Hello Interconnected Readers:

This weekly issue has a nice balance of news commentary from the rise of international startups as evidenced by the most recent YC batch, to Xiaomi racing ahead of Huawei, to the next phase of China’s EVs market, to the “no-code” movement.

[If you’d like to skip ahead to the six news stories and commentaries from last week – three from English language sources, three from Chinese language sources -- here are this issue’s items:


Before you read on, please check out last week's deep dive post: "Building A Global Company from Day 0 with Clint Smith"

YC goes global” (English Source: Protocol)

My Thoughts: Y Combinator just concluded yet another batch -- its biggest one yet -- with more non-US based startups than ever before. More than half of all the companies are based outside of the US, representing 41 countries. I have been bullish on the potential of international startups and am glad to see more investors placing bets outside of Silicon Valley. In this interconnected world where startup know-hows are more evenly distributed (YC has done tremendous work on this front), places like India (big representation in this batch), Southeast Asia, Latin America, and of course China will undoubtedly produce some world-changing companies in the next decade.

Move Over Huawei, Xiaomi Is China’s New Smartphone King” (English Source: Wall Street Journal)

My Thoughts: Huawei’s woe seems to be Xiaomi’s gain. Even though Xiaomi was placed on the Defense Department’s blacklist, it won a federal district court case which temporarily halted any investment ban. Xiaomi is now seeking a permanent halt. One interesting anecdote in this WSJ article worth noting: a young Chinese consumer chose Xiaomi over Huawei, because he knew the chip inside Xiaomi’s phone is foreign-made, thus deemed of better quality, than Huawei’s homegrown chip. Nationalistic support for “Made in China” technology can only go so far, when the technology is perceived to be inferior.

What’s Up With China EVs? Here’s a Clue” (English Source: Bloomberg)

My Thoughts: A new annual work report from the Chinese government detailed a noteworthy shift in the next phase of the country’s electric vehicles development plan. This Bloomberg report provided a good summary. Instead of focusing solely on making EVs, the new emphasis is on supporting infrastructures -- EV charging stations, battery swapping facilities, and battery recycling. The topic of “lithium-ion battery recycling” appeared for the first time in this report. In pure number terms, China is already the global leader in public charging stations, having installed more than 112,000 of them in last December alone, which is already more than the total number in the US. Clearly, this is just the beginning.

Zhihu successfully went public in the U.S. with a market value of over $5 billion; Alibaba, Tencent and JD subscribed in China's largest online Q&A community” (Chinese Source: iponews)

My thoughts: Zhihu’s IPO is at least one example of a Chinese tech company doing better than its direct American counterpart -- Quora, in this case. Even though the stock price dropped below the offering price on its first day of trading, grabbing a $5 billion valuation in the public market for a Q&A forum is no easy feat. I read Zhihu threads frequently to learn about technology and engineering. I’ll be watching this listing closely.

Across the Pacific Ocean, Neil Shen and Feifei Li had a ‘super’ conversation” (Chinese Source: China Venture)

My thoughts: Neil Shen, head of Sequoia China, and Feifei Li, Co-Director of Stanford’s Human-Centered AI Institute (and the first professor endowed by Sequoia Capital), had a fascinating conversation about AI’s impact on healthcare. It’s one of those conversations that probably deserves a translated version in English and many other languages to unlock the insights shared. (If you are interested in a full English version, please let me know.) The discussion touched on many aspects of AI’s application in healthcare that have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these examples include diagnosis, patient care using AI-enabled sensors, and R&D of new medicines.

Is No-Code Really Here?” (Chinese Source: CSDN)

My thoughts: This is one of the few commentaries I’ve seen in the Chinese tech blogosphere on the “no-code” movement. Even though no-code and low-code has been a trendy investment category in Silicon Valley for a few years now, I’ve yet to see a pure no-code startup coming out of China. That will likely change in the next five years, as the time lag in technology trends and know-hows between the US and China become shorter and shorter.

