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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


David Mok
Chairman and CEO, Lemon Age: 37 Prized Possession: 1960s and 70s electric/digital watch collection "to compensate for me sometimes not being on time". E-mail: david@lemon-asia.com

The story of how David Mok founded Lemon, Hong Kong's trailblazing Web design firm, begins one evening six years ago. That's when he ran into an acquaintance who introduced her husband, Christian Rhomber, owner of the 97 Group restaurant circuit. "Christian and I hit it off, and he ended up convincing me to start my own company," says Mok. "He even sublet me a room in the 97 office on the spot." Lemon has since racked up an impressive list of clients and awards and is foraying into Asia's nascent broadband ad arena. Mok is now also a close friend of Rhomber and a partner in the 97 Group. "What an auspicious evening," Mok says of that night. "I should look it up in my horoscope!"




Hanson Cheah
Executive Director, AsiaTech Ventures Age: 35 Childhood dream: Soccer player E-mail: hanson@hk.net
You've gotta hand it to Hanson Cheah. The football lovin', guitar pickin' lead partner of Hong Kong's first high-tech venture-capital fund remains an influential force even as competitors from Silicon Valley crowd the field. Three years after its launch, AsiaTech has several successful investments under its belt, the biggest of which is Phone.com, a company that links mobile phones to the Web. Phone.com's market capitalization went through the roof after the company went public; it is now merging with Software.com, a supplier of infrastructure software for Internet service providers, in a $7-billion deal. With a mechanical-engineering degree from MIT, Penang-born Cheah worked for a series of electronics and computer companies, including Sun Microsystems, before making the switch to the investment side. It's a decision he has not regretted. A strummer during his off-hours, Cheah picks his 1966 Riochi Matsuka Rosewood top classical guitar as his most cherished possession — after his two sons, of course.


William Lo
Chairman and CEO, Netalone.com Age: 39 Personal hero: Martin Luther King Jr. E-mail: drwlo@netalone.com
Genetic engineering may seem a long way from Internet banking, but when William Lo set aside his Ph.D. in molecular biology to move into the business arena, he was merely exchanging one cutting-edge technology for another. At Hong Kong Telecom, he created Netvigator, the second most-visited website in Hong Kong, and developed iTV, the world's first commercial broadband interactive TV service. At Citibank, he launched Hong Kong's first online banking service. Although his projects have met with mixed success — iTV is still struggling to gain market share two years after its launch — they haven't completely dissuaded Lo from taking risks. Last year, he resigned from his $1-million-a-year job at Citibank to take over a small electronics firm, which he renamed Netalone.com. Like its founder, the company has been remaking itself, starting out as an e-vester in B2C websites before morphing into an e-business enabler. His background in genetic tweaking, it seems, makes constant changes irresistible to Lo.

Juliet Wu
President, TCL I.T. Industry Group Age: 42 Fan of: Michael Jordan E-mail: julietwu@ejiajia.com

People who are not lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department would not normally think of standing up to Bill Gates. Juliet Wu is one of the select few who have done precisely that. Already a rising star when she was recruited by Microsoft (China) in 1998 — she had been with IBM for 12 years — she quit a little over a year later to join China's state-owned TCL. As a general manager at Microsoft in Beijing, Wu had been the highest-ranking local Chinese executive in a leading foreign company. That position gave her the perfect vantage point from which to savage the U.S. software giant in her best-selling memoir. The book, published after her resignation, criticized Microsoft for its arrogance and unwillingness to adapt to local ways — and turned public sentiment against the software giant in a potentially crucial market. Wu is now heading up TCL's Internet strategy.





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