Flipboard CTO Eric Feng shares his top five tips for U.S. startups to break into the Chinese market. A former venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins, Eric also worked in China as an entrepreneur, building a video startup Mojiti that was later acquired by Hulu, where he became CTO. Earlier in his career, Eric worked at Microsoft and Microsoft Research Asia, and Tsinghua University in Beijing, China where he served as a visiting professor.
Eric’s top five tips for entrepreneurs who want to break into China include:
“Winning isn’t everything…” – Henry Sanders.
1. The China market is so large that you can be fourth or fifth in terms of market position and still have a successful business.
“If you want to go far, go together” – African proverb.
2.Partnerships are more critical in China than anywhere else in the world
“If you want to go east, don’t go west” – Ramakrishna.
3.China is a unique market that deserves both a local presence and its own stand-alone approach.
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do” – Ambrose.
4.Do it the Chinese way. Build a China-based engineering team and when you do, subtract one level of seniority from any given title. Recruit early from college campuses.
“The price of success is hard work” – Vince Lombardi.
5.There are no shortcuts to being successful in China. Roll up your sleeves, dig in, and put in the time to invest in the market.