Tag Archives: Google in Asia

BeeTouched: how the internet keeps the buzz in a family business

Editor’s note: As part of our series of interviews with entrepreneurs across Asia-Pacific who use the internet to grow, we spoke with Aaron Huang, the manager of BeeTouched, a honey business in Taiwan. After he and his cousins took over the family business, Aaron used the internet to build a new brand and spread awareness of Taiwan’s delicious honey. Since it was established in 1982, BeeTouched has grown from 10 to 50 full-time employees.

Please tell us more about BeeTouched.

My family has been in the honey business for three generations. My grandfather was a beekeeper and began selling honey more than 50 years ago. After they inherited the business, my father and two uncles decided to expand it by selling raw honey to other businesses.

Today, I’m proud to run the business with four of my cousins. Our generation decided to establish the company as a unique brand that connected independent beekeepers and consumers, rather than just a honey supplier for other businesses. We may be biased because we hail from a beekeeping family, but we think that beekeepers are really interesting people! Every Taiwanese beekeeper we work with has an inspiring, touching story to share.

BeeTouched Aaron

Aaron Huang, third-generation Taiwanese honey seller and CEO of BeeTouched.

What impact do you think the internet has had on your business?

The internet allows us to understand and engage our customers better. Tools like Google Analytics help us appreciate our clients’ needs and preferences. With the internet, we are in a better position to give our customers what they want.

The internet has also expanded our ability to reach new audiences in an easy and cost-effective manner. We use YouTube to share videos about our products and the benefits of honey. AdWords has also been a very effective tool. Since we started using it, traffic to our site has increased 40 percent.

How do you think BeeTouched has helped beekeepers in Taiwan?

Keeping bees is hard work. More than a few beekeepers have told me that they do not want their children to follow them in the same line of work. By providing beekeepers with a predictable and regular demand for honey, we hope that we make their livelihoods more stable. BeeTouched is also passionate about promoting Taiwanese honey as a unique product for consumers to enjoy rather than raw material for a factory line. Over the years, I think we’ve managed to persuade consumers that it’s worth it to pay a bit more for good Taiwanese honey. Every year, the Taiwanese beekeeper association gives us a certificate to thank us for our efforts.

BeeTouched apiary

Beekeepers tend to the apiaries which supply BeeTouched’s honey in Taiwan

What’s next for your business? Do you plan on expanding at home or overseas?

We have over 10,000 registered customers on our site. Thanks to the Internet and Google, we’ve already been able to export honey to the United States, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, China, and Hong Kong. We’re excited to export honey to more countries and we are also exploring the possibility of working with beekeepers from other parts of the world.

Ready, set, pitch: Demo Day Asia

With Sundar, our CEO, visiting People Squared in Beijing today.

Today at People Squared, a Google for Entrepreneurs partner hub in Beijing, our CEO Sundar Pichai announced that we would hold Google’s first ever Demo Day Asia in Shanghai this year. Since 2014, Google for Entrepreneurs has organized Demo Days in the United States and Europe for outstanding startups to connect with investors and scale globally. Businesses that have pitched at Demo Days have raised $259 million. Now it’s time for Asia’s startups to shine.

Demo Day Asia in Shanghai will be the first time Google brings together entrepreneurs from the region, helping them pitch to top investment and venture capital firms. There are also opportunities for founders of shortlisted startups to get mentored by Google executives and access Google for Entrepreneurs global partner network. China is a great location for this event as investment activity and the startup ecosystem are booming.

Among those Chinese startups is Castbox, a podcast app that customizes listening experiences by surfacing personalized recommendations and enabling people to search for words within audio content. Two years ago, Castbox delivered a great pitch at a Demo Day in Mountain View, CA, and was crowned as the “Judges’ Favorite.” It went on to raise almost $13 million in funding and grew from 3 million to 15 million users.  

There are lots of impressive startups, like Castbox, in Asia. But the continent is vast and more success stories are waiting to happen in every corner. They just need a stage. With Demo Day Asia, we hope to shine a spotlight on the next great tech champion of the region. Founders can stay tuned for upcoming details on Demo Day Asia on our site.

