Cover story

Take that, China

A gutsy emerging markets internet strategy has paid off very handsomely for Naspers.

10 March 2009

At around the time that two computer graduates called Larry Page and Sergey Brin were collaborating on an interesting research project that would later be called Google, MySpace was conceived and eBay sold its first item, Naspers was making eyes at China. This was a time when everyone was falling in love with start-ups from Silicon Valley, the magnet for media investments. It’s hard to imagine that ten years ago, emerging markets were perceived to be the Wild West. They were viewed as risky, dangerous territories where only the brave or foolish dared to go.

“We made some very expensive mistakes in China in the beginning. We lost a lot of money. But we didn’t want to compete with well-funded Silicon Valley start-ups and believed emerging markets would eventually yield greater value,” says Naspers CEO of internet operations Antonie Roux.

ITWeb Premium

Get 3 months of unlimited access
No credit card. No obligation.

Already a subscriber Log in