BrandArena: Political Leaders, Business Executives Gather For Second World Internet Conference in China

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Political Leaders, Business Executives Gather For Second World Internet Conference in China

The second edition of the World Internet Conference kicked off in China today, Wednesday 16th at Wuzhen, Zhejiang province with the attendance of the country’s most senior political leaders and business executives.

The three-day conference is themed “shared governance in cyberspace”.

According to the available agenda online, the speakers list for this year's event is packed with Chinese government officials and company executives, but also includes Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, and representatives from Facebook, Sequoia Capital and others.
Lu Wei, Minister of the Cyberspace Administration, delivers a speech at the World Internet Conference
In his remark, the founder of Lenovo, Liu Chuanzhi said the world is changing quickly and there is much uncertainty. "Technological innovation and business models are what moves the Chinese economy, and it is important to push for internet innovation.

"But many entrepreneurs today are not practical. To make strides in business, it is not just about innovation but also about policies, and even international situations. As entrepreneurs, you need to be forward-looking. There may be many external factors that are out of your control, but you need to make considerations and carefully analyse those that you can manage".

Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi noted that many Chinese companies believe that they should treat customers like they are 'god' but he believe that customers should be treated as friends in order to build a company that can last through centuries. "Xiaomi does not emphasise goals (like smartphone sales) anymore. We need to go back to our original mission - to make a good product for our users - instead of being affected by external judgements or numbers", he said.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group also advocated for media independence and fairness.

Fortune also reported that the Chinese government will use the conference to gain international recognition and support for the country as a major player in Internet governance.Beijing has long griped about the threat posed by western – especially US control of cyberspace. The event will serve as a platform for the government to gain international recognition and to assert the legitimacy of its claims to state sovereignty in cyberspace – a challenge to the open flow of information across national borders promoted by the US.

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