Beijing’s Innovation Ecosystem, Revisited
Today I leave Austin for a 10-day trip to Beijing, where most of my wife’s family still resides. The occasion for this long trip is the wedding of her niece. This will be my first time to take part in a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony — and the experience should be a fun one.
Even more fascinating to me is the massive growth of China — and particularly the rapid development of its tech and startup sectors. Recode printed one of the more enlightening accounts of this growth in a multi-part installment earlier this summer. I’ve also tried to digest all the insights about this country from the brilliant author / analyst / futurist Kevin Kelly, who also feels that the burgeoning innovation economy in this nation cannot be overlooked. To this end, we are aiming to include more China-related programming at SXSW 2017 as part of our sizable focus on the importance of emerging international markets.
The city’s growing entrepreneurial focus aside, the massive air pollution that often envelops Beijing during the summer months tempers my enthusiasm for this trip. This will be my fourth time to visit this giant city over the last eight years — and the intensity of this problem seems to magnify in scope each time I am there.
Over the next week or so, please watch for more posts with my observations about life, culture and technology from this bustling metropolis.