Sunseap's President Lawrence Wu speaks at the 5th FC Global Business Series


August 28, 2020

Business China was pleased to partner the Singapore Economic Development Board once again to co-organise the 5th FC Global Business Series held on 25 August 2020. Titled "Accelerate China-ASEAN Venture Capital Investment and Start-Up Innovation beyond COVID-19", the webinar featured esteemed speakers who include Mr Chng Kai Fong, Managing Director of Singapore Economic Development Board, Mr Chua Kee Lock, CEO of Vertex Holdings, Ms Aileen Lai, CEO & Founder of Healthbeats, Mr Terence Tan, Managing Partner of IPV Capital and Mr Lawrence Wu, President & Executive Director of Sunseap Group Pte Ltd. The moderator of the session was Mr Keoy Soo Earn, Regional Managing Partner, Financial Advisory of Deloitte Southeast Asia.


The panel comprising of venture capital firms (VC) from Singapore and China as well as early stage and mature stage of start-ups brought different perspectives to the discussion.

The webinar gained the strong support of various organisations such as Action Community for Entrepreneurship, Singapore Venture Capital & Equity Association TiE Singapore and NTUitive, together with Bank of China, Oversea-China Banking Corporation and Temasek as special partners for the event.

Mr Keoy kickstarted the session by posing the question to the two venture capitalists in the panel on whether there had been greater interest in investing in China and ASEAN nowadays. Mr Chua started off by sharing that the two markets are very different in terms of development. In China, the tech sector is highly-developed and VCs are very well-established in the country, as well as relying more on domestic consumption. As for ASEAN, while the region is still relatively new in the tech space, the rise of the middle class has driven demand as well as create opportunities for the region. Mr Tan also concurred with Mr Chua's viewpoint and further elaborated that China has a self-sustaining and well-established ecosystem ranging from end products to the manufacture of fundamental components. Chinese enterprises have also been actively venturing overseas whereby Southeast Asia is one of the regions that they are heavily investing in.

Next, Mr Wu and Ms Lai shared from the start-ups' perspectives on whether ASEAN and China are key markets for their current operations and future expansion. Mr Wu explained in detail with regards to his company's operations in both regions, particularly in the renewable energy sector. He felt that China's energy market is growing faster as compared to ASEAN because China has a more liberalised energy market whereby the country is moving towards using renewable energy whereas the ASEAN market is getting increasingly more competitive as countries in the region are still inclined towards using fossil fuels as the main energy source. As the founder of a healthcare start-up, Ms Lai shared more on the rapid rise of telemedicine especially during the pandemic period. She is also seeing a lot of opportunities in the ASEAN region and aims to bring global best healthcare practices into the region where patients are also well taken care of outside healthcare settings.

Mr Chng gave an overview on the Chinese and ASEAN markets as well as how Chinese companies are venturing into ASEAN. The Chinese companies are well established where their technology and innovation are emulated by other companies in the region, for instance the integration of many functions into one single app. They have also developed the synergy to expand into Southeast Asia where many of them are investing behind the scenes in areas such as artificial intelligence and business analytics. ASEAN is also growing rapidly in terms of demographics and purchasing power parity. Companies are also trying to de-risk supply chains by adopting the "China +1" model and hence expand operations into ASEAN countries such as Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia.

With regards to the key trends in the new normal that will shape China and ASEAN moving forward, Mr Chng identified 3 areas – (1) geopolitics, (2) technology and business models and (3) climate change. With US and China relations changing fundamentally, this will affect business dealings and supply chains due to the tariffs imposed. On the other hand, ASEAN will benefit as the countries had a shared purpose in developing the region's economy. Secondly, he shared that technology has started to divide the society with signs of a "K-shaped recovery" which is happening in the US. The top few US companies are doing well whereas the rest of the country is doing their best to stay afloat in the economic downturn. This has caused issues for companies as they have to relook into new business models and tech structure in the new normal. Lastly, the issue of climate change is vital where businesses must think about sustainability as this will impact their operations in the long run.

