BEYOND Expo kicked off with its nearly month-long online conference, BEYOND Virtual Opening, on November 9, 15:00 (GMT+8) with entrepreneurs, scientists, global investors, and tech experts. The opening was broadcast live on the BEYOND Expo website, BEYOND App, and simulcasted on CGTN, Forbes, and Pheonix New Media’s social media channels.

We are honored to have Dr. Song Xiao, Global Executive Vice President and President and CEO of Siemens Greater China; Jessica Tan, Co-CEO and Group Executive of Ping An Group; Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China; Scott Beaumont, President at Google Asia Pacific; David Liao, Co-Chief Executive, Asia-Pacific at HSBC; Dr. William A. Haseltine, Founder, Chairman and President of ACCESS Health International, and Raymond Teh, Vice President at NVIDIA, APAC, spoke on this year’s theme of BEYOND Expo – “What’s Next?”, as well as our special guest, Terry Gou, Founder of Foxconn.

Many of our speakers at BEYOND Virtual Opening touched on digitalization and how it can transform economies. Dr. Song Xiao, Global Executive Vice President of Siemens and President and CEO of Siemens Greater China, believes that digital transformation is imperative for all markets, industries, and societies to achieve high-quality growth, carbon neutrality, and resilience.

Digital technologies are expected to further loosen geographical restraints and blur the industrial lines, even for professional industries, said Jessica Tan, co-CEO and group executive of Ping An Group, as she shared her thoughts on how the pandemic has accelerated digitalization trends and opened up new opportunities; while David Liao, Co-Chief Executive, Asia-Pacific, HSBC said when the COVID pandemic struck, it became very clear that digital transformation was no longer a choice for businesses, but a necessity.

The future for the Asia Region with technology is incredibly bright, said Scott Beaumont, president at Google Asia Pacific. As countries find a path to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Macau, a special administrative region on the south coast of China, could serve as a key platform, connecting traditional industries with emerging industries, said Foxconn founder Terry Gou.

In terms of technology and its environmental impact, Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China, stressed the importance of sustainability and sustainable development in doing business. For large enterprises, small businesses, or government organizations, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals can be considered a blueprint for success in unlocking new markets and ensuring longevity in business operations. As a global corporation, Google made a statement that they want to be carbon-free by the end of the decade, said Scott Beaumont, president at Google Asia Pacific, although with some nervousness and some excitement, it is important to try and possibly set a standard for others to follow.

William A. Haseltine, founder, chairman, and president of ACCESS Health International, said he expects the next 20 years to become an era of enormous innovation, not just in one country but around the world, followed by Raymond Teh sharing his insight on NVIDIA’s insights on AI, metaverse, and his observation on how a substantial digital revolution is taking place all over the world.

Global Investment Hotspots panel

Apart from the opening speeches, there was an opening panel on “The Global Investment Hotspots: The Next Blue Ocean” with Amir Gal-Or, Founder and Managing Partner of Infinity Group; Christine Tsai, CEO and Founding Partner of 500 Global; and Hans Tung, Managing Partner at GGV Capital. At the opening panel, we learn about the current trends in innovations, investments, and capital flow–particularly the industries and regions that are emerging as hotspots.

The panel’s participants are no stranger to finding the right trends and timing, having invested in companies young and early, with at least a hundred Unicorns in their portfolios. We learned how alternative sources of capital can become both challenges and exit/partnership opportunities. The panel discussed how investors are growing more open to investing outside of their primary markets. VCs are bound to miss out on opportunities if they don’t invest outside of their comfort zones.

While the pandemic has proven to be a challenge in terms of finding opportunities for founders to travel to network with VCs, the new trend in remote meetings and distributed teams has proven to be a good opportunity for founders and investors to build relationships globally. References and relationships are important.

Stay tuned for more

In the following weeks, BEYOND Virtual will offer 18 panels, featuring 40 distinguished speakers from around the world. The virtual panels will provide deep-dive discussions on trending and critical topics in the tech sector. Follow us on our BEYOND LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts to be notified of upcoming sessions. The Expo will host an on-site event from December 2 to 4, 2021, at the Venetian Macao Convention and Exhibition Center. 

If you have missed the previous content, you can log into your BEYOND account to watch the replays on demand.