I wrote this news story for WSJ. Custom Studios, a brand marketing unit of the Wall Street Journal. This story appears in the unit’s Tech Mahindra project.
I worked with an international audio broadcast production company in the UK, Made in Manchester, to produce this radio broadcast for the BBC World Service’s Sporting Witness program. My duties include securing the interviewer, Lawrence K. K. Yu in Hong Kong and collected the audio interview on the ground. I also took the photo of Mr. Yu featured on the BBC’s website.
For my year review, I measure progress by considering how many times I have left my comfort zone. They are in chronological order.
- I turned down a video producer job in Singapore with Thomson Reuters to join the founding team of a media startup covering tech in Beijing. A year ago, I followed my gut without overthinking and endured a 60% salary cut. My decision has become a fun story to tell at job interviews: why I am crazy to choose an uncertain path. Also, my lessons learned from the hiring process with a startup.
I was interviewed by a reporter from Hong Kong Free Press about virtual red packets. It’s a favorite feature in Tencent’s all-encompassing app WeChat. Tencent introduced mobile payment two years ago to combat with Alibaba’s Alipay. Mobile payment in WeChat became popular when Tencent gave away virtual red packets to television audiences watching the annual Lunar New Year variety show on the state broadcaster.
I watched Alibaba Singles’ Day Eve Shopping Spree variety show for the first time. It’s a mix of skits, singing performances, and celebrities competing in games. Alibaba added Western icons such as NBA star Kobe Bryant to shoot hoops and American band One Republic to perform this year. Katy Perry was on the list, but she bailed the show at the last minute due to undisclosed family matters, according to Bloomberg.
November 8, 2016, marks my one-year anniversary of residing in Beijing. I look back to reflect my journey in the P.R.C. I’m grateful for my connections who have helped me settling into a new city and understanding the local culture.
Fresh off the plane
- With two suitcases, I parachuted in Beijing from Hong Kong to join a media startup’s founding team. Thanks to my college friend Andrew Buck, I rented his spare bedroom initially until I found my apartment a month later.
I shot most of the visual images in this The Wall Street Journal video report.
As China’s ride-hailing industry faces tougher regulations, local tech firms and venture capitalists are eyeing a two-wheeled business instead of four. Photo: Wendy Tang for The Wall Street Journal
According to my Didi Chuxing ride-hailing record, I have only encountered two female drivers out of 30 rides in the last few months in Beijing. I jumped on the back of a red Nissan Cima one Sunday afternoon and caught a glimpse of a female Didi driver’s life.
China has long faced a gender imbalance with the country traditionally favors sons, as Reuters reported: “about 118 boys are born for every 100 girls, against a global average of 103 to 107”. Therefore, I find it rare to meet a female Didi driver. I noticed she was not as confident as other male drivers regarding navigation, and I was curious about her background. Therefore, I struck up a conversation with her in Mandarin during my 13-kilometer ride.
With minimal planning, I completed my first solo bike trip around South Korea’s Jeju Island in June. As a foreigner and traveler who can’t read and speak broken Korean, I managed to conclude the journey of approximately 250km in five days. I’m going to share my experience and tips to set off for the challenge.
Sophie Su co-founded Pingo Space, a mobile app that connects Chinese locals to expats through in-person experiences. As a Chinese Australian, she grew up in Sydney and came to Beijing in 2007. The 31-year-old is a mother of a one-and-a-half-year-old son. She is also a first-time entrepreneur, who turned down a store manager job with Apple in the name of making a meaningful impact on society.
She was pregnant when she went to Silicon Valley to meet her developers for the first time, and says she gave birth to two babies around the same time. She sees parallels between her son and entrepreneurship, and how she has grown with these two babies.