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OCTOBER 27, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 42 | SEARCH ASIAWEEK

Asia's Digital Elite
 T H E   D I G I T A L   2 5 
•David Mok
Hanson Cheah
William Lo
Juliet Wu
Jeffrey Koo Jr.
Narayana Murthy
Enoki Keiichi
Sim Wong Hoo
Richard Li
Lee Jae Woong
Horii Yuji
Lee Yong Teh Edward Tian
Kutaragi Ken
Peter and Antony Yip
Son Masayoshi
James Murdoch
Chan-drababu Naidu
Matei Mihalca
Chin Dae Je
Matsunaga Mari
Wu Jichuan
Stan Shih
George Yeo Yong Boon

Horii Yuji
Director, Enix Corp. Age: 45 Favorite Movie: The Matrix

Horii Yuji found his way into Enix, now one of Japan's top five video game publishers, after winning a programming contest in the early 1980s. "I turned my hobby into my job," he says. It's a prize that's paid off for gaming fiends ever since. At Enix, Horii designed Dragon Quest, the first console role-playing game and one of the hottest game series in the world. In Japan, new releases have been restricted to Sundays and holidays because too many students were skipping school to get copies. Horii now sits on Enix's board of directors, where he is helping shape the future of the gaming industry. "I still love games," he says. "I cannot take my eyes off them. They constantly evolve."




Lee Yong Teh
Director and chairman, Thrunet Age: 67 Childhood dream: Physicist E-mail: ire@corp.thrunet.com
You wouldn't expect to apply the label "techno-geek" to someone in his 60s. But having been active in South Korea's computing industry for more than two decades, Lee Yong Teh was one long before the term was coined. Lee founded Dacom, now Korea's No. 2 telecommunications company, in 1982 and since then has managed to stay at the top of the tech game despite the industry's love affair with underage CEOs. He's the mastermind behind the eMachine, a sub-$400 PC that was the third-best-selling desktop computer in the U.S. last year. At Thrunet, one of Korea's broadband Internet access providers, Lee hopes to use the recently launched mega-portal Korea.com to challenge the hegemony of Daum and Yahoo! Korea. His likes are decidedly last millennium: He is a fan of classical Chinese calligraphy and admires T'oegye Yi Hwang, a 16th-century Korean philosopher.

Edward Tian
President, China Netcom Age: 37 Hobbies: Fishing, reading E-mail: tiansn@china-netcom.com
Edward Tian leads one of China's best hopes for a wired future. As the head of China Netcom Corporation, he's helping build a fiber optic backbone for broadband Net access across the country. It's a far cry from his childhood ambitions. But then, Tian's dreams have changed with his country's. Growing up during the Cultural Revolution, he wanted to be a soldier. "Those were the only heroes back then," he says. "I was brainwashed by revolutionary movies." When those dark days ended, science became a national priority. Tian traded his dream of guns for one of lab coats, eventually earning a PhD in environmental management in the U.S. Then as market reforms swept China in the '90s, Tian vowed to become a successful businessman. He swears this third career goal is his last. And it's one he's well on his way to achieving.

George Yeo Yong Boon
Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore Age: 46 E-mail: george_yeo@mti.gov.sg
Sparking an entire city to seize the day might seem a tall order, but Singapore's George Yeo is giving it his best shot. He likes to refer to the government's goal of ensuring that every child in the fifth grade is able to construct a simple Web page. Yet he's also a realist, acknowledging that the city-state's small population of four million requires a steady infusion of foreign talent to keep moving forward on the technology front. But should Singapore's budding minds require a local role model, they need not look further — Yeo has a degree in engineering from Cambridge and earned an MBA with high distinction from Harvard.

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