|Changing the Way China Thinks
China has seen its number of Internet users grow exponentially, a revolution that is redefining the country's telecommunications industry. With its local insight and global outlook, China Weal is at the forefront of building the Internet infrastructure in China. The company specializes in Internet and intranet-related services and applications, designing service platforms that enable its corporate customers to share information, manage their networks and facilitate e-Commerce.
The shift towards the Internet Protocol as a primary medium of communication is changing China dramatically. "The Internet is a major catalyst of positive change in China," says Wei Deng, president of China Weal. "As in the rest of the world, people are getting and sending information in new ways, but in China particularly they are getting information that might not otherwise be available because of the difficulty and expense in disseminating information over an area as vast as China. It's influencing the way people think." China Weal sees the growth in the number of Internet users as simply the beginning. "Ultimately e-Commerce will be commonplace in China," says Deng. "That will completely change people's lives."
Founded in 1992, the company has built a reputation for strong customer relationships and technical expertise; but perhaps most important to China Weal's customers is the management team's intimate understanding of China. China Weal has coupled that local knowledge with strategic relationships with multinational information technology (IT) giants like IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. The potent combination has seen China Weal called upon by some of China's biggest telecommunication providers, companies like China Unicom and China Telecom. China Weal has been involved in such groundbreaking projects as the first video-on-demand system in China. Its work has repeatedly drawn praise from the Chinese government on the national and local levels.
"We work hard to try to lead the industry by planning and designing the best solutions for telecommunication carriers," says Deng. "To achieve this, we have strong alliances with key IT players and a nationwide sales force of 115 sales representatives able to spread our message. Nevertheless, we're always aiming higher, always improving."
Intel Capital invests in China Weal
China Weal sees its relationship with Intel as one way to continue the constant process of improvement. "We consider the expertise of our in-house technical support team to be one of our key strengths," says Deng, "but two heads are better than one, which is why it's so helpful to be able to call on Intel's own experts. Our relationship with Intel gives us access to a tremendous amount of information that we wouldn't have if we weren't an Intel Capital portfolio company."
Intel Capital invested in China Weal in October 2000 to support Intel's product initiatives in the computing sector. "It came at a perfect time for us," says Deng, "as we were looking at the same time for strategic investors in the capital markets. We couldn't have asked for a better investor to help us develop our business." Recently, China Weal and Intel, along with other companies, conducted a successful test using China Weal's new version of CWUMS, its carrier-grade ISP management system. The test broke the 10 million-user barrier, providing a reliable and high performance system to support China's ever-growing Internet user population. The successful technical collaboration resulted in an achievement exceeding industry standards that will provide the platform for the next level of services supporting the Internet.
In line with its mission to help the development of the Internet infrastructure, Intel Capital believes in investing more than just equity in its portfolio companies. Through Intel Capital Alliance Program, China Weal can access a number of technical and business resources and attend various networking events and training workshops developed specifically to support portfolio companies' business needs.
"Our relationship with Intel has become progressively closer. There's absolutely no doubt that we're better positioned to provide the solutions our customers need now than before we became an Intel Capital portfolio company," says Deng. "We have taken advantage of Intel Labs to test our products and as our relationship deepens, the area of co-operation keeps getting wider. We're working with Intel on some key projects."