5 Speakers You Can’t Miss At Rise 2018

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July 9, 2018 | BY Lee Williamson

The “largest tech conference in Asia” is back for another year this week, featuring over 350 speakers and 15,000 attendees across a packed three-day schedule. Picking out just a few highlights from the dozens of tech doyens who will speak at Rise feels impossible. But if you put a gun to our head, we’d go see the following five.

Hooi Ling Tan. (Photo: Asia One)
1

Tan Hooi Ling

Co-founder, Grab

The company Grab is Southeast Asia’s largest startup, with a valuation of US$6 billion. As well as ride-sharing, the company also has expanded into food delivery and fintech.

Who? Tan Hooi Ling co-founded Grab with fellow Malaysian—and fellow Generation T lister—Anthony Tan, whom she met at Harvard Business School. She usually avoids the limelight, with Anthony providing the public face of the company—which makes this talk all the more interesting.

Quote this “I could never really go where I wanted to because I was afraid of taxi drivers”—Tan on the danger of taking Taxis in Malaysia, which inspired her to co-create Grab.

Topic Grab’s recent acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asian business was hailed as the largest deal of its kind in the region. The session, “In Conversation with Grab”, will explore how the merger has changed the landscape of the ride-sharing industry.

Did you know? Grab has completed over one billion rides since launching six years ago.

Tan Hooi Ling will be on Centre Stage from 10-10.25am on Tuesday 10.

See also: Grab Founder Anthony Tan On The 5 Key Ingredients To His Success

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5 Speakers You Can’t Miss At Rise 2018
Wu Xinhong (left) with actors Angelababy and Li Chen. (Photo: Courtesy of Meitu)
2

Xinhong Wu

Founder and CEO, Meitu

The company Chinese technology firm Meitu is best known for its photo-enhancement apps, which boast 455 million monthly active users around the world—most of whom use the software to look better in selfies.

Who? Amateur photographer Xinhong Wu founded Meitu in 2008, in response to frustration at how long it would take him to retouch photos. Ten years later, his apps have been activated on over one billion devices worldwide.

Topic The talk is titled “An Audience with Meitu”—arrive armed with questions.

 

Donald Trump receives the Meitu treatment. (Photo: Sam Stryker/Twitter)

 

Did you know? Meitu is publicly listed in Hong Kong. Its 2016 floatation—which saw the company end its first day of trading valued at US$4.6 billion— was the city’s largest tech IPO since Alibaba, almost a decade prior.

Ask this “Earlier this year, Meitu announced it was poised to post a profit for the first time. Is this still on track, and how does this change company strategy?”

Least likely to Snap an enhanced selfie and post it on social media. Ironically, Wu doesn’t post pictures online.

Xinhong Wu will be on Centre Stage from 12.50-1.10pm on Wednesday 11.

Brad Smith. (Photo: Courtesy of Microsoft)
3

Brad Smith

President, Microsoft

The company Pronounced “Micro-soft”. They are a software company from Seattle—a city famous in the tech world as the birthplace of Amazon.

Who? Brad Smith has been with Microsoft for 25 years, becoming president in 2015. He’s also the company’s chief legal officer, with a career marked by a series of major court battles that have defined the tech industry as we know it today.

Topic His keynote, “AI and the World”, will discuss how artificial intelligence will change the world around us.

Ask this Given Smith’s legal expertise and the topic of the keynote, the uncertain legal future of big data should be probed further. 

Brad Smith will be on Centre Stage from 4.20-4.45pm on Wednesday 11.

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5 Speakers You Can’t Miss At Rise 2018
Sean Rad. (Photo: Courtesy of Sean Rad/Tinder)
4

Sean Rad

Co-founder, Tinder

The company The online dating app changed the way we meet people. Today, Tinder is in almost 200 countries and receives 1.6 billion “swipes” per day.

Who? Sean Rad co-founded Tinder in 2012, was fired as CEO in 2015 and then rehired in the same role just six months later. He stepped down to become chairman in 2016, launching a new investment vehicle under Tinder’s parent company called Swipe Ventures.

Quote this “Every other week I fall in love with a new girl”—Rad on his own use of Tinder, in a 2015 interview.

The topic In “From Tinder to Investor”, Rad will talk to Rise co-host Casey Lau about how his experiences inform what he looks for when investing in new companies, as well as his predictions for the biggest tech developments in the next five years.  

Most likely to Swipe right. 

Sean Rad will be on Centre stage from 12.30-12.50pm on Wednesday 11.

Ray Chan. (Photo: Moses Ng/Hong Kong Tatler)
5

Ray Chan

Co-founder and CEO, 9Gag

The company Hong Kong-based media firm 9Gag’s mission is to “make the world a happier place”. Clearly it has struck a chord—the platform boasts a global audience of 150 million monthly active users.

Who? Generation T lister Ray Chan started 9Gag in his bedroom for fun. Today, he’s CEO—“chief emailing officer”, as he jokingly describes it—to one of the world’s most popular entertainment brands.

Did you know? 9Gag is the sixth biggest brand on Instagram globally.

Topic In “Making the World Fun Again”, Chan will make a case for why “fun still sells”.

Least likely to Make you laugh. “I’m not funny in real life,” Chan tells Generation T.

Ray Chan will be on Centre Stage from 3.10-3.25pm on Tuesday 10.


Rise 2018 is Tuesday 10 to Thursday 12 of July at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Tickets are still available.

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