[Event Recap] Post COVID-19 Europe-China relationship and business opportunities

Event Recap

Startup Grind Chengdu and Paris had a chance to invite David Baverez for a web talk, where we discussed how Europe and China complement each other. 

David is a seasoned investor with extensive experience in Europe and Asia. Based in Hong Kong, in his free time from investing and helping start-ups develop, he writes about China and Europe. 

 

活动回顾

创业磨坊成都和巴黎荣幸地邀请到了David Baverez先生和我们展开了一场在线对话,讨论了欧洲和中国的互补性。

David是一位在欧洲和亚洲都有广泛投资经验的资深投资人。他旅居香港,从事投资活动,帮助初创企业,同时也通过写作的方式来解读和阐释他所认知的欧洲和中国。

Why did David relocate to Hong Kong and focused on China in the last years? 

David relocated to HK after the 2008 financial crisis. He was driven by 2 bets:

  • China would become way more important than it was anticipated then.
  • Europe could hugely benefit from collaboration with China. However, Europeans need to truly understand China and its people. Back then, David realised he didn’t know about this country, as much as he wanted. 
  • 最近十年,David为什么侨居香港,专注于中国业务?

    David在2008年金融危机之后就开始侨居香港。他做出这个选择是基于以下两个考虑:

    • 相比普遍预期,中国将会变得更加重要。
    • 欧洲可以从与中国的合作中收益丰厚。不过前提是欧洲人必须真正理解中国和中国人。在那个时间点,David认识到自己并没有足够了解这个国家。

Why is a synergy between China and Europe possible?

为什么说中欧之间可以产生协同效应?

The world is truly globalised and interconnected. Current disruptions perfectly manifest how lack of collaboration and trade is bad for everyone. 

For Europe, China has been and still is the major and unparalleled source of economic growth. The EU is growing very slowly, but has many successful strong companies. If these European companies want growth – they need to be in China. 

China, although it seems self-sufficient, has problems: the looming debt and restrictions on accessing US technology. Europe can help China with both.

Europe can help China in increasing productivity (of workforce and logistics) to better serve its debt.

As for technology, Europe is able to replace the US, which is fencing off China. It can do that both in hardware and software (especially B2b). 

China is arguably the leader when it comes to mobile and Big Data. Europe, on the other hand, is great at using smart data. The next decade will bring a tech-driven transformation of many sectors. The two powers can benefit from combining their approaches.

当前世界是深度全球化和互相连接的。最近发生在国际事务中的纷扰完美诠释了协作的缺位对所有人都很糟糕。

对欧洲而言,中国曾经是、也依然是经济增长不可替代的来源。欧盟的经济增速非常低,不过有一大批成功的大企业。如果这些欧洲公司希望获得增长,它们毫无疑问需要在中国市场占据一席之地。

而反观中国,尽管它看似自给自足,实际上也有自己的问题,例如债务问题,以及在获取美国技术方面受限的问题。而在这两个问题上,欧洲都能够提供帮助,比如帮助中国提高生产率来对抗债务,又比如欧洲可以替代美国为中国输入软件硬件科技,特别在B2B领域。

中国有潜力在移动互联网和大数据方面成为世界级的“带头大哥”。欧洲则很擅长于利用智能数据。我们将在下个十年见证很多门类的科技转型。而中欧的强势联合能让双方受益匪浅。

Fundraising during COVID-19. Tips 
新冠期间的募资建议

There is no “one suits all” strategy. Every investor is unique. If the investor thinks like David they are searching for 2 criteria:

  • The management team has to be exceptional. The people that you would 100% want to work for you and that 100% would not agree to work for you, because they have a great vision. This applies for all times – calm and turbulent.
  • Perfect timing. The question is not “Why?”, but “Why now?”. The answer has to be: “because now or soon the existing value chain is going to break” The start-up has to be there exactly when the change is about to happen. (Now, the timing is great for Edutech and communication.) 

募资策略没有“万灵药”。每个投资人都是独特的。David以自己为例,讲了他在看投资项目时寻求的两个要素:

  • 管理团队一定要出色到“优异”的程度。找那些你100%希望他们为你工作,但又100%不愿意为你工作的人(因为他们自己就有一个宏大的愿景)。这个标准永远有效,不管市场处于平稳还是变动的阶段。
  • 完美的时机。需要回答的难题不是“为什么?”,而是“为什么是现在?”。正确答案是“因为现在或者不久的将来,现存的价值链就会坍塌”。只有在变革发生时,初创企业才有崛起的空间。(当前的风口是教育科技和通讯。)

– Cultural difference: Europeans and Chinese 中欧文化差异

The Chinese are very optimistic and daring entrepreneurs. They are looking for opportunities and trying to grasp all of them. Europeans are cautious, they look at risks and downsides. Both can teach each other a lot.

中国的创业者乐观而大胆。他们寻找并且试图抓住所有机会。而欧洲创业者相对比较谨慎。他们倾向于看到事物的风险和负面。

中国和欧洲的创业者互相学习了很多。

– Will there be a shift away from China as companies want to diversify their supply chain? 跨国公司是否有可能为了扩大供应链的选择,提高抗风险能力,而选择撤离中国?

That is what politicians say. Never trust politicians. It is easy to say that you want to shift the whole supply chain, it is immensely difficult to change it. China has mastered manufacturing and the world knows it. After the crisis, China will have to assure the world that disruptions will never happen again.

政客这么说,而永远不要相信政客。说要撤出中国很容易,但执行起来难如登天。众所周知,中国精通制造。而危机之后,中国需要让世界相信,如这次疫情带来的供给扰动不会再次发生。

– Who should Europe join in the competition between China and the US. 在中美竞争中,欧洲应该选哪边?

No-one. Europe needs to work with both. It needs to be strong enough to stand up for its right to cooperate with both powers. If it doesn’t, Europe will be “Yemenised” – harshly taxed by the US and lose technologically to China.

欧洲不应该选边站。欧洲必须和中美双方都一起合作。而且欧洲需要有足够的实力让它可以不需要选边站。否则欧洲将会“也门化”——被美国课以重税,而在科技竞争中输给中国。

Europe needs China and China needs Europe – that was the main theme of the event. We would like to thank David for joining us on the 22nd of April, and cheer up everyone who didn’t have an opportunity to tune in. There are more web events coming in May. Feel free to check out David Baverez LinkedIn page, where he shares his texts.

欧洲需要中国,中国也需要欧洲——这是主旋律。感谢David在四月二十二日的活动中给我们做的精彩分享。错过这次活动的朋友们也不要气馁哦。五月我们会有更多有意思的线上活动。

对David的分享有兴趣的朋友也可以在LinkedIn上找到他(David Baverez),那里有他的过往文章。

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