The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

The Epicenter of Scale

I’ve just returned from a milk run through Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.

China, and Beijing, are redefining all western views of scale. The business diversity is immense. It’s hard not to be impressed by the curiosity and enthusiasm of the citizens of the world in this very modern city, in this very modern country. The sheer size of the physical landscape and architecture is overwhelming. I liken this to a 100-mile drive through Manhattan.



Some facts for you:

  • China is the fastest growing market for American goods. Between 2000 and 2011, US exports to China rose 542 percent, while its exports to the rest of the world rose by only 81 percent during that period. (
  • In 2008, the Beijing Capital International Airport opened Terminal 3, an addition that made the airport the world’s busiest. The Beijing Daxing International Airport, to open in 2017, will have room for 130 million passengers each year. (Australian Business Traveler) In comparison, New York’s three airports have a combined capacity of 110 million.
  • After 7.5% growth in 2012, estimates have China’s economy growing between 8% and 8.5% in 2013.
  • There are 84 cities in China with a population of more than 1M people; in the US there are nine. There are four cities in China larger than any US cities.
  • On Singles Day, Alibaba’s, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon, took in over US $3B in revenue, beating the total of ALL US retailers for CyberMonday 2011 by $1.75B.

And finally, in 2006, after 30 years of trying, the Rolling Stones, arguably the world’s most famous rock band, made it to China, after a long negotiation which included some sensorship. At one point in the concert they shared the stage with Cui Jian, a Chinese musician who said, “This is the 20th-year anniversary of Chinese rock ‘n’ roll,” referring to the rock ‘n’ roll era’s bypass of China, which was in the midst of its Cultural Revolution during the music’s heyday.

As I was reminded again last week, this land in the midst of great change and rapid market transformation offers incredible opportunities for those that can navigate the complex mosaic of culture and business.

Tom Lounibos

About the Author

Tom Lounibos

As CEO of SOASTA, Tom brings more than 30 years of experience building early stage software companies, leading two companies to successful IPOs. Tom is a regular speaker at both cloud and testing events, and has become a leading advocate in using the cloud to empower individuals and accelerate changes in how applications are built, tested and deployed. Most recently, Tom served as President and CEO of Kenamea. Prior to Kenamea, he was CEO of Dorado Corp., a financial services software provider. Previous to Dorado, he was EVP of Sagent Technology through its 1999 IPO, entrepreneur-in-residence at Crosspoint Venture Partners, and held executive positions at Digitalk Corp., Knowledgeware (KWI) and Encore Financial Services. Tom also serves on several boards in the Silicon Valley.