Tencent CEO Pony Ma maps out vision of Silicon Valley in Greater Bay Area

#FredinChina is a weekly podcast to know and understand the world’s largest economy hosted by Fred Raillard. Fred fell in love with China, and lives in Shanghai since September 2012.

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Tencent CEO Pony Ma maps out vision of Silicon Valley in Greater Bay Area

The HotBrand this week is ‘Tencent’ and more specifically the company’s CEO, Pony Ma who made a speech that made a lot of buzz in China.

He asked that the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area become the new Chinese Silicon Valley, and a real mecca for talents and innovators. During his speech on June 20, the CEO called for governments and companies in the region to undertake new regulations (for example tax incentives for entrepreneurs and start-ups) in order to stimulate growth in the region, which he calls the ‘Great Bay Area’.

Chinese netizens welcomed this announcement and are 100% for the creation of this new Chinese Silicon Valley.

Pony Ma also made a second announcement concerning the students, where he would like to create a ‘Hong Kong X Plan’, dedicated to all Chinese Universities that aims to help them create ties and contacts with the High-Tech start-up world. He hopes this will allow the students to gain a better understanding of this world before leaving university.

This was well received by the Chinese netizens, even more so because the news comes at a time when the Government is trying to move away from ‘made in China’ to ‘creating China’. ‘Made in China’, evokes the past when China was a manufacturer, and ‘creating China’ is the future where China is an innovator and leader in terms of startups and high tech.

Chinese netizens discuss UN-designated World Refugee Day

The HotTopic this week is the ‘World Refugees Day’, a subject that was treated by the official Chinese TV channel, CCTV. They published a post on Weibo, including pictures of refugees in the hope of attracting more attention and interest from the Chinese.

The post was published on June 20, during the official ‘World Refugees Day’, with more than 140 million views and more than 30 thousand comments. The Chinese Netizens are rather divided between those who are for welcoming refugees and those against. The people who agree with welcoming refugees explain that China today is an economic and political leader in the world, and must therefore help receive refugees. Moreover, they explain that China should implement new laws and regulations to receive refugees as quickly as possible.

However, those who are against explain that China should help the countries from where the refugees are coming from, by building schools and houses. Furthermore that China should first work on internal problems before tackling external ones.

It is very fascinating to see the netizens being so interested and concerned with this global problem. Last week we spoke about the environment, so we can clearly see a growing Chinese interest towards these global problems, with netizens strongly advocating that China participates and becomes a major actor in the fight against these major global problems.

The love story of an old couple moves China

The Hot Post this week is a touching love story between an elderly couple, 96-year-old grandpa Xia from Taiwan, and 80-year-old grandma Shen from China. They fell in love and got married in 1940. Grandpa Xia was suffering from Alzheimer’s, forgetting everything and everyone apart from his wife, grandma Shen!

Their granddaughter decided to post some videos (live stream) on their Weibo account to share their love and show that love could last a long time. The videos became viral very quickly, with several million views for each video. They also became the oldest influencers in China. Grandma Shen even found her brother that she had lost sight of since the war! The couple therefore became icons in China, but sadly on June 24, grandpa Xia passed away. He had asked his family to take care of his wife, upon which Grandma Shen replied that “everything was fine, and that she would be able to take care of herself”. Grandpa Xia then closed his eyes and passed away.

All the reactions on Chinese social networks were extremely emotional, with many messages of support for grandma Shen. Because this couple had been in love for so long, the Netizens were extremely touched and moved by this story.

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Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on June 28, 2017.