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.

China’s R&D roadmap Silicon Carbide for power electronic devices utilization

The Chinese Smart Grid Research Institute of State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) pays high attention on Silicon Carbide (SiC) R&D and its application for power electronic devices and switches. During the China International Conference on Electricity Distribution 2012 in Shanghai on 5-9 September, Prof. Kunshan YU, Director of the New Materials and Microelectronics department of SGCC, revealed an ambitious roadmap on SiC materials.

SiC materials have characteristics that are valuable for power quality measuring devices, switches, and transformers for electricity transmission and distribution.

  • The thermal conductivity is three times higher than silicon, materials work properly at 300 ℃.
  • SiC switches respond faster than silicon devices, thus reducing the switching losses.
  • Lower conduction resistance than equivalent silicon devices, conduction losses and the total energy consumption can be decreased by more than 30%.

Prof. Yu claims that SiC application will increase efficiency of devices from 95% to 97-99%. To realize smart grids, more measuring devices are needed. SiC application will provide an important role in efficient measurement on the net.

Source: Presentation Power Grid and SiC Technology – 2012-SEP – Smart Grid Research Institute – Prof YU Kunshan (PPTX, 6MB)

Enter the VC Dragon

Entrepreneurs looking for funding this year, might find a more difficult time getting a decent valuation. Venture capitalists (VCs) are much more cautious.

Startups wanting to find out more about the current VC climat might like to join the event organized by Silicon Dragon next week (september 13). They have invited a range of top VCs in Shanghai, including Steamboat Ventures, Qiming Ventures, GGV Capital, Morningside Ventures and Ceyuan Venture. Queen’s Road Capital, an angle fund of Fritz Demopoulos (founder of Qunar) will also be there.

Successful Chinese entrepreneurs, David Li of YY and Feng Hong of Xiaomi Technology (recently valued at US$ 4 billion) will also join the discussion.

Topics of the event:
– The Arrival of the Angel Investor & Serial Entrepreneur in China
– Exit Options: Going Public, M&A, Taking Private Again
– From Copycats to Chinese Micro-Innovations
– Tougher Deal Terms for Startup Financing
– Chinese Startups Going Global
– What’s Hot: Mobile Internet, Cloud Computing


Novel principle of seeded free electron lasers – Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics

Scientists at Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences demonstrated a novel principle of seeded free electron lasers, Echo-Enabled Harmonic Generation (EEHG) on Shanghai Deep UV Free Electron Laser (SDUV-FEL) facility. The result was published on Nature Photonics, Vol.6, No.6, 360-363, 2012.

The recent work done by the SINAP FEL team shows the first lasing of a free electron laser with the echo-enabled harmonic generation scheme, which is very promising for producing coherent laser at short wavelength down to the x-ray regime.

Source: CAS

Self-Healing Supramolecular Gels Developed at Zhejiang University

A research group at Zhejiang University headed by Prof. Huang Feihe recently developed a supramolecular gel with self-repair function, featuring large deformation and short recovery time. A relative paper was published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Supramolecular gels are formed by colloidal particles tangling with non-covalent interactions. For the first time in the world, the research group headed by Prof. Huang developed two different kinds of supramolecular gels in simple process with excellent self-healing properties.

According to Dr. Zhang Mingming, the first author of the paper, the study used two different molecular cross-linking agents with pendent dibenzo[24]crown-8 units to develop two different kinds of supramolecular gels. Inside the gels there is a special axis-ring penetration structure which will be damaged with external stimulation. However, due to its stability, it will resume the penetration structure after a period of time. In experiments, these supramolecular gels will recover its elastic and viscous properties within one minute after being stretched to 100 times long. In 3 or 4 minutes, they will achieve complete self-repair.

Source: Zhejiang Univeristy News