If you’re a founder and unable to make it this time for Demo Day Asia, you can still tap into our existing support for startups worldwide. In Asia, we support tech founders through our network of partners, our Campus space for startups in Seoul and accelerator programs like Google Developers Launchpad. You can also find out more about how our products can help you build your startup here.

Innovation can come from anywhere. We hope Demo Day Asia brings great ideas from the region to the world and we’re incredibly excited to start the search for the next great Asian startup.  

Supporting the growth of an Intelligent Taiwan

In 2006, we set up our first office in Taiwan with just one employee. I had the honor of being that first employee. In the 12 years since then, we have grown our team to more than 2,000 employees, built a data center and opened a Google Cloud region. Our most rewarding expansion has been in growing our talent. Following the closure of our deal with HTC this year, Taiwan has become our largest engineering site in Asia.

As we’ve grown, so too has Taiwan’s importance to us as a research and innovation hub. World-class engineers in Taiwan have helped improve products like Android and Chrome, making them work better for the whole world. Taiwanese engineers have also researched, designed and built beautiful, high-end Android devices, like the Pixel 2.

More great products and experiences are still waiting to be created by Taiwan’s amazing talent, and we want to keep working with them. So today, at the “Intelligent Taiwan” event, we announced the next steps of our commitment to invest in Taiwanese talent.

This year, we will grow our team by more than 300 people, provide digital marketing training to more than 50,000 businesses and students, and train more than 5,000 Taiwanese students in artificial intelligence (AI) programing.

First, many of our 300 new hires will be engineers working on hardware and software, helping us create beautiful devices with the best technology and building on our decade long history of cooperating with incredible Taiwanese talent in this area. (Check out our jobs site for open roles.)

Of course, we plan to do a lot more than just hire people. We want to help all Taiwanese master the technology of the future.

So we are also empowering Taiwanese to participate in the digital economy. We will train 50,000 Taiwanese businesses and students in digital marketing over the next year through a combination of online and offline initiatives. Our Digital Garage program will provide a free and convenient online platform for digital marketing training, while offline facilities will soon be opened in Tainan and Taichung to cater to those who prefer face-to-face training.

Finally, we will help Taiwanese prepare for an AI-first future. We are holding a train-the-trainers program for teachers in locations across Taiwan. They will be given in-depth instruction and taken through our Machine Learning Crash Course initiative. The goal is for them to go on to educate a new generation of Taiwanese students in AI, starting with 5,000 students this year.

Pinkoi: Sharing love for local craft in a global marketplace

Pinkoi’s founders (from left to right): Mike Lee, Maibelle Lin and Peter Yen.

Editor’s note: As part of our series of interviews with people across the Asia-Pacific who use the internet as a tool to connect, create and grow, we spoke with Peter Yen, the CEO of Pinkoi, Asia’s leading online marketplace for original design and art products. Peter founded Pinkoi seven years ago along with Mike Lee, Pinkoi’s Chief Technology Officer and Maibelle Lin, Pinkoi’s Chief Product Officer. From a staff of three, Pinkoi has grown to a business of 82 employees serving more than two million customers in 88 countries. The platform is now home to more than 50,000 artisans and designers.

Why did you start Pinkoi?

My wife loves craft fairs and vintage markets. That’s where I first connected with artisans and designers. They produce great original products, but are often unsure about how to promote them or connect with their customers. I also thought that the designer community lacked an online space to share their creative and business experiences.


Some of the 50,000 designers and artisans on Pinkoi.

How did you meet your two co-founders Mike and Maibelle?  

It was the internet that brought us together. When I got the idea for Pinkoi, I researched developer blogs extensively and that is how I came across Mike. We chatted and exchanged ideas for the business on Gmail and Hangouts. We connected to Mai through a mutual friend who introduced us online.

With the help of the internet, we gradually conceived and developed the idea for Pinkoi, although we did not live in the same place at the time. Although we are all tech geeks at heart, we also shared a common passion for design and helping the designer community. Our passion resulted in us becoming not just business partners, but also good friends!

A few of the 980,000 items for sale on Pinkoi.

