William Dong wins ACC ACAA 2012 Award for ICT and New Media


Dr William Dong, co-founder, COO and CTO of China’s online VIP site, Jiapin.com and Melbourne University graduate, has taken out this year’s Australia China Connections ACAA Award for ICT and New Media. He spoke to Sophie Loras.

Dr William Dong gradated from the University of Melbourne with a Masters in Software System Engineering, going on to later complete his PhD in Computer Science also with the University of Melbourne.
Dr Dong co-founded Jiapin.com – China’s largest luxury brand flash sales e-commerce company – in 2009. The company was recently valued at US$200 million.
Jiapin.com has directed more than 20,000 online sales events since its founding, featuring top-tier international and designer fashion brands. Current sales are estimated at 20 million yuan per month.
This continuing achievement has attracted considerable investment, with two major global companies – Intel Capital and Macy’s – providing capital, support and business knowledge.
Originally employing 12 people, Jiapin.com now employs almost 500 and recently established cooperation with Australia’s largest mid-market department store, Target.
Dr Dong says he chose to study in Australia because of its reputation as a beautiful country, renowned for its high quality educational system.
“It had been a dream land for me to visit since I was young,” says Dr Dong.
While studying for his Master of Software System Engineering (MSSE) and PhD of Computer Science, Dr Dong enhanced his knowledge of the Internet, which has led to hiswilliam_dong_nz_webcurrent role today with Jiapin.
“At the same time, the religious education and noble humanistic spirit of Melbourne University has sharpened me to be a scrupulous and confident scholar as well,” he says.
Dr Dong says the Australian study experience also widened his view of the Western world.
“It has helped me to communicate with my Western suppliers and investors competently.”
*Pictured above: The world at his feet, successful entrepreneur, William Dong, co-founder of China’s Jiapin.com and winner of the 2012 ACAA Award for ICT and New Media, pictured in Queenstown, New Zealand shortly after his graduation from the University of Melbourne.

His keys to success revolve around the Five Rights: Choosing the right business model, starting at the right time, with the right team and using the right operation – in addition to finding the right investment.

Dr Dong says that today’s Chinese character means people want to buy branded products while simultaneously being very sensitive to price.
His flash-sale e-commerce platform was, he says, the right business model for China in late
2009 when Jiapin was launched.
“Jiapin has provided this service to the Chinese market since then. I am surprised at the speed of growth of Jiapin, however I have also always been very confident [about Jiapin’s success], as we have always chosen the right ways to do things in the enterprise’s lifecycle.”
Dr Dong says it is extremely hard to be an entrepreneur in China because of the competitive environment.
“In addition, not only do I have to run my business team well, but I also have to make good social connections.”
A keen supporter of local entrepreneurs, Dr Dong has a deep relationship with the Overseas Study Association. Through his work with the Association, Dr Dong has helped generate funding and support for young entrepreneurs. This philanthropic support enables young businessmen and women to start their own commercial enterprises, develop strategic relationships with the Chinese Government and study overseas.
“I am an active person in the Overseas Study Association – participating in sports clubs, such as ping pong and badminton and joining forums to exchange information and experience,” he says.
“We have made a good network with people from different careers, and also venture capitals. We have shared the experience with people who plan to start up a new business and also helped them to find venture capital through our network.” 

*Pictured top right: William Dong graduating from The University of Melbourne after completing his PhD.


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