LiveCode in China - Interview with Andy Parng

Recently RunRev launched LiveCode in China and a Chinese subsidiary and joint venture company in partnership with Andy Parng, software industry serial entrepreneur. Right after the trip, Kevin Miller, RunRev CEO wrote in company newsletter: “It was a fabulous trip. We met with our new Chinese partner, Andy Parng. Andy has an outstanding track record as a serial entrepreneur within the software industry. He is also a longstanding customer who understands the value and USPs of the LiveCode platform in depth. Andy is based in Beijing and brings a wealth of local knowledge and internationalization experience”. had a great chance to interview Andy Parng on company launch and LivCode promotion in China. When did LiveCode start in China and what benefit does it have for the Chinese?

Andy Parng:  LiveCode China started in 2013 as joint venture company between myself and RunRev, which is headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland. The CEO Kevin Miller, started programming at the age of 12, established RunRev in high school and actually created the company at 17. Kevin’s vision was to create an application that everyone would be able to program computers. Our launch ceremony was done in conjunction with Alex Salmond, Scottish First Minister. We invited several potential new Chinese partners to the event and launched a Chinese version of the LiveCode website. 

China has the world’s largest developer market and is also the world’s largest software market. There are hundreds of potential Chinese software developers, for every actual programmer inn China today.  They want to create and program Apps, but are deterred because of the complexity of the current development languages. LiveCode reduces the barriers to entry so that they can achieve their dream of becoming a software developer. If we give these people proper training so that they can become independent software developers, they will be able to expand the Chinese software market - the same is true for Armenia also. The Chinese people are some of the most entrepreneurial in the world and want to be their own boss. We believe that having entrepreneurial Chinese software developers is important and am convinced that LiveCode China will make a significant contribution to that development. Why do you focus using LiveCode in the Chinese education system and schools?

Andy Parng:  I personally believe that learning a programming language is just as important as learning a second language.  The sooner the better - the process should start in elementary and continue to high school. For example, Estonia has population of only 1.3 million, less than one-thousandth of China, yet they start computer education from the first grade. They found that teaching a programming language is easier to learn than natural language, because the programming language is 100% logical. This has resulted in many benefits for Estonian society - currently it has the world’s most efficient digital government for example. It also has the the world’s highest rate of entrepreneurship. Skype was originally developed in Estonia and has been sold twice with Microsoft purchasing it for US$8.5 billion dollars from eBay. [Editor Note: also focused on Estonia and how Armenia can follow their lead Read Here]

The late Steve Jobs of Apple also has mentioned in interviews that learning  to program was an important factor in enhancing logical thinking. So, I think that to enhance China’s competitiveness in the world, and Armenia’s for the same reason, it is critical to promote computer programing in the school curriculum.  And the sooner the better. LiveCode is the perfect choice for Chinese educators, it is easy to write, there is a FREE open source version for both the schools and students. I believe that LiveCode can make a significant contribution to China’s development of a software industry of the future. Has LiveCode encountered any difficulties in China? What were the solutions?

Andy Parng: The biggest challenge facing LiveCode in China is building a foundation and a complete industry ecosystem. Our plan to overcome this challenge is:

  1. To get all LiveCode documents and training materials finished fully finished and translated.
  2. Getting leaders in various fields to cooperation and establish a complete ecosystem. Getting companies to cooperate and to promote universal LiveCode extensions such as cloud apps, payments, advertising, social networking and others to have a full software ecosystem.
  3. Launched a free mobile application to school and commit to training and promotion of LiveCode. In our past Chinese issue, we covered the fact that Chinese software market is difficult to penetrate. What advice can you give an Armenia looking to sell in China?

Andy Parng: In order to succeed in China, I think the business model needs to be adjusted for the China market. For LiveCode, even the business model here is similar to the global one which encompasses commercial licensing, technical support, app marketing, 3rd party product sales, and online/offline training services. In China, I think we will focus more on monetization from offline training services as people are used to pay money for this type of services. The freemium type of model should work well in China too. That is offering basic service for free and charge for upgraded service. Is a Branch office in China with a representative critical? s a Branch office in China with a representative critical?

Andy Parng: Yes, it is extremely important to have a local office with local natives as representatives to conduct business in China. This is because most of the businesses are done through local networking and connections in China. There is a special term called “接地气” used in China meaning you need to connect to the “ground energy” in order to succeed. The ground energy referred here is the collection of local networks and connections.  


About Dr.Andy Parng [庞博士]:

Andy Parng is a serial entrepreneur, currently working in Beijing and focusing on the mobile application market in China. He was a senior fellow at the AT&T Bell Laboratories for four years. He also worked in Silicon Valley for Apple as one of the main contributors to the Apple Macintosh user interface design guidelines for three years. From 2005 to 2009, he managed the Trend Micro consumer product line with a 60 million user base and over 300% revenue growth from US$130 to over US$400 million. Before the Internet became popular, he developed a multimedia application called Living Album. This application had been tied to the 1.5 million Apple Macintosh computer. Andy was born and raised in Taiwan and obtained a doctoral and masters degrees in computer science engineering from the University of South Dakota in America.