Chinaccelerator MD William Bao Bean had a podcast interview with Adam Bao, the founder of the emerging technology media The Harbinger. William shared his insights on how China’s Internet Economy started and developed, as well as the opportunities in the future. Due to the article length, we separated the interview to 2 episodes. 中国加速的董事总经理宾威廉接受了科技媒体新星The Harbinger创始人Adam Bao的采访，就其所观察到中国互联网经济的发展进行了分享。本文章将分为上下两部分发布。
A Brief History of China’s Internet Economy
Q1: Given that you’ve spent the last twenty years in China and Asia, why don’t we start with some of your overall views on the major trends you’ve witnessed.
We can break down China’s internet development into three phases. The first phase was early companies – Sina, Sohu, NetEase, and to some extent, Baidu and Tencent. The CEOs and leadership teams of these companies are still, for the most part, leading these companies. These companies addressed very basic problems, such as search, commerce, games, and news.我们可以把中国的互联网发展分为三个阶段。 第一阶段是早期的公司，包括新浪、搜狐和网易，百度和腾讯在某种程度上也属于这一阶段。 他们的CEO和领导班子大部分仍然在领导着这些公司，他们解决了诸如搜索、商业、游戏和新闻等非常基本的问题。The second phase was a second generation of entrepreneurs filling in the gaps. They solved problems like, if you have health insurance, what kind of services does that health insurance cover? If you need to travel somewhere, how do you travel and how do you book your travel? The second generation grew up in the shadow of the first generation. What happened was, for the most part, the first generation tried to kill these second-generation companies. Either crush them, buy them, or undermine them.第二阶段是那些填补空白的第二代创业者。他们解决了许多问题，例如如果你有健康保险，健康保险包括哪些服务？ 如果你需要去某个地方旅行，你如何旅行以及如何预订旅行？ 第二代公司在第一代的影响下发展。而大多数情况下，第一代公司都在试图扼杀这些第二代公司。 他们所作出的选择，要么粉碎他们、收购他们，或要么破坏他们。Now we have the third generation. Most of the companies are social because that’s what VCs have been funding. But the third generation has learned from the lessons of the second generation in that they need to be differentiated; it’s no longer enough to just be the first player in the market, the first or fastest to raise capital, because the big guys – Baidu to some extent, but mostly Tencent, Alibaba, and Xiaomi – these companies are dominating almost every single sector. And for the first time, you’re seeing Chinese VCs investing in hardcore tech, and not just the startup with the first-mover advantage or the player with the most users, because differentiation is critical in hardcore tech and there is very strong competition from the BAT + Xiaomi.现在我们有了第三代公司。 这些公司大多是社会性的，这也是风投资金所关注的。但第三代从第二代中吸取了教训，就是需要有所区分。如今，仅仅成为市场上第一个玩家、成为第一个或是最快筹集到资金的企业是不够的，因为市场中的大公司，包括百度，大多数情况下是腾讯、阿里巴巴和小米， 这些公司几乎占据了所有行业的每一个部分。而且中国的风投投资核心技术，不仅仅投资那些拥有先发优势的或者拥有最多用户量的公司，因为差异化在核心技术上是至关重要的。 针对此，BAT和小米之间就有非常激烈的竞争。
Opportunities in the Future
Q2: But in the past five years in particular, there has been a rise in mobile O2O (online to offline), especially in entertainment – for example, live video in social commerce, which is something that Chinaccelerator was quite involved in. So when it comes to these hot areas, the so-called “Fengkou (风口)”, can you talk a little bit more about, from Chinaccelerator’s perspective and your own investing experience, the areas that you focus on and why?
I think entrepreneurs and to a great extent, the VCs that fund them, are a lot like sheep. They flock to the “hot” areas. Every year there is usually a hot area. Back in the day when we had video, video was a hot area, which later evolved into video streaming. But there are many video companies – Youku, Tudou, and other ones that are mostly all dead. iQiyi came in later. These video companies battled it out with the understanding that there would be only one or two winners.我认为创业者很像绵羊，并且在很大程度上，投资他们的风险投资公司也很像绵羊。他们汲汲地涌向“热门”地区。每年都会有热点。回到互联网视频开始发展时，视频就是一个热点，后来演变成视频流。市场中有很多视频公司，例如优酷网、土豆网和其他大部分已经失败的公司。爱奇艺是后来进入这一市场的。这些视频公司认为市场最终只有一个或两个获胜者，在这一前提下展开了一系列竞争。With the phase two or the second generation companies, the ones that Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent started to acquire, there were greater opportunities for VCs to invest because you didn’t have to be the number one player, you could be the number two, three, or four because maybe only one company would IPO but the other two or three would be acquired by Baidu, Tencent, or Alibaba.随着第二代公司被百度、阿里巴巴和腾讯开始收购，风投有更多的机会进行投资，因为所投资的企业已不必再是市场中最好的公司，而可以是第二、第三或第四的公司。因为尽管只有一家公司会最终上市，其他的两三家也将被百度，腾讯或阿里巴巴收购。Now the opportunity has largely passed because just about every single sector has strong players in it. You have heavy operations and light operations. An internet company is light operations. The opportunity has shifted from light operations to heavy operations, from online to offline, because this is an area that is tougher for the big players – Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba – to dominate because they have an internet background. It’s easy for them to do well online with their light operations background, but when you go offline – when you’re dealing with delivery logistics, when you’re dealing with cars, for example – it’s a different skill set.