What impact do you think the Internet has had on your business?

The internet is the reason why a platform like Pinkoi can work. Pinkoi gives anyone in the world easy access to our designers’ quality products. We think beautiful design is a universal language and should be shared. It’s not just our business, but also the livelihoods of all our designers. With the Internet,  our designers have the opportunity of making a living while pursuing their passions. Most designers are hobbyists when they join Pinkoi, but quite a few become full-time entrepreneurs after receiving training from us. 

In particular, Google is like our oxygen and our business wouldn’t survive without it. Our online business relies on Google’s solutions. We use Google Analytics to understand performance across all acquisition channels and to gain insights into what people are searching for. We also have the ability to advertise to relevant segments of the population with Google Adwords. GSuite and Google Calendar are the backbone of our daily communications.

What’s the best part about working with artists and designers from around the world on Pinkoi? 

It’s really empowering to know that you can have a positive impact on livelihoods and lives, even across borders. Our designers also pay that positive impact forward to their customers. Many of them have told us about online customers finding them at offline events to express their appreciation for products they bought on Pinkoi. Pinkoi isn’t just an online marketplace for transactions, it’s a platform to connect real people across the world.  

Oddbods: Capturing kids’ imaginations around the world

Editor's Note: As part of our series of interviews with people across the Asia-Pacific who use the internet as a tool to create, connect and grow, we spoke with Sashim Parmanand, CEO of One Animation studios, based in Singapore. One Animation is the creator of “Oddbods,” a multi-award winning cartoon that follows the shenanigans of seven quirky, adorable characters that has over a million subscribers to its YouTube channel. In 2017, Oddbods received its first Emmy nomination for Best Animated Series. In the last four years, One Animation has become a global business spanning over 150 countries, with revenues doubling year on year.  

Tell us about “Oddbods.”

“Oddbods” is a globally loved, non-dialogue comedy featuring seven very different, always adorable pals. Together, they survive the perils of everyday life, turning ordinary situations into unexpected, extraordinary events, with lots of fun and laughter for everyone along the way. 

We’ve received a few industry awards, but there was a collective gasp of excitement in the office when we got an Emmy nomination for Best Animated Show last year! All of the blood, sweat, heartache and tears that went into Oddbods completely paid off in that moment. We also reached a major milestone of 1 million subscribers on our YouTube channel. We’re really happy that “Oddbods” has found passionate viewers among the young and the young at heart all over the world. 


We love the fact that the seven characters have unique “oddities” and that children are taught to embrace their own quirks. What was the inspiration behind the characters? 

Richard, our creative director, watched cartoons obsessively as a child—“Snow White” and “Tom and Jerry” were favorites. He loved the distinct personality of each of the seven dwarfs and the underlying message that despite Tom and Jerry’s ongoing feud, they were the best of friends at heart. These themes of friendship and individuality inspired the creation of “Oddbods.” The Oddbods teach kids and people of all ages to be true to yourself and accept others’ differences.

What has your experience with YouTube been? 

YouTube is a great platform for creators to quickly engage a global audience. Since we’re constantly refining the content of our episodes, we’re able to appeal to different consumers and have driven 3 billion views in just over 18 months! YouTube has also helped us engage our viewers directly and build in fun features in our videos that are not possible in other formats.

While “Oddbods” is one of the fastest growing YouTube channels in the kids' space globally, what really excites us is our fans’ love for the content. They’re reposting it on their own YouTube channels so quickly that user-generated content growth is faster than our channel’s. This is the biggest accolade we could receive for the show!


How has the show’s success helped grow your business?

 We set up a secondary production location in Jakarta in 2015. The influx of new talent from Jakarta combined with the incredible expertise of our R&D team has ensured that our content is of the highest quality. Meanwhile, our commercial team has grown three-fold over the same period, helping us build and diversify new revenue streams across digital, TV, gaming and merchandising. The show’s success has also helped us forge strong partnerships with industry giants such as Ferrero, Carl's Junior, the Australian Football League and National Express.


What advice would you give to aspiring creators in the family entertainment content field?

