Our article today about Silicon Valley VCs and China omitted a little tale that underscores just how seriously some Bay Area VCs are taking things.
When the Silicon Valley Bank arranged a trip in June to take a contingent of VCs to China meet some of that countries most important entrepreneurs and political officials, the bank was deluged with requests from VCs wanting to go. So SV Bank was forced to limit the participation to about 25 VCs — and of course it did so by picking only the best of the bunch.
So you can imagine what happened when the local venture capital trade publication, the Asian Venture Capital Journal, wrote a piece about the trip and mistakingly included a VC — David Chow, of Pacific Venture Partners — as being part of the contingent when apparently he wasn’t. The AVCJ was barraged with e-mails from jealous VCs who’d been forced to stay home, pointing out that Chow wasn’t part of the list, and demanding a correction.
So the AVCJ wrote the correction, but did it Chinese style — so politely that it was hard to notice. It simply reprinted a partial list of people on the trip, leaving it readers to read between the lines. We obtained the real list to confirm the story, and indeed Chow wasn’t on it.
One tidbit: The largest contingent on the trip was from the well-known firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, including partner John Doerr (backer of Google, Amazon, Netscape, etc) and associates Matt Murphy and Aileen Lee. We bumped into Lee a couple of weeks ago. She said Kleiner would have to study the matter carefully before starting a major investment strategy concerning China.