500 Startups Head Of China Believes In New “Tigers” For Mobile Payments, Blockchain And AI Focuses


New “Tigers” For Mobile Payments

CNBC’s Squawk Box had an interesting participant this week. Edith Yeung of China’s 500 Startups shared new developments as new technology startups valued over $1 billion go public. During the segment, she stated that,

“I think it is a really exciting time being in Silicon Valley and at the same time for us, as an early stage investor, it’s great to see. You literally have to wait at least 10 years to get to this point that you finally have . . . some sort of exit, but it’s really a sign for us that we need to get back to work and discover the next wave.”

Based on the segment, Yeung’s company has invested in Grab, a ride-hailing company in Southeast Asia. Yeung added,

“I love blockchain and AI ideas and (it’s) just so fun . . . to work on as a technology project, but at the same time, I don’t want to invest in a company just because a founder know(s) how to speak geeks or blockchain. It really should be about companies that truly add value and, you know, understand the pain point to do something good for the society and the world.”

The segment then segued to mobile payments, which according to Yeung, will be the “backbone” of services in the future such as ridesharing, gaming, and e-commerce. She stated,

“I think mobile payments are the core infrastructure.”

She also identified four cities to watch for concerning mobile payments: Jakarta, Indonesia, headquarters of Gojek ride-hailing company; Singapore, headquarters of Grab; Shenzhen, China, headquarters of WeChat Pay; and Hangzhou, China, headquarters of Alibaba Alipay.

Concerning these four cities, she stated,

“I think these four cities are sort of the . . . new four tigers” – referring to the “four Asian tigers” which are the four cities in Asia that saw the most growth in the mid-20 century. She added, “UnionPay and all these, Bank of China has been around for a long time but WeChat Pay and Alipay didn’t come from any of these banks, so I think that all these finance-related innovations is happening like, right beneath all these banks.”

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