinedCrowd, and Aya Zook, their General Manager of Asia-Pacific. DefinedCrowd is Microsoft for Startups backed leading AI and big data startup focused on crowd-sourcing data collection of speech and language. They focus on providing language data for established corporations looking to expand their horizons. Now, they are looking to expanding onto the global market. They already have offices in Seattle and Japan and is looking to expand into China through Microsoft. In today’s episode, Walter and Aya will share their experiences and insights from China trip. 1:26 What propelled them to start a company like DefinedCrowd?2:12 How did they come up with the name DefinedCrowd?3:17 Their experience in China and why they decided to come at this time5:57 Go China dinner6:51 Specific example, understanding challenges in expanding the business7:53 Differences between US and China innovation ecosystem9:00 Is China big enough of a market9:33 Future Plans for DefinedCrowd1

  • Creating the next generation of future shop with Andi Chen, COO and Co-founder of Whale

    25/05/2019 Duración: 29min

    Today we have invited Andi Chen, COO and Co-founder of Whale, a leading IoT & AI startup in China focusing on retail experience and data solution. Whale is dedicated to enlightening the future of retail by driving sales transformation through real-time content interaction based on customer behavior perception. In today’s episode, Andi will share the idea of future shop and how Whale is using its technology to enhance customers' shopping experience.0:56 Why Andi and Jerry started Whale4:27 Ideas of the future shop 7:00 Market trends in China and other countries9:58 Market focus – Mainland China, Japan and Europe etc.11:25 Personalised and customised experience of Whale13:14 Role shifting of shopping guides – from providing basic information to personalised advice14:50 How Whale improves the ultimate efficiency of sales16:23 Company structure of Whale19:10 Categories of Whale’s products focus – volume products or experience-oriented products?21:09 Challenges Andi encountered22:48 Company value25:06 Fut

  • All about AI for Good with CEO of Perspicace, Co-founder of NextVPU and Manager Partner of Chengwei Capital

    10/05/2019 Duración: 32min

    Technology as we all know can be used in many ways and sometimes even abused, and that's the case with AI. It is not unusual that some people might use the technology in ways that are detrimental to the society. In this episode, we have invited startup founders from our portfolio Perspicace, NextVPU and also Managing Partner from Chengwei Capital to have a discussion on the meaning of AI for Good, the foreseeable future of AI and how it is shaping our society.  1:35 Panelists intro  3:56 What is AI for good in your opinion? 8:59 Conflict between AI for Good and profitability  10:53 AI trend in China  12:16 How older people deal with new technology  13:59 How to manage risks associated with AI  22:09 What values should we abide by? 26:29 The future of AI  

  • The future of autonomous driving with Qicheng Wang, Co-founder of MINIEYE

    26/04/2019 Duración: 10min

    Today we have a special episode with one of our alumni startups, MINIEYE, in Shenzhen. Founded in 2013, MINIEYE is one of the earliest companies in China that conducted research on autonomous driving and ADAS products. MINIEYE is dedicated to providing reliable sensing solution for vehicles by utilizing AI technology and just the beginning of this month, MINIEYE has closed series B financing led by NavInfo. I had a great time visiting MINIEYE’s office and had a quick conversation with one of the co-founders Qicheng Wang.  1:07   Intro  1:53   Why the co-founders at Minieye don’t drive  3:05   Why did they come back to China and how did they start Minieye  4:32   Why did he drop out  6:07   The first step and challenges  7:20   Product first  10:02 Ending  

  • Building the next generation of intelligent business applications with Tiger Yang, President and Co-founder of Apex Technologies

