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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek technology

OCTOBER 1, 1999 VOL. 25 NO. 39

Wired Executive
Leroy Kung is way ahead on the Internet curve


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B2B: Mixing televisions and the Internet for profit

WIRED EXEC: Net merchant Leroy Kung


"I would say that the Internet is the first place that people look for things." - Henry Lau, Skyworth Considering the pace of Internet development, Leroy Kung is an old-timer at 33. Less than four years ago, he formed iMerchants to provide e-commerce software and services to Hong Kong, and since that time the company has logged several local milestones: first to offer an online payment mechanism, first to run an Internet auction, and first to set up a Web banking service.

Technology has been an integral part of Kung's professional life for more than a decade. The Hong Kong native has two master's degrees - one in computer engineering from the University of Southern California, the other in economic systems engineering from Stanford. He spent 10 years in the U.S., much of it during pre-Web days working for Fujitsu America in Silicon Valley on Internet-based management systems. One measure of his technology comfort level: he switches between two different handheld computers to help manage his workload. The contact list in his Palm PDA contains more than 4,000 names.

Kung must feel some vindication as the rest of the city catches on to the possibilities of the Internet. "The momentum has certainly built up in the past nine months," he says. Not that there isn't plenty of pioneering left. iMerchants recently helped Jetco create a Web-based virtual ATM network for 49 member banks. Now he's positioning iMerchants as an online service bureau to enable the region's exploding e-commerce sector to outsource its technology operations and business processes. Saves some room in the PDA.

E-MAILS PER DAY: 50

FAVORITE SOFTWARE APPLICATION OR INTERNET UTILITY: McAffee online system tools are great and they are always updated

PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSISTANT: Sharp HC4600 handheld computer (for note-taking at meetings - larger screen and keyboard); Palm V for everyday use

PREFERRED ANALOG ACTIVITY: Basketball, reading books

BOOKMARKS: eTrade (for information on U.S. stocks), c/net (computer industry news), iMerchants

LAST ELECTRONIC PURCHASE: Books from Amazon.com

FAVORITE VIDEO/ELECTRONIC GAME: Dance Dance Revolution, a Japanese video arcade game in which contestants try to match steps with the music ("It can be a pretty good workout," says Kung. "Beats playing games with just a controller.")


Pic: David G. McIntyre - Black Star


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