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Hello 《互联》读者们:

本期《每周互联》的新闻评论覆盖面很广,从最新一批YC startup,到小米超出华为,到中国电动车市场的下一阶段,再到 "无代码" 这个趋势。



往下读之前,请别忘看看上周的深度分析文章:《与Clint Smith讨论怎么从第零天打造一个全球化公司

YC走向全球”(英文来源: Protocol)

我的想法: Y Combinator 的最新一批startup刚刚出炉,也是它迄今为止数量最多的一批。同时也是美国以外的创业公司比例最多的一批。整批中,超过一半的公司起家于美国以外,代表了41个国家。我一直很看好全球创业公司的潜力,很高兴看到更多的投资人开始在硅谷以外下注。在这个互联的世界里,创业知识分布的越来越均匀(YC在这方面做了很多工作),像印度(这批里的印度公司创历史新高)、东南亚、拉美,当然还有中国等地,在未来十年里无疑会产出一些改变世界的公司。

华为站开,小米是中国新的手机王”(英文来源: 华尔街日报)

我的想法: 华为的伤痕看似就是小米的收获。尽管小米也被列入美国国防部的黑名单,但它赢了联邦地区法院的诉讼,暂时停止了对它的任何投资禁令。小米现在正在寻求永久停止的判决。《华尔街日报》这篇文章中有一个段非常值得注意:一位年轻的中国消费者选择了小米而不是华为,因为他知道小米手机里面的芯片是外国制造的,并认为质量会比华为国产的芯片更好。当国产技术被视为劣质时,怎么激发爱国主义去支持 "中国制造" 的科技都走不了太远。

中国电动车的未来是什么?看看这些线索”(英文来源: 彭博社)

我的想法:中国政府新出的年度工作报告详细形容了电动车市场发展的下一阶段。这篇彭博社的报道做了很好的总结。新的重点不再仅仅是制造电动车上,而是强调建设配套的基础设施 -- 电动车充电站、电池交换设施和电池回收。在这份报告中,"锂离子电池回收"  这个话题首次出现。单纯从数量上看,中国已经是全球公共充电站的领头羊,仅去年12月就安装了超过11.2万座,这已经超过了美国整个充电站的数量。显然,这才刚刚开始。

知乎成功赴美上市,市值超50亿美元,阿里、腾讯、京东参与认购,中国最大在线问答社区” (中文来源: 独角兽早知道)

我的想法:  知乎赴美上市,至少是一个中国科技公司超越了美国同行的例子,这个同行当让就是Quora。尽管上市首日破发,但对于一个问答论坛来说,能在股市上拿到50亿美元的估值,还是很不容易。我经常读知乎的帖子,学习了解技术信息。我会密切关注此公司上市后的走向。

隔着太平洋,沈南鹏和李飞飞进行了一场超级对话”  (中文来源: 投中网)

我的想法:  红杉中国负责人沈南鹏和斯坦福大学以人为本人工智能研究院联席院长,李飞飞(她也是红杉资本“赞助”的首位教授),就人工智能对医疗行业的影响进行了场精彩的对话。这番对话,其实很值得翻译成英文和许多其他语言,把其中的见解传播给更多人。(如果您对英文版感兴趣,请告诉我。) 对话涉及到AI在医疗领域应用的许多方面,许多都因为疫情而加速。其中一些例子包括诊断、使用AI感知器帮助患者护理以及新药研发。

无代码的时代真的来了吗?”  (中文来源: CSDN)

我的想法: 这是我在中文科技博客圈看到的为数不多的关于 "无代码" 趋势的评论。尽管近几年来,无代码(no-code)和低代码(low-code)在硅谷是个很火的投资赛道,但我目前还没有看到一家来自中国的无代码创业公司。随着中美两国在技术走向和认知的各种方面的“时差”越来越短,这种情况在未来五年内就会发生改变。