Why isn’t there a Mark Zuckerberg in China?

Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, founder of Innovation Works and previously founding president of Google China, gives his thoughts on this question in his blog on CaiJing.

He makes the case that the Chinese education system is more focused on depth rather than breadth. Chinese students might excel at math and engineering, they often need many years after their study to become all-round enough to be a successful entrepreneur.

Chinese society and its education system is focused on discipline, harmony and conformity. In such an environment it is difficult to create and nurture the often rebellious and spontaneous minds of young entrepreneurs-to-be (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry/Sergey, and Mark Zuckerberg all dropped out of school to follow their dreams to found a company).

Last but not least, he points out that doing business in China is very tough; competitors use tactics that we in the Netherlands would describe as deceitful at best. Venture capitalists will prefer to invest in an entrepreneur that already learned the hard way how to deal with such business practices.

Read full blog post here.

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