WPIC Marketing + Technologies Logo
Close this search box.

In this episode of The Negotiation, we speak with Benjamin Qiu, Partner at Loeb & Loeb LLP, who has recently relocated to HK from Beijing. After studying both computer engineering and law in the US, Benjamin moved back to Beijing and joined Google, later leaving in 2009 with then Head of China for Google, Kai-Fu Lee, to act as legal counsel for his raise of $115m USD in a venture capital fund called Innovation Works across the table from Cooley LLP, whom he joined shortly after the deal was done, before joining Loeb&Loeb later on. We start out talking about the early days of law in China, and then how he came to be involved in Innovation Works, and how in 2009 they knew that the future of internet in China had arrived via mobile. I ask Ben what the terms and investment sizes were 10 years ago when Innovation Works started investing in early-stage startups in China and how it differed from YCombinator and why. I ask Benjamin about the legal frameworks of today in tech in China, do they protect Chinese entrepreneurs and their IP, and how closely it is mirroring what one would find in Silicon Valley. We also talk about what Chinese investors look for in early-stage startups and whether it is completely safe now for foreign-led early-stage startups to take investment from Chinese investors. We discuss the stress that exists, even on local success stories like ByteDance and not just the Facebook’s and Google’s of the world, in order to play ball with China’s Big Brother and toe the information line properly to be allowed to thrive. Lastly, as we begin to wind down this fascinating conversation, we talk about what a liquidity event might look like for a technology company based in China, and what some of the most interesting sectors of innovation are right now in China that bold foreign investors may want to look at putting their money into. Enjoy!