As the internet population continues to grow tremendously in the Asia Pacific region, the globally dominant social network sites such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter have been pushing hard to expand their footprints in Asia. Home-grown sites from Asia’s biggest markets such as China, Japan and South Korea have gained strong consumer interest in their own territories.
Friendster was sold to Malaysia’s MOL Global; Facebook will be opening office in Hong Kong in early 2011; Google has been trying hard to regain market share in China; Yahoo!/eBay are partnering with local business partners to penetrate into local individual markets; Global payment solution providers are setting up operations or joint-ventures and hoping to gain market share in this part of the world. Having said that, according to Nick Ingelbrecht, Research Director at Gartner, “The Asia Pacific social media market is highly diverse and in many places evolving rapidly. While global sites fare better in more westernised Asian markets such as Australia, some of Asia’s biggest markets have evolved their own unique social network services distinct from those of Europe and North America.” This statement is backed up by a number of facts we encountered recently; Alipay, the online payment subsidiary of Alibaba Group, has become the world’s largest online payment company, beating global players such as PayPal in registered users as well as transaction volume; China’s online advertising revenues are distributed dominantly by local providers with Google the only non-Chinese player on the ranking; South Korea’s largest internet shopping mall Gmart announced its plan to diversify the category range from apparel to electronics and books.
Consumers in Asia lead the online revolution in terms of changing their behaviours, with more online shopping, increased online travel bookings and playing online games. These habits are expected to continue for the foreseeable future, as a result, demand for creative and strategic market leaders will continue to increase.
Conflux (highlights October – December 2010)
- James Liang Jian-Zhang has been appointed as an independent director and a member of the audit committee. Mr. Liang is a co-founder and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ctrip.com International (CTRP), a leading travel service provider.
- Matt Roberts, GM of Abang.com, has concluded his association with the About.com China Web site, to pursue a career in technology-related public policy.
- Wang Wenwei has been promoted to General Manager of Abang.com (About.com China). Mr. Wang, a 12-year veteran of About.com, was one of the business’s key technical architects in the United States before locating to Beijing in 2007 to launch the About.com China Web site. He was most recently Vice President of Technology in China.
- Gary Groenheim has been appointed Commercial Director for the Asia Pacific region of the global 24-hour business news network, based in Hong Kong. Mr. Groenheim joins from CNBC EMEA where he had served as Head of Marketing.
- Mark Blair has been appointed Senior Director APAC, of this leading cloud-based online video platform. He previously worked for Adobe and Macromedia.
- Peter Graves has been appointed Regional Sales Director. He has previously worked for Different, and Frost & Sullivan.
- James Yoon has been appointed Regional Sales Director. Mr. Yoon has been a long-time Executive of 24/7Real Media Korea.
Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA)
CASBAA has elected a new board of directors and the council of governors for 2011/2012:
- Marcel Fenez, Global Leader, Entertainment & Media Practice, PwC will commence his second year as Chairman of the Association.
- Christine Fellowes, Managing Director, Comcast International Media Group (Asia Pacific) and David Ball, Regional Vice President, Intelsat (Asia Pacific) have been newly appointed to the CASBAA Board of Directors.
- Peter Jackson, Executive Chairman, AsiaSat and William Pfeiffer, CEO, Tiger Gate Entertainment have stepped down from the CASBAA board for 2011. Peter Jackson has also stepped down from his seat on the CASBAA council of governors.
- Elected for new two-year terms to the CASBAA council of governors are:
- Dario Choi, VP, GM, Asia Pacific Region, Solution Area TV, Ericsson
- Gregg Daffner, Senior Advisor - Asia, Echostar International
- Christine Fellowes, Managing Director, Comcast International Media Group
- Nigel Francis, Partner, Dispute Resolution, Minter Ellison
- Steve Garton, Director, Media Research, Synovate
- Jill Grinda, Director of Worldwide Distribution, Euronews
- Hans-Gunther Hermann, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
- Arjan Hoekstra, Managing Director, Eurosport
- Gabriela Kennedy, Partner, Hogan Lovells
- Alvin Lee, Executive Director, International Relations & Public Policy, AP, Time Warner
- Neil Montefiore, CEO, StarHub
- Peter Papaioannou, Cisco SP AP HQ, Video/Cable Director, Cisco
- PJ Wong, Founder, Chairman & CEO, iMediaHouse/Focus Media
China Digital TV
- Zhenwen Liang, previously the company’s acting Chief Financial Officer of this leading provider of conditional access systems to China’s expanding digital television market, has been appointed Chief Financial Officer by the board of directors.
ESPN STAR Sports
- Aloke Malik has been appointed Managing Director of its India operations, ESPN Software India (ESI). Mr. Malik joins ESI from Idea Cellular where he was the Chief Operating Officer of the company’s East Operations.
- Neil Boulton has been appointed Director of Digital Marketing. Mr. Boulton previously worked for Axciom, Australian Consolidated Press, Time Magazine and AGL.
- Nigel Butler has been appointed Director of Decision Analytics, ANZ. Mr. Butler was most recently a retail risk management consultant, but has also worked for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Equifax, Barclaycard, Providian National Bank and Abbey National.