Our shows have always been about creating magical and immersive stories brought to life with the very latest animation techniques. A large part of this is accomplished by creating characters that audiences can empathize with, regardless of culture or language. As a non-dialogue show, “Oddbods” is perhaps the best example of this. They are zany, quirky and funny. But most of all, despite being colorful, non-human characters, they are very “real.” 


What’s next for “Oddbods” and One Animation?

“Oddbods” has captured the imaginations of kids around the globe over the last three years and the brand has been on a journey of rapid development. 

We just launched toys in Singapore, the Philippines and across Europe.  We plan on launching more products globally for our fans, including a suite of apps and games. We expect an “Oddbods” game to be available in AR and VR in the next couple of months!

Happy Lunar New Year! Wag hello to the Year of the Dog

Today marks Lunar New Year. Across the world, people are celebrating the end of the year of the Rooster and the start of the Year of the Dog.

Whether you're enjoying tteokguk with family or handing out red envelopes for good luck, there are many ways to celebrate the holiday. According to Google Trends, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries searching the most for “red envelopes.” Meanwhile, top searched foods are nian gao, dumplings, pineapple tart, rice cake and peanut cookies.

Since we’re dog people here at Google, we sniffed out a few non-traditional ways to celebrate. Howl you be spending the Lunar New Year?

Try your paw at drawing

In the last year, people have drawn more than 3 million doodles of dogs in Quick, Draw!—a fun game that uses neural networks to try to recognize your drawings. In honor of Lunar New Year, our team snuck in a special version of Quick, Draw! withDog Face on Google -related items. Put your doodling skills to the test.

Quick Draw Dog

If you’re more of a data breed, you can check out the pawsome dog doodles from around the world in a special Lunar New Year version of Facets Dive, a tool that visualizes large sets of data (in this case ruff-ly 140,000 dogs that people have drawn in Quick, Draw!).

The dogs of Street View

Lunar Year of the Dog means dogs are everywhere–including on Google Street View! We’ve had a lot of fun finding furry friends all around, from this one strolling through New York’s Central Park to thisDog Face on Google hanging out in a small alley in San Sebastian, to our friend here enjoying the Coastal Walk in Sydney. Scroll through our favorites below, or find dogs on Street View in your own neighborhood.

Photos of your pup

In Google Photos, you can create a movie of the dog in your life—select "Doggie Movie" among the movie themes and Google Photos will stitch together photos of the dog. Photos also lets you search for your dog using a dog emoji.

All dogs go to the Games

We couldn’t let the moment pass without a Doodle (or two!). This cheerful pup on our homepage in many countries around the world isn’t just welcoming the New Year—it’s also celebrating the Doodle Snow Games!
Lunar New Year Ski Lift Doodle 2018

In places not tuning into the Doodle Snow Games, you might see a different Doodle—also featured at the top of this post.

No matter how you celebrate or what language you say it in, happy Lunar New Year!

Five easy tips to help you stay safe online

We know that keeping your information safe and private is important to you, which is why we’ve baked security features into all our products. We’ve also developed technologies to help keep the broader internet safe, too. Whether you’re using Gmail, Android, YouTube, or simply browsing the web, here are some of the tools and features you should know about this Safer Internet Day that will help keep you and your data secure:

Start by taking a Security Checkup 

Two minutes is all it takes to secure your account at g.co/securitycheckup. You can think of the Security Checkup as your own personal security advisor, taking you through specific recommendations to help keep your Google account safe. A green checkmark means you’re good to go, and a yellow or red exclamation point means there’s at least one issue for you to take care of. The Security Checkup will keep evolving as new threats arise, so you can rely on it to provide you with up-to-date security advice. 

Security Checkup
Safe Browsing warning

Look out for automatic warnings

Spotting phishing scams or dangerous websites can be a challenge, even for savvy web users. Our automated systems detect and warn you about sites with malware, or attempts to phish you. Just keep an eye out for our warnings and follow the instructions—we've got you covered. 

