Author: Wang Yanhua
HO CHI MINH — Charles Xue, a prominent angel investor from China with millions of fans, made a surprise appearance on the first day of Blockchain Festival Vietnam.
The billionaire venture capitalist, also known by his alias Xue Manzi, is one of the most active investors in the Chinese internet industry, having invested in hundreds of internet startup firms. He is also a leading liberal commentator on the Chinese social media scene.
The 65-year-old, dressed in pink, lept ebulliently onto the stage and greeted the crowd with his booming voice.
Having studied in University of California, Berkeley and become a naturalised US citizen, Xue gave off a markedly different vibe from many other speakers at the conference. His casual and spontaneous manner perked up the crowd.
He started by praising the merits of Vietnamese students, “In Vietnam, culturally it’s very different from other countries that I’ve been to. It reminds me of the Confucius tradition. The Vietnamese students I’ve met are the most hardworking and the most entrepreneurial anywhere. So I think Huobi made the right choice by coming to Vietnam and focusing on developing itself in Vietnam.”
He gave advice on investing in blockchain, “The most important thing is to have patience. If you look at the coins every five minutes, your heart wouldn’t be able to take it within two days.
“It’s not about making huge profits in the short term. It’s about reaping long term returns.”
Xue likened cryptocurrency to beer.
“The industry is like a beer full of bubbles. If the bubble is too big you can’t drink the beer,” he said, warning about the hype surrounding cryptocurrency.
He also talked about his observations of China:
“In the past, among majority of Chinese entrepreneurs, the theme is ‘copy America’. We copied them for everything, like Sohu is based off Yahoo. In the last two years I’ve travelled outside of China a lot, to Asian countries such as Japan, Thailand, India, and Singapore. The theme today is ‘copy China’. Many companies in Silicon Valley are taking concepts from Didi Chuxing and Ele.me. We have distinguished business models and mobile payment system like WeChat pay. Just with a phone you can survive in China.”
Xue, known for being outspoken, had previously run into trouble with the Chinese administration. He was put under administrative detention by Beijing police in late August 2013 for allegedly hiring a prostitute, according to South China Morning Post.