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Monday Dinners: The Great Wall Club’s Best Kept Secret

At the end of September Great Wall Club sent its CEO, WenChu, and its Vice President, Barret Parkman, to the United States to begin a whirlwind tour of events, dinners, and  business meetings. The climax of this trip was a closed door executive round-table dinner hosted by the Great Wall Club, which brought together some of China’s top mobile Internet CEOs and executives to meet with their Silicon Valley counterparts.

 

Monday Dinner by GWC

The Global Mobile Internet Conference may be what the Great Wall Club is best known for, but the real action takes place at Monday Dinner.

Based on the regular business dinners, dubbed Monday Dinners, typically hosted by GWC in Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Seoul, this executive dinner was invitation only to some of the biggest players in the mobile Internet industry.

The idea behind these dinners is to provide a platform where high-level decisions makers within the industry can sound off in a secure environment.  Monday Dinners, while not a secret themselves, involve some of GWC’s best kept secrets – information.  As such, we don’t often talk about what goes on behind the closed doors, but I’ve been given clearance to give the public a little taste of our last Monday Dinner in Silicon Valley to show you why we at GWC love Monday Dinners more than anything else.  So here we go!

Attendees: 

  • Joe Chen, CEO, Renren
  • Yu Yongfu, CEO and Chairman, UC Web
  • Wen Chu, CEO, GWC
  • Dave McClureFounding Partner, 500 Startups
  • Liu Bin, Founder and Chairman, Yicha.cn 
  • Jovan Hsu, Founding Partner, GAOLI Angel Fund
  • David Lee, Founding Partner, XG Ventures
  • Rob Trice, Senior Managing Director, SK Telecom Ventures
  • Joe Jasin, DNA Partners, LLC, Managing Director 
  • Osama BedierVP, Google
  • Jonathan Flesher, VP, Zynga
  • Holger Leudorf, VP, Foursquare
  • Isabelle Ge Mahe, VP, Apple 
  • Jay Sullivan, VP, Mozilla
  • Jeff Merkel, VP, Admob
  • Robby Kwok, Head of Corporate Development, Linkedin
  • Chris Daniels, Head of Business Development, Facebook
  • Jackson Gates, Director of Business Development, Pandora
  • Barrett Parkman, VP, GWC

The format for the evening consisted of three parts.  While dinner was being served, 1 minute introductions took place which allowed each attendee to introduce themselves, their company, and any information they felt would be relevant to the group – personal endeavors, new promotions, acquisitions, births of new children – anything goes.   After introductions a briefing by Joe Chen of the current state of affairs at RenRen and where they would like to take the company took place.  At the conclusion of his talk, the floor was opened up for the rest of the evening with Barrett Parkman serving as moderator to help keep the conversation flowing (though, once opinions start flowing, there usually isn’t much need to introduce talking points, if you follow my meaning).

While we cannot reveal the specific results of the dinner, the event was deemed a major success by WenChu.  “I am highly pleased with the amount of sharing, debate, and cooperation that resulted from this event.”

The topics discussed over the dinner table ran the gambit of what is happening within the industry globally as well as within China.  RenRen’s global aspirations, Apple’s dominance through “sexiness”, Pandora’s expansion plans, Facebook coming to China, Zynga’s hopes in China, viability of open vs. closed platforms, avoiding government interference – everyone had an opinion, and no one was afraid to let it be known — sometimes heatedly defending their positions or their company’s strategy when challenged by fellow dinner attendees.

If you ever get an invite to one of these events, I can tell you from personal experience, it’ll probably be the best time-investment you make for your company all the quarter.

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