The other panelists built upon the points raised by Mr Chng where they shared more on how sustainability is one of the key agendas for businesses as well as how US-China relations will impact both countries. In addition, they cautioned that the next two to three years will be different from what everyone has been accustomed to and it is important to be adaptable to the changes happening in the world.

Very positive response was garnered from the audience where questions were raised regarding cities with the potential to be "nodes of growth" in ASEAN and China, as well as the plans for China to develop Hainan province into a Global Free Trade Port. A poll was also conducted towards the end of the session where participants were asked about the challenges and opportunities that start-ups face during post COVID-19 and majority of them opined that funding was the major factor in play.

As a closing note, the panelists urged the attendees to diversify and expand their businesses further into China and ASEAN markets, while at the same time be mindful of the different cultures in various regions in order to localise their operations there.

The session was well-received with 380 attendees joining the webinar.

Source:Business China Singapore



通商中国继上场与新加坡经济发展局携手合作后,再次于8月25日联合举办第五场慧眼中国企业脉搏系列。此次线上讲座主题是“后疫情时代:加速中国亚细安的风险投资和初创企业的创新”,演讲嘉宾包括新加坡经济发展局局长庄凯峰先生、祥峰投資控股有限公司首席执行官蔡其樂先生、Sunseap Group Pte Ltd总裁兼执行董事邬杰民先生、盈富泰克太平洋基金执行合伙人陈永川先生和HealthBeats首席执行官赖云裳女士。德勤东南亚财务咨询主管合伙人郭树恩先生是此次讲座的主持人。



这次的线上讲座得到各机构的鼎力支持,其中包括新加坡创业行动社群(Action Community for Entrepreneurship,简称ACE)、创业及私人资本投资协会(Singapore Venture Capital & Equity Association)、南洋理工大学科创有限公司以及 TiE Singapore。中国银行、华侨银行与淡马锡是此活动的特别合作伙伴。

首先,郭先生向在座的两位风险投资者询问关于投资者是否近期对于中国与亚细安有更多的投资意愿。对于这个问题,蔡先生分享了这两个市场在发展方面存在着很大的差异。中国的风投市场以及科技领域发达并且主要以内需来支持发展。另一方面,亚细安则在科技领域仍然在起步阶段,而中产阶层的迅速增长也刺激需求并为区域制造机遇。陈先生也附和蔡先生所提出的看法并进一步说明了从最终产品到基本的零件制造,中国本身有一套完善及自我维持的生态系统。中国企业也在积极“出海” 向海外发展而东南亚正是他们重点投资的区域之一。



关于新常态下影响中国和亚细安发展的主要趋势,庄先生指出了三个因素:(1)地缘政治、(2)科技 和商业模式以及(3)气候变化。随着中美关系发生本质上的变化,商业交易和供应链将会因为关税的征收而受到影响。另一方面,亚细安能够从中受益,因为各国在发展该地区经济方面有着共同的目标。第二,庄先生也谈到了科技是如何开始分裂社会,并举例说明美国出现了“K型复苏”的迹象。排名前几位的美国公司表现良好,然而国家的其他企业则是在经济衰退中竭尽全力维持运营。这对于公司带来很严重的问题,因为它们不得不重新思考新的商业模式和技术结构。第三,气候变化的问题至关重要,而企业也必须考虑可持续发展,因为这将影响其长期运营。


观众对于这次的线上讲座反应良好,并积极向演讲嘉宾提问关于中国与亚细安的哪些城市具备成为“发展节点” (“nodes of growth”),以及对于中国计划将海南建设成为自由贸易港的看法。讲座也在接近尾声时作了问卷调差,询问与会者关于初创企业在疫情后所面临的机会与挑战。而结果显示大多数人认为融资方面将是主要因素。