而现在这个机会已经大多不存在了，因为几乎在所有行业的每个部分，都已经有强大的公司在发挥主导作用。但（从广义来看），有重运营和轻运营之分。互联网公司往往是偏轻运营的。如今市场中的机会已经从轻运营逐渐转变为重运营，从线上转变到线下，因为这是百度、腾讯和阿里巴巴等大玩家更难主导的领域，他们所拥有互联网的背景是轻运营的。对他们而言，很容易就可以完成线上运营，但是当进入线下领域时（例如在处理物流问题和汽车问题时），这就需要不同的技能了。What we’ve seen more of recently is that in order to get into heavy operations areas, the BATs have been developing their capabilities by taking large strategic stakes or outright acquiring leading Chinese startups. And so, what’s the next opportunity? A lot of the VCs are hot on AR and VR. They’re also looking at artificial intelligence and machine learning. These are our technologies. They’re awesome tools, but in the end a startup needs to solve a specific problem. At Chinaccelerator, we focus on solving problems. We leverage technology to solve those problems.我们最近更多看到的是，为了进入重运营领域，BAT通过收购大量战略股权或直接收购中国领先的初创公司来发展自己在这一方面的能力。那么，下一个机会是什么？很多VC关注增强现实与虚拟现实。他们也在聚焦人工智能和机器学习。这些技术都是非常棒的工具，但最终一个创业公司仍然需要解决一个具体的问题。在中国加速，我们专注于解决问题。我们利用这些技术来解决问题。
Chinaccelerator Demo Day11 中国加速第十一期路演日
I will give an example. If you look at the two major areas where companies can use VR/AR to make money, they are entertainment and commerce. There’s been a huge focus on VR/AR for entertainment, whereas Chinaccelerator’s focus is commerce, and we’re using AR and VR as a tool to solve a problem, which is selling stuff. People have been trying to sell stuff for the last two thousand years. And technology has made selling stuff a lot easier, a lot more effective. We started out with text in the old Mad Men days, the advertising days. And then we got pictures, first in black and white and then in color. More recently we got video and television. Now we are using VR and AR as a medium to tell stories in order to sell a product, and amazingly, we’ve proven that it works.举个例子，如今使用虚拟现实（VR）和增强现实（AR）盈利的两大领域是娱乐和商业。 对娱乐产业而言，VR和AR是重点，而中国加速的焦点在于商业。我们使用AR和VR作为解决问题的工具，以此来从事销售。过去两千年来，人们一直在从事买卖活动。并且科技在使得销售变得更为容易，更有效。我们从广告时代的文字开始，然后发展到照片，从一开始的黑白到后来多种颜色的运用，之后我们开始发展视频和电视。到现在我们使用VR和AR作为媒介来讲故事，以此销售产品，并且令人惊讶的是，我们已经证明它是有效的。For example, we were sending gift boxes with the VR cardboard – something you can pop your phone into, put on your face, and get an admittedly not great, but an okay VR experience. It was a present, and usually when you receive a present you don’t order more of what’s in the box. But we’ve got a thirty-percent follow-on order rate, which means that people who didn’t buy the box and didn’t necessarily want the box but got it as a gift and didn’t know how much the stuff cost – and these were not cheap products – would pop on the VR, experience the story behind the product, and then thirty-percent of them went and bought more than one of the products.例如我们曾经分发带有VR折叠式纸板头盔的礼品盒，你将手机放入其中，佩戴在你的脸上，就可以获得一个不错的VR体验。这是一个礼物，通常当人收到礼物时，不会再进一步订购。但是我们却获得了30%的后续订单率，这意味着那些没有购买这个盒子或并不一定需要这个盒子的人，以礼物的形式获得了这个礼品盒，他们甚至不知道这些东西的成本，而从VR观看以及产品背后故事体验等角度可以推测这些并不是便宜的产品。出来的最终结果是，30%的人进一步前来购买，并且不仅购买一个。So we sort of calculated MVP (minimum viable product) from this test, and now that company is going to the next level in terms of using a technology to solve a problem.所以我们从这个小实验中计算出了MVP（最简可行产品），现在该公司正在步入下一个阶段，就是使用技术来真正解决一个问题。Q3: Just to clarify, you’re not saying that users buy things within the VR experience. Rather, they are more inclined to buy more product because they’ve had a great experience overall?所以您不是说用户在VR的体验中购买东西。 而是因为整体的良好体验让他们倾向于购买更多的产品？Say you have a box of biscuits, a box of crackers or cookies. And it’s ¥100 a box of cookies – $14 for a box of cookies – that’s a very expensive box of cookies. Now people in China are very concerned about where their food comes from, where the cookies come from. But I don’t care about how worried you are about poison, $14 for a box of cookies is still a lot of money. One of the great things that you can do with a video or text or pictures is tell where the cookies come from. This is the family in Italy that started the bakery in the small city with local producers who make these cookies.假设你有一盒100人民币（等同于14美元）的饼干。现在中国人非常关心他们的食物来源，这盒饼干的来源。你可以用视频、文字或图片展现饼干的来源与生产过程。例如这是一个在意大利的家庭，他们与当地的生产商在一个小城市里开始运营面包店。But what you can do with VR is you can be inside the bakery, you can meet the cookie maker, you can go to the lavender fields where the bees collect the pollen to make the honey that flavors the cookies. So you can have a personal relationship with the brand, with the products, with the place where the product comes from, and that’s very important to China and Chinese consumers. You can go inside a virtual world and buy a box of cookies, but the most important thing is not so much having a new medium in which to push a button and buy these cookies, but more so a new medium in which to get educated about that particular product.但你可以用VR进入面包店里，遇见做饼干的点心师，你可以去蜜蜂采集花粉、生产蜂蜜的薰衣草田地。因此，你就可以与品牌、产品以及产品来源地建立个人体验关系，这对中国消费者来说非常重要。你可以进入一个虚拟的世界，买一盒饼干，但最重要的不是你在一个新的媒介中产生购买饼干的行为，而是通过这一媒介你可以全面了解这一产品。