It has begun. Some eight hours ago, eight more members of the TechCrunch team landed in Beijing. Giddy and jetlagged, we are spending every minute between wheels down today and curtain up Monday morning working on the Hackathon, shooting videos, meeting with Chinese speakers and showing Western speakers a bit of this amazing country. Most important, we’re working with the startups competing in the Battlefield to hone their pitches for their six minutes of International glory early next week.
It’s fitting that the conference is being held spitting distance from Olympic village. Like the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Disrupt Beijing is a story of China’s coming of age as a unique and complex global force of the startup world and of the simultaneous opportunity and threat that poses for the West.
TechNode editor Gang Lu stopped by the TechCrunch war room tonight, and on a stroll to the Watercube, I asked him what he was most looking forward to next week. Video above.
Lucky you, you don’t even need to leave the couch to get a piece of the action! Thanks to Ustream, the conference will be live streamed for your convenience. So don’t forget to tune into the Hackathon at 8 PM PST Saturday and the conference on 6 PM PST Monday and Tuesday. And wish us luck!