China: The Vietnam War for American Internet Businesses

In the Hutong
Dreaming of genuine broadband
1356 hrs

Accell Investments partner Jim Breyer interviewing Chris Larsen, founder and CEO of Prosper at the Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders lecture series.

Jim asks Chris about going international. Chris says only if it doesn’t take your eye off the ball at home.

Then Jim pops in with a bald statement.

“I hate to make blanket statements, but I will. Every single major Internet acquisition by a U.S. company in China has thus far failed. Now, that’s a remarkable statistic. There are some great US companies in the Internet business, and every one of them fails.”

Yep. That about sums it up.

What neither Jim no Chris dive bother to dive into is “why?”

Here is a simple yet frightening insight: after all of the American wealth destroyed in China’s Internet sector, these very smart guys running very successful businesses poke through the wreckage and have no idea what lessons to learn from the failures to date.

Do any of the Sand Hill crowd? Do any of the venture capitalists, private equity boys, or hedge fund heroes coming into this market have any better idea?


Book project, anyone?


About David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.
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