China and CCBN

Just came back from my second trip to China this year. Some of my team and I went to meet with customers and attend the annual China Content Broadcasting Network (CCBN) conference. The size of this show reflects the appetite for everything TV and telecommunications in China. It is roughly two-thirds the size of IBC in the Netherlands and twice as large as the NCTA Cable Show in the US. And again, I returned in awe of China — and that’s on top of the cold I picked up.

It’s hard to ignore the country’s sheer scale and pace of its development. It’s a country where more than 160 cities have a population greater than 1 million. (That’s 10 times as many as the U.S. and Canada combined!) Their largest cities are simply huge. Consider cramming ¾ of California in one city and you get Beijing! This year, China became the world’s top manufacturing country by output.

The image I take away is not of rice paddies and rickshaws, but rather modern cityscapes, massive highway projects and high-speed trains that connect it all. To support all this, China builds and uses increasing amounts of telecommunications and broadcasting technology. One declared theme at CCBN 2011 was ‘Three Network Convergence” (Chinese is a very visual language). It became clear to me that their challenges are not far from our own, although scalability has a very different meaning there than it does here.

Although we probably don’t all agree on Chinese business and political practices, I think we can all respect and learn something from China’s rise and focus on the future.

If you have any doubts, come and see us at next year’s CCBN in Beijing. We’ll have a booth there.