China’s tech boom fu­elling ‘re­verse brain drain’

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Front Page -

SIN­GA­PORE: The tech­nol­ogy-led trans­for­ma­tion sweep­ing through China has in­spired its sci­en­tists to come back in droves, Hill­house Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment Ltd chair­man Zhang Lei said at the New Econ­omy Fo­rum spon­sored by Bloomberg.

“Look at how many sci­en­tists are com­ing back to China,” said Zhang, who founded Hill­house with money from a Yale Univer­sity en­dow­ment.

The fund, which backed Chi­nese e-com­merce gi­ants Ten­cent Hold­ings Ltd and Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd, raised more than US$10bil for its third and largest buyout fund in Septem­ber. He has been on the prowl for op­por­tu­ni­ties in health care, con­sumer, tech­nol­ogy and ser­vices in­dus­tries. The firm is also said to be seek­ing to raise bil­lions of dol­lars to in­vest in beaten-down Chi­nese stocks af­ter this year’s mar­ket rout.

He said that in China and Asia, in­no­va­tion isn’t be­holden to tra­di­tional ways of do­ing busi­ness and build­ing prod­ucts.

On the same panel, Grab co-founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer An­thony Tan cited the rise of “su­per apps” in China and South­East Asia that can han­dle pay­ments, de­liv­er­ies and ride-hail­ing within a sin­gle smart­phone ap­pli­ca­tion.

“In­no­va­tion is also go­ing be­yond the dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion,” Zhang said.

“You can walk away with­out your wal­let and I think that ac­tu­ally in­spires a com­pletely dif­fer­ent set of com­pa­nies born in that dig­i­tal, savvy and mo­bile-na­tive en­vi­ron­ment.”

In­no­va­tion is also go­ing be­yond the dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion.

Zhang Lei

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