Matt Vegh is a witness of and a contributor to the growth and achievements made by the city of Chengdu over the past 15 years.
"To quote my novel and upcoming feature film based on the discovery of the Jinsha Ruins and the masks of Sanxingdui," explains Matt, "The ancients called her Tianfu; Land of Abundance. And of that, there could be no mistake..."
While Matt Vegh's knowledge of the city's history is virtually unsurpassed among his foreign contemporaries, it is also almost such when compared with most locals as well. The city and the province have each commissioned documentary films that have already aired, regarding his research for Middle Kingdom Studios' film projects based on local cultural and historical places of interest.
However, it is Matt's focus upon technology and the future of the social/digital media landscape globally that garners most of his attention these days; especially CloudTime, the World's First Super App, developed right here in Chengdu's hi-tech zone with assistance from the Chengdu Hi-tech Zone Incubator Program and also the Sichuan National Digital Media Base for the Promotion of the Game, Animation and IT Industries.
"The local government has been lending us operational support and helping us make the connections we require to enable licensing of technologies and assisting with overcoming legislative or regulatory hurdles. They have also been very accommodating with commercial office space and high class meeting center facilities when we have foreign investors or guests visiting from foreign countries."
Matt claims of his hosting duties, "Most potential investors are gob-smacked when they arrive in Chengdu and see the state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure the city has to offer. When they visited our studio offices in the Global Center at the time, I saw their eyes pop every time we walked into the Global Mall foyer. They were like kids in a candy store, all insisting on photo ops for their various social media accounts. I have taken so many pictures for guests there I had better start charging for tickets."
But it's not all fun and games, with heavy competition from established players like Chinese social media darling WeChat and US-based WhatsApp and SnapChat, not to mention Line, among others. Matt however, sees things a bit differently than perhaps those he has entertained or engaged with to seek strategic partnerships with, so far. He feels that there is always room for more than one dominant player. Consumers always want an alternative. "This type of interplay is inevitable, even for a great platform like WeChat. There is always a niche and in China, it does not have to be a huge niche to make the business case."
CloudTime, the Super App actually has the same capabilities as the major messaging platforms and also has technology that none of the other major social messaging apps have, such as real-time, in-stream text-to-text and speech-to-text translation into over 90 bi-directional language pairs, perfect for travelers and language learners for communications in foreign languages in real-world situations. The CloudTime app also features an exclusive IoT (Internet of Things) beacon-based advertising network for China. It further offers proprietary video streaming and game content based on the IP (intellectual property) of sister company Middle Kingdom Studios, which has retained gaming and streaming rights to IP that is