2 Factor Authentication

Protect your Google account with two-factor authentication

Secure your email inbox by activating 2-step verification. With this feature, you’ll need a password and a verification code that’s sent to your mobile phone to be able to get into your inbox. Enroll in 2-step verification now to add an extra layer of security your account.

Google Play Protect

Download apps on Google Play for peace of mind on your Android 

If you’re an Android user, the safest place to download apps is from the Google Play store. Google Play Protect checks apps and your device around the clock to keep out malicious programs and makes sure you have the latest in mobile security protection. In 2017 alone, we took down more than 700,000 apps that violated Google Play policies, 70 percent more than the apps taken down in 2016. Google Play Protect is the ideal security blanket for your mobile device, so can you consider yourself and your data covered. 

Google Play Protect is also there to help you if you ever misplace your phone. Visit android.com/find to locate, ring, lock and erase your Android devices—phones, tablets, and even watches. 

YouTube flaggers

You too can help keep YouTube safe 

YouTube has always allowed people like you and me to report content we think is inappropriate. Once you’ve flagged a video, it’s submitted for review to YouTube staff who then carefully look at the content to determine whether there’s a violation of YouTube’s Community Guidelines to see if it should be removed. You can also flag individual comments under any video for abuse or spam. 

Bonus: Some wise words from the YouTube community

In honor of Safer Internet Day across Asia Pacific, we’ve also invited some of your favorite YouTube creators to share their top safety tips online, to make sure the internet remains a respectful place. Hear what Giang Ơi in Vietnam, Jako de Leon of PaperbugTV in the Philippines, Sejal Kumar in India, and folks like Elly Awesome, Slaiman and Kate, Jayden Rodrigues, Jamie and The Scran Line in Australia have to say!



ABCs OF BULLYING w/ Jako de Leon | PaperbugTV

ABCs OF BULLYING w/ Jako de Leon | PaperbugTV

What Hate Comments Feel Like | Sejal Kumar

What Hate Comments Feel Like | Sejal Kumar

Safer Internet Day 2018 - Create, Connect and Share Respect

Safer Internet Day 2018 - Create, Connect and Share Respect

Welcoming new teammates from HTC to our hardware organization

It’s been a busy few months since we introduced our second-generation family of Made by Google products. We’ve heard from so many of you that our new products have been helpful in your everyday lives—whether you’re taking stunning portrait mode photos with the new Pixel 2, getting hands-free help around the house with the Google Home Mini, or using real-time translation in 40 languages with Google Pixel Buds. But even with all the great things these products can do, building hardware is…hard, and there’s still a long journey ahead.

That’s why I’m delighted that we’ve officially closed our deal with HTC, and are welcoming an incredibly talented team to work on even better and more innovative products in the years to come. These new colleagues bring decades of experience achieving a series of “firsts” particularly in the smartphone industry—including bringing to market the first 3G smartphone in 2005, the first touch-centric phone in 2007, and the first all-metal unibody phone in 2013. This is also the same team we’ve been working closely with on the development of the Pixel and Pixel 2.

As our hardware business enters its third year, we remain committed to building and investing for the long run. Today, we start digging in with our new teammates, guided by the mission to create radically helpful experiences for people around the world, by combining the best of Google’s AI, software and hardware.

Finally, with the official close of this deal, we’re expanding our footprint in the Asia Pacific region. Taiwan is a key innovation and engineering hub for Google, and Taipei will now become the largest Google engineering site in APAC.

Investing in Indonesia

With more than 133 million people online, Indonesia is home to the fifth largest population of internet users in the world. And amazingly, Indonesia’s online journey has just gotten started — Indonesians continue to embrace the internet rapidly and half of Indonesia’s population has yet to connect to the internet. 

Indonesia already has a thriving internet economy and a bustling startup scene, home to four of Southeast Asia’s eight “unicorns,” but we’d like to do more to help supercharge and grow with it. So, to help Indonesians build the next great startup, we’ve already trained nearly 60,000 Indonesians on mobile app development, toward our goal of reaching 100,000 developers by 2020. And to help more Indonesian small businesses tap into the power of the internet, our Gapura Digital initiative has trained more than 40,000 small business owners in 10 cities, with more cities to come. 

