Maybe you couldn’t join us in Beijing for our first international Disrupt conference, but all is not lost!
Step one: Order your favorite Chinese takeout.
Step two: Tune into the livestream from Beijing, brought to you through the Great Firewall courtesy of Ustream and Tudou.
Step three: Tweet what you love and hate the same way you would sitting in the conference hall in the US. The hashtag is #disruptbj. (Seriously, stop giggling, twelve-year-olds and Michael Arrington.)
It’ll be almost the same as being here for thousands less. And you don’t even have to pull an all-nighter to get the highlights. All the Hackathon action starts at 8pm PST Saturday night and the conference begins at 6pm PST Sunday afternoon.
You definitely won’t want to miss the Monday morning Beijing time/Sunday afternoon Valley time programming. The conference kicks off with a frank fireside chat with Pony Ma, CEO and co-founder of Chinese giant Tencent. Tencent is the fourth largest Internet company in the world and the largest in China. It employs more people than Zynga and Facebook combined and is a pioneer in the worlds of micropayments, virtual goods and online gaming. If you work in social media or online gaming, missing this keynote would be an occupational hazard.
Ma is pretty reclusive– particularly when it comes to Western media. I tried for years to get a meeting with him and failed no matter how many favors I tried to call in. But now that Tencent is eyeing International expansion and starting to acquire Valley startups, the company is opening the kimono a bit– to mix international metaphors.
Ma will be followed by a fireside chat with YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, who we haven’t heard much from since his blockbuster sale of the company in 2006. He’s investing some of those proceeds in China, via Innovation Works. The day continues with Rovio Mighty Eagle Peter Vesterbacka, Innovation Works Co-founder Kai-Fu Lee, a panel of Android experts, Jawbone’s co-founder and CEO Hosain Rahman, Skype co-founder and investor Niklas Zennstrom and the first three rounds of the Startup Battlefield. I’m biased, but I think it’s one of our strongest Disrupt lineups yet.