Reuters has a nice profile of our Mozilla China team led by Li Gong: Mozilla seeks growth and tie-ups in China market [reuters.com]
California-based Mozilla expects the going to be tough in a country where consumers are largely unaware of open-source and businesses typically base their services solely on [Internet] Explorer, Gong Li, chief executive of Mozilla Online, said on Monday.
Mozilla Online — known as “mou zhi,” or “seek wisdom” in Chinese — now has around 4.5 million regular users in China, said Gong, who previously worked at Sun Microsystems Inc and Microsoft’s MSN unit.
“It’s going to be a challenge raising our market share to our global average (of around 20 percent), since a lot of Chinese services are constructed on an Explorer platform,” he added.
“Five percent is not enough, but it’s our target for the second half of the year,” Gong added. Its current market share in China is about 2 percent.
I was lucky to meet Li just as he was making the decision to join Mozilla and lead our efforts in China last year. China is a tough market for Mozilla in many ways because Windows+IE is so embedded into the culture of computing, but we are growing rapidly due to our new team in Beijing.
For more information on how Microsoft changed their strategy in order to succeed in China, I highly recommend David Kirkpatrick’s article in Fortune from July 2007: How Microsoft conquered China and also a decent review of that article on Techrepublic.
This news is a few weeks old but nonetheless important to note.
Matrix Partners Establishes USD275mn China Fund
Matrix Partners has a new China fund led by David Zhang, who left WI Harper to join Bo Shao at Matrix. This is news to me because Matrix has funded mobile browser OpenWave and the brand new SkyFire (who use Mozilla’s Gecko engine on the server) and Zhang funded Maxthon at WI Harper.
Chris Beard, VP of Mozilla Labs, will be in Tokyo this week for two speaking engagements.
On Feb. 28th, Chris will be keynoting at ZDNet Japan’s “builder techday: open apis and beyond.” David Recordon and Tatsuhiko Miyagawa from Six Apart will be speaking about open ID and the social graph (Brad Fitzpatrick, Read/Write Web, Google code repository.) Chris will be speaking about the “open web” from Mozilla’s perspective and will probably touch upon many of the subjects Recordon will speak about but also aspects of information that we keep in the browser and how we might share that as well. I’m afraid registration for this event is already closed.
On Feb. 29th, Chris will be keynoting at the Open Source Conference (Tokyo) – Spring 2008. Registration (jp) will be closing soon so please sign up asap if you plan to attend.
Chris Beard will provide an overview of recent activities at Mozilla including information on exciting new Mozilla Labs development projects currently in the works. He will talk about his vision for the future of the Web and the role of open source in improving our online lives.
This is the first time for any presentation on Mozilla Labs projects in Japan and we’re very excited to have Chris in Tokyo. Hope to see you at either of these events.
Jeremy Zawodny has a very nice interview [Flickr Uploadr: Open Source and Powered by XULRunner] with Yahoo! developer Richard Crowley who was responsible for building the new Flickr Uploader on XULRunner (Mozilla’s runtime package which enables anyone to create cross-platform applications.) Richard discusses how Yahoo! looked at both Adobe Air as well as XULRunner and the key differentiators for XULRunner included:
- linking in outside code (vs. Air which cannot pull in outside libraries)
- multi-threaded (vs. Air which is single-threaded)
- extendable (like Firefox is)
Flickr Uploader is available in English, French, traditional Chinese, Korean, German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.
For those of you who are interested in XUL or XULRunner, it’s an interesting interview, especially when Richard discusses how there may be a future for user-developed extensions to Flickr Uploader.
Christian Sejersen and Jay Sullivan from Mozilla’s mobile team will be in Tokyo on February 18th to speak at Mobile Monday Tokyo. Unfortunately the event is not free (it costs 1000 yen if you pre-register) but it should be an interesting evening as Michael Smith from the W3C will also be speaking. I hope to see you there!
Although not Asian, Chris Ilias saw a nice overview of Mozilla’s efforts by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, featuring Mozilla’s Toronto office as well as the Seneca College students who are working on Mozilla.