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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story

Wired Executive
Savio Chow, managing director for Asia, Yahoo!


Dan Groshong for Asiaweek

An Internet executive with only one website bookmarked in his browser seems unusual - except that the executive is Savio Chow. As the chief of Yahoo!'s fledgling effort to create country-specific websites in the region, Chow, 42, is practicing what is known in inelegant industry-speak as "eating your own dog food" - that is, using what you sell. California-based Yahoo!, one of the Web's most successful portals, sells one-stop Internet surfing. Chow, through his personalized My Yahoo! URL, can link to his favorite sources of information, without leaving the digital boundaries of the Yahoo! domain.

That's crucial to the company's overall strategy. Most of Yahoo!'s revenues come from advertisers, who look not only for a lot of site visitors but also for a medium's ability to keep surfer's attention. "Internally, we call it 'glue,' " says Chow. According to the Nielsen/NetRatings audience measurement service, Yahoo! is the stickiest site among the most popular portals. In May, each user spent an average of 31 minutes, seven seconds mired there.

Shanghai-born Chow, who previously worked for IBM, Lotus and Netscape, is now mixing up adhesives for Yahoo!'s Asian properties, which currently include sites for Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Yahoo! does not generate much of its own content - it gets material through partnerships. "Asian content is limited, so that's a challenge for us," he says. But as regional Internet usage grows, "things are getting very interesting."

What's on his desktop: Savio Chow's life at a glance
E-MAILS PER DAY: 45

FAVORITE SOFTWARE APPLICATION/INTERNET UTILITY: Netscape browser, Palm desktop information manager

PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSISTANT: The Palm, 3Com's handheld computer

PREFERRED ANALOG ACTIVITY: exercising, listening to music

BOOKMARKS: My Yahoo! ("it's a customizable personal web page that includes those things I look at on a daily basis," says Chow)

LAST ELECTRONIC PURCHASE: A Jazz music CD from CDNow

DREAM INTERNET SERVICE: Yahoo! on "all bands," available over both wired and wireless networks via handheld computers, mobile phones, Web TVs and desktop machines ("Information should be integrated with all kinds of devices and should be accessible on all kinds of bandwidths")


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