Swisscom Ventures Tour in Shanghai

On 9th of May 2017, swissnex China welcomed a delegation from Swisscom, Switzerland’s leading telecom company and one of its leading IT companies, composed of 7 highly experienced professionals from diverse areas of expertise (IT, Digital, Cloud, Mobile, Banking, Healthcare, Sales, Infrastructure & Strategy). The objective of the day was to give a first insight into some of the most promising sectors of Shanghai tech scene, such as FinTech and e-health in order to better understand the local trends and find inspirations for future projects.

The morning program included visits to two e-health ventures. The Swiss and Chinese healthcare systems are incurring significant changes, dealing with an ageing population and exploring the possibilities offered by digitalization. Therefore, it was an opportunity to profit from each other experience and to exchange about the current best practices in that sector. Indeed, the Chinese healthcare industry seems more inclined to dive fully into digitalization than its Swiss counterpart.

 First group at Haoyishu

First group at Haoyishu

 Second group at Walkiesoft

Second group at Walkiesoft

Part of the delegation visited Haoyishu (好医术), a 47-employee startup, which has developed a knowledge-sharing platform for physicians leveraging WeChat that immerses its customers into VR operations practiced by famous surgeons and offers offline training, workshops and conferences. Although Haoyishu is active for the moment solely in China, the  Swiss delegation cornered rapidly the actual problematic and potential having a very constructive discussion with one of the co-founders.

The second group visited Walkiesoft (俊泽软件), an 11-year-old company. The founder team (originated from Shanghai Telecom) initially focused on IT solution business. They changed their company strategy and penetrated into e-health sector in 2012, by offering services to hospitals on research science system establishment. Walkiesoft’s CEO hosted the delegation and discussed the differences between China and Switzerland’s healthcare / hospital institutions regarding the utilizing of digital and internet technology, and shared experiences on hospital digitalization prospects in China. Swisscom’s representatives shared insights on the current situation with their business in hospitals, which added to the valuable exchange between the experts on both sides.

The exchanges continued over lunch with Mr. Eric Gu, founder of ViewFin™ (developer of Metaverse, the first public Blockchain in China, and of a digital identity wallet) and a well-known opinion leader in the Chinese Blockchain ecosystem, Mr. Kai Liu, a former surgeon who founded CareLinker (a startup that combines big data analytics and tele-monitoring technologies to offer an Online-to-Offline close loop solution) and Ms. Tracy Zhou, marketing director of Imedcon (smart health innovation platform and a digital healthcare incubator) and entrepreneur.

Inspired by all the gained insights during the lively discussion over lunch, the next and final visit of the program was Lufax, a Chinese unicorn valued at USD 19 billion active in Peer-to-Peer lending and widely acknowledged as one of the most innovative established startup worldwide. With 18 million users, 8,000 new users per day and USD 2.5 billion lent, Lufax emphasized some of the difficulties to exploit a digital platform, in particular in dealing with 25,000 hackers’ attacks per day. The company also presented its main products (B2C, C2C, wealth management, trading platform for financial assets) and explained how a purely digital company brings its core business offline, among others leveraging the 800,000 salesman from the Ping’an Group (its main shareholders), and offering a “VIP Service” to elderlies who lack internet literacy. Nowadays, Switzerland is lagging behind China in digital payment and products, but we hope this visit will bring inspiration to the Swiss financial sector.

The Swisscom delegation embarked for further discoveries to the Shanghai tech cluster later that day. Within short time, they received an introduction to various players of the Shanghai Tech Scene, and got first hand insights on their current situation and activities. We had the great opportunity to add some pieces to the puzzle by supporting their visit and hope they had a successful journey!

- Contributed by Laurent Hofmann, Junior Project Leader at swissnex China