- Jayne Leung has been named Director of North Asia. Ms. Leung was previously Director Publisher Development Asia at the Rubicon Projects, Head of New Media JAPAC at Google and Head of DoubleClick, Asia at Google.
- Lars Rasmussen joined Facebook after six years at Google. Mr. Rasmussen built the Google Maps service with his brother. He also co-founded Google Wave.
- Brian McCarthy resigned as Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax Media. Non-Executive Director Greg Hywood is acting CEO.
- Emily Thomas has been appointed Head of Sales, Asia. Ms. Thomas was previously with the group’s enterprise sales team in London and will be based in Hong Kong. The company has also opened a second Asian office in Singapore.
- Salesforce.com’s regional head of marketing Jeremy Cooper has joined Google as Head of Enterprise Marketing for Asia Pacific. Mr. Cooper has also worked with Siebel Systems and Computer Associates and Oracle Corporation.
- As well as losing Lars Rasmussen to Facebook, Google has also lost Kate Vale who ran YouTube in Australia.
- Dominic Rowell has been promoted to Managing Director of Digital. Mr. Rowell joined the company as Global Marketing Director in 2008.
Media Monitors Group
- Tay Tuan-Kiat has been named General Manager Greater China of Media Monitors, a leading media intelligence company in Asia Pacific. Prior to joining Media Monitors, Mr. Tay was General Manager, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan for Reed Elsevier’s LexisNexis, where he transformed a traditional print publisher into an industry leading brand serving a broad-based clientele.
- Martin Ryan has been appointed Global CEO of the mobile advertising and publishing company. He was most recently Managing Director of the Australian subsidiary of Kace Networks.
Microsoft (Consumer & Online)
- Priscilla del Castillo has been appointed Mobility Services Lead focusing on driving mobile partnerships for Windows Live, based in Singapore. Most recently Ms. del Catillo assumed the role of a Digital Marketing Program Manager in Redmond.
- Mark Ma has relocated to Singapore from Shanghai and will be the Lead for Windows Live + Online Audience Business Group in Asia Pacific. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Ma was C&O’s Regional Search Director in the Greater Asia Pacific region.
- Don Paterson has been appointed Lead for Consumer Windows business in Asia Pacific, based in Singapore. Mr. Paterson worked in a variety of roles and was most recently with the Windows Consumer business group in the US.
- Leveena Sadanandan has been appointed Consumer Marketing Communications Lead for Southeast Asia. Ms. Sadanandan was previously with Visa, where she spent the last six years planning and executing regional marketing programs.
- Jonathan Wong has been appointed Lead for Internet Explorer, responsible for developing and sustaining collaboration with partners in the markets across the region. Mr. Wong was most recently the Web Platform Evangelist with Microsoft Singapore. Previously, he was with IBM.
- Prashnt Modi has been appointed APAC Chief Commercial Officer, based Singapore. Mr. Modi has spent the past year as GroupM’s Commercial Head for Asia Pacific.
- Ellen Tien has joined Mindshare Interaction as Deputy Leader in Taiwan. Ms. Tien joins from Sino Tech Group where she was Vice President of Consulting Service.
- Jayant Changrani has been appointed Country Head and General Manager to lead the company’s Indian operations replacing Alan Dishington, General Manager of NDS India, who has been relocated to the NDS office in Singapore to focus on pan-Asian strategy and clients. Mr. Changrani, who has more than 22 years industry experience, comes to NDS from Hathway Cable & Datacom, where he spent ten years as Senior Vice President of Broadband Networks and Commercial.
- Aditya Menon, the former Head of Product of Obopay, a leading mobile banking and payment provider, will assume the position of Executive Vice President, Global Alliances, to drive strategic alliances in conjunction with each of the regional business development heads.
- Gaurav Zutshi has been appointed Senior Vice President & Global Head of Product Management. Prior to joining Obopay, Mr. Zutshi was the Senior Payments Leader in the ASEAN region for IBM Global Services.
- Benjamin Low has been appointed Vice President APAC. Mr. Low was Cisco’s Ironport Asia Regional Director and has also worked for MacAfee, Secure Computing, Entrust, Computer Associates, RSA Security and Singapore Computer Systems.
- Evan Guo has been appointed Chief Executive Officer for Zhaopin Limited (in which SEEK has a 56.1% interest). After Graduate School in the US, Mr. Guo spent over seven years at McKinsey & Co, China and spent the last three years as CEO of the Shanghai-listed transport and logistics company, Sinotrans Air Development Co. prior to joining SEEK.
- Andrew Wong has been appointed to the newly created role of Digital Director in Hong Kong.
- Ye Peng has been appointed Vice President with responsibility for operations of Taobao Mall, a dedicated B2C platform within Taobao. Prior to joining Taobao, Mr. Peng was most recently Chief Operating Officer at Baidu. Daniel Zhang, Taobao’s Chief Financial Officer and Interim Head of Taobao Mall, returns to his full-time duties as CFO following Ye Peng’s appointment.
Turner Broadcasting Networks
- Layla Lewis has been appointed Associate Director of Programming, Acquisitions and Development for Turner Entertainment Networks Asia, based in Hong Kong. Ms. Lewis spent the last ten years with Nickelodeon in the UK, where she was Senior Programming Manager for Nickelodeon, Nick Jr and Nick Jr 2, Nicktoons TV and Noggin.
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