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Asia's Digital Elite
 T H E   D I G I T A L   2 5 
•David Mok
Hanson Cheah
William Lo
Juliet Wu
Jeffrey Koo Jr.
Narayana Murthy
Enoki Keiichi
Sim Wong Hoo
Richard Li
Lee Jae Woong
Horii Yuji
Lee Yong Teh Edward Tian
Kutaragi Ken
Peter and Antony Yip
Son Masayoshi
James Murdoch
Chan-drababu Naidu
Matei Mihalca
Chin Dae Je
Matsunaga Mari
Wu Jichuan
Stan Shih
George Yeo Yong Boon

Matei Mihalca
Head of Internet Research, Asia-Pacific, Merrill Lynch Age: 31 Prized possession: Indian carpet Email:

One thing you can't accuse Matei Mihalca of is being dull: The influential Hong Kong-based Internet analyst brims with enthusiasm whenever talk turns to the Web. As Asia's Internet bubble expanded last year, Romanian-born Mihalca was at the forefront of efforts by U.S. investment banks to build up their dotcom business. He played matchmaker, facilitating deals between start-ups and financiers. While his famously optimistic predictions on Asia's Internet scene have turned critical in recent months, Mihalca remains upbeat on his favorite stock picks. Unlike some of his research rivals, Mihalca hasn't quit the investment bank to start up his own dotcom. Maybe that itself is a tip.

Chin Dae Je
President and CEO, Digital Media, Samsung Electronics Age: 48 Hero: Intel Chairman Andy Grove. E-Mail:
They call him Mr. Chips. And it's not because of Chin Dae Je's performance on the golf range, where he likes to head when he has a rare moment to relax. Rather, it's a fitting moniker for the Stanford-educated engineer who nearly single-handedly made Samsung Electronics a leader in the memory chip business. His bosses are now hoping he can work more of his magic in taking analog products like televisions into the digital age. Ultimately, Samsung wants to rival Sony and Matsushita in digital media. "We are [all] on the same starting line as far as digital products are concerned," says Chin. But he's determined to end up ahead of the pack.

Matsunaga Mari
Editorial Director, eWoman Age: 46 Quirk: The savviest, non-English-speaking technophobe on the Web

Matsunaga Mari earned a degree in French literature, spent 20 years editing classified ad magazines — oh, yeah, and then designed the groundbreaking I-Mode mobile Internet service for Japanese cellular giant NTT DoCoMo. How'd she do that? She understood what all the engineers and management consultants didn't — how to provide a useful service to ordinary consumers. Having left DoCoMo earlier this year, Matsunaga recently launched the website with renowned female entrepreneur Sasaki Kaori. They plan to provide readers information on how to start a business, raise children and everything in between.

Wu Jichuan
Minister of Information Industry, China Age: 63 Hobby: Cooking
Wu Jichuan is something of a paradox: a conservative techie. As the gatekeeper to China's cyberspace (all Internet ventures must pass through his ministry), Wu has pressed hard to make the Internet more accessible to ordinary Chinese (among his achievements: forcing state-backed China Telecom to cut prices). At the same time, however, he has tried to block foreign inroads into the country's telecom and Internet sectors. Described as an anti-WTO conservative, Wu shook the Web community last year when he announced that foreign investment in Internet content-and-service providers was illegal. He reportedly has little time for outside interests, but he is said to enjoy puttering about the kitchen. Perhaps struggling dotcoms should consider inviting him for dinner? He'll cook.

Stan Shih
Chairman and founder, ACER Group Age: 56 Quote: ³Instead of focusing on certain technological disciplines, we should train our students as well as employees to think independently.² E-mail:
The title of his autobiography, Me Too Is Not My Style, summarizes Stan Shih's life philosophy. Shih's iconoclastic style has sifted down through Taiwan's Acer Group, giving it the flexibility to survive two decades of neck-twisting changes and emerge as the world's third-largest PC maker. Among his credos: empower employees. Well before stock options came into vogue, he gave up 70% of his Acer stake to his employees. Being Asia's elder statesman of high-tech, however, wasn't his original plan; his childhood ambition was to be a professor. But today he does get to fulfill his dream — partially. Each week, he shares his valuable experience through lectures at National Chiao Tung University.

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