    12/04/2019 Duración: 35min

    Today our guest is Tiger Yang, President and Co-founder of Apex Technologies. Tiger and Jimmy, two co-founders at Apex, actually met each other their freshman year as lab partners for electrical engineering and computer sciences at UC Berkeley. They started developing their interests in enterprises on improving efficiency in the marketing field. And when they decided to come back to china, Apex technologies was born.   0:57 Why Tiger and Jimmy decided to come back to china and start Apex Technologies  2:37 How Apex Technologies keeps innovating in the age of AI and Big data  8:07 Factors influencing people’s choices   13:16 Industries of focus  17:07 Industries that are challenging to tap in19:12 Personalised marketing and data driven internal decision making 24:23 How Apex Technologies helps reshape services and solve security issues  25:15 Apex Technologies’ competitive advantage  29:35 The future of AI  32:44 General advice for our audience who are interested in starting up in China   

  • A new generation of info searching experience with Ye Chen (Alex), CEO of Tigerobo

    29/03/2019 Duración: 27min

    Are you sometimes annoyed by the information overflow or tired of going through endless searches to find the information you need? Today we have invited Ye Chen (Alex), CEO of Tigerobo, a microsoft for startups powered AI-based financial search engine startup that is aiming to revolutionise the info searching experience.  0:37 Why Alex started Tigerobo  1:27 Why Fintech industry  3:06 Fintech market in china  4:30 The importance of timing 6:00 Market competitiveness 8:47 Examples of the Tigerobo search function   11:50 Challenges Tigerobo is facing right now in china  16:54 Next step for Tigerobo 18:58 Entering foreign market   20:22 Optimising user experience for different markets  24:30 Why starting in China first  25:20 How Tigerobo CEO divides up his work  

  • How Corporate Innovation works at Merck with Sophie Sun, MD of Innovation Hub and Vice President of Strategy and Transformation China

    22/03/2019 Duración: 22min

    Today our guest is Sophie Sun. As the MD of Innovation hub China and Vice President of Strategy and transformation China, Sophie is in charge of working with startups to bring new innovative solutions to the company. We are going to decode how Merck is reinventing itself from a traditional pharmaceutical company to a tech company that constantly innovates. Show Notes: 0:50 Why Sophie joined Merck and the values of Merck  3:56 Innovation in China and impact Chinese innovation bring to the world  6:49 How does Merck work with startups  10:25 Accelerator program at Merck China  11:34 Challenges international startups face when they enter China 15:26 Is mental health something Merck looking at? 17:06 Journey as a female leader in the science and tech field  21:30 How to join Merck China Accelerator program and how to connect with Sophie 

  • “No more walking around” – How Black Lake Technologies transforms Chinese factories -with Yuxiang Zhou, CEO and Co-founder of Black Lake Technologies

    15/03/2019 Duración: 28min

    Several years ago, “walking around” was still the most efficient way of management in millions of factories in China. People in the factory still use paper and pen to collect and record data, and managers had to consistently walk around the factory to monitor the process. When Black Lake Technologies kicked off, things started to change. After graduating from Dartmouth, Yuxiang started his career in Wall Street like many other outstanding Ivy League graduates. His primary task was to help large Chinese industrial clients acquire overseas factories. Instead of sticking to the finance track, Yuxiang soon realized the real gap between German factories and Chinese ones. Trying to figure out the pain points in Chinese factories and explore the practical solutions for manufacturing, Yuxiang decided to started working in a factory himself…1:09 Realising the gap between Chinese factories and German ones3:25 Realising the potential market of Chinese enterprise sectors4:11 Team gathering and kicking off5:21 Strugg

  • Decoding gender stereotype in tech industry with Jill Tang, Co-founder of Ladies Who Tech

    07/03/2019 Duración: 23min

    Today we have invited Jill Tang, Co-founder of ladies who tech. Jill Tang has been living and studying in Australia for a long time until she came back to China and joined her co-founder Charlene Liu to start Ladies Who Tech, focusing on raising awareness of the lack of women in the STEM industries and helping companies have more diversity. In today’s episode, we will take you on a journey with Jill Tang and we are going to explore the hidden reasons as to why we are actively talking about this female leadership topic in the first place.