United Virtualities is seizing advertising opportunities by introducing some of its invented online ad techniques into China. Dr. Mookie Tenembaum is the founder of United Virtualities and the inventor of many of online advertising's newest technologies. He is a frequent guest lecturer around the world, and we recently asked Dr. Tenembaum how he views his company's growth prospects in China.
What is United Virtualities, how did it get started, and what does the company do?
United Virtualities was founded in 1999 and is the creator of the now ubiquitous floating ad called shoshkele.
United Virtualities is the only company which offers all of the rich media formats available in the market, and which can successfully handle all rich media needs, from the most traditional banner to the most sophisticated advertising unit. Visit richmedia.com.cn for more information about those things.
Our company devotes 20% of the entire workforce to Quality Assurance, has the best customer service on the market and offers full creative and technological services to advertisers, agencies and networks.
UV has a worldwide presence, including locations in Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Finland, Greece, Israel, Romania, Spain, UK, and USA.
Apart from the innovative and exclusive rich media formats, we constantly reinvest in R&D and consequently develop cutting-edge technologies and softwares.
Such is the case of HotRecorder for Media–the first and only legal solution that gives music control back to users by recording and converting iTunes and Yahoo Music Unlimited sound files to universal formats playable on any of their personal music players. And is the case for our HotRecorder for VoIP, a unique solution that allows to record conversations, organize them, use voice mail for incoming calls and many other features.
When did United Virtualities first arrive in China and what type of work do you do here?
United Virtualities first arrived in China in October 2005. In only a few months, we have signed partnerships with China's largest portals, agencies and advertisers. UV is now the #1 Rich media company, providing technology and creative services for major advertisers, networks, and agencies around China.
How does the type of work you do in China differ from that which you do in other countries?
It differs in many ways. The time frames in China are much shorter so it requires from us to work on a tighter schedule. This has to be balanced with our strict QA guidelines. China is the country most open to new technologies and formats, which has worked in our advantage since we are by far today, the most innovative company in the rich media world.
How do you see China's technology and marketing sectors developing in the next 20 years?
China will become the world leader in marketing technology. Not only its sheer population size will have an impact on the quantity and quality of new marketing technologies but also the natural intelligence and hard working habits of its working force will create the right environment.
Why did you choose to arrange an office in Beijing instead of Shanghai or other cities?
In fact, we are in the process of opening more offices in Shanghai and in Guangzhou, but Beijing is the place which most of the main portals have their most active advertising divisions and so are the main advertising agencies.
What are benefits and detriments to building a tech company in China?
China is the antipode in many ways to the Western world. The way things are thought and made is so different, that it requires a huge effort and commitment to adapt to the Chinese environment.
The Chinese are, in my opinion, the most hard working, intelligent and creative people in the world. If you can accept the rules of the market and come to learn instead than to teach, then any company, high tech or low tech, will be a success. But if you are a US company that has a complex of superiority as some of the rich media companies have, then the road to success is closed to you.
I must add that I have found that people, who work at websites both on sales and on a technical level, are the most professional people I have ever seen in this industry (and this includes, the US and Europe).
On the other hand, the Chinese should dare more. For example: when I spoke with some of the major players in the internet advertising industry, they were surprised at first at my suggestion to create their own IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) and then let the other IABs in the US and Europe join the Chinese IAB as junior partners.
There is nothing the US IAB has to teach to the Chinese Advertising industry. But vice versa this is not the truth. I hope this new Chinese IAB will come to life soon since it will be lead by people who want innovation and not like the US IAB who are there to stop it. This is just one example of the excessive modesty of the Chinese people. Last but not least, to be in China every time for me is like re-charging my creative batteries. It is so surprising to feel at home so far from home. I wish I were 20 years old now, and can begin everything in China.