To help all Indonesians access information and get things done, we continue to work on products and features with Indonesians in mind. Indonesia was the second country globally to get Google Station, our product to deliver high-quality public Wi-Fi with local partners. We have also designed products to work for Indonesians. YouTube Go helps Indonesians watch their favorite videos even with poor connectivity. And most recently, Indonesia was one of the first two countries in the world to get our new app, Google Go, which makes searching the internet faster and simpler for Indonesians on slow connections. 

But there is still more we can do to support and participate in Indonesia’s growth. That’s why we’ve invested in one of Indonesia’s leading startups, GO-JEK. GO-JEK is led by a strong Indonesian management team and has a proven track record of using technology to make life more convenient for Indonesians across the country. This investment lets us partner with a great local champion in Indonesia’s flourishing startup ecosystem, while also deepening our commitment to Indonesia’s internet economy.

By investing in local companies, building locally relevant products and training local talent, we hope to see more amazing local champions like GO-JEK emerge in Indonesia. As always, we’re driven and inspired by our users and partners and are always on the the lookout for more opportunities to support them. Terima kasih dan sampai jumpa lagi.

Tea time with a touch of technology

Some of the world’s best tea is grown in the Darjeeling district of India, seen here against the backdrop of the Himalayas.

Editor’s Note: As part of our series of interviews with entrepreneurs across Asia Pacific who use the internet to grow, we spoke with Parvez Gupta, the co-founder of Udyan Tea in Siliguri, India, to find out how he uses technology to bring the best teas to tea lovers in India and beyond. 

After working for a multinational firm in Singapore, you returned home to start a business in India. Tell us about your motivations. 

I grew up in Siliguri, which is part of the Darjeeling district of West Bengal—where the world’s finest tea is grown. I love tea and I enjoyed savoring it from a young age. Being in Siliguri, I’m at the source of tea production, and I’ve been able to use the internet to bring fresher and better teas to people everywhere.

My father was also a huge inspiration. Growing up, I saw him build multiple businesses from the ground up and he inspired me to become an entrepreneur.

Parvez Gupta Udyan Tea
Udyan tea co-founder Parvez Gupta is passionate about sharing his Darjeeling tea culture with the rest of the country and the world.

Why tea and why Udyan?

My friend, Punit Poddar, and I started Udyan Tea in 2012. Punit is also deeply passionate about tea. He has been a tea taster for the past ten years and his family have been in the tea business for more than five decades. During our travels in India, we realized there was a severe lack of good quality tea in other parts of the country. As natives of Siliguri, we expect every cup of tea to be a great one. But we discovered that most good quality tea is exported to foreign markets.

We worked together to address the gap in the domestic market — too many firms catered to demand for fine teas abroad, but not at home. So Udyan Tea was born. Udyan means “garden” and that’s what we aim to provide, the finest tea from the garden to your cup. We select the best tea based on freshness, authenticity and quality. 

Punit Poddar Udyan
Udyan co-founder and tea taster Punit Poddar hails from a family that's been in the tea business for more than 50 years.

How do you find that Google helps your business?

The internet has opened up an entire new base of consumers to businesses of every kind. Before the internet, you could only transact with local communities. Today, with e-commerce, the possibilities are limitless. We are primarily focused on the Indian market, and close to 80% of our revenue is driven from within the country.  We depend entirely on the internet for selling our products, and we rely heavily on Google search to generate traffic to our business.

AdWords has been indispensable for generating new leads for us. We also use Search, Analytics, and Google My Business. We’ve also used Translate tools to close deals with customers who do not speak English at all, which is quite amazing if you think about it. So far, we have shipped products to over 25 countries!

Can you tell us about how your business has helped your community? 

We purchase teas from a number of small growers on an ongoing basis. This helps them fetch the best prices for their teas by eliminating middlemen and contributes to their sustainability. We also serve as consultants to other tea businesses and cafes, meaning we help other companies succeed in the tea business as well!

Tea tasting Udyan
"Udyan [उद्यान] means garden in Hindi, and that’s what we represent," explains Parvez Gupta, "tea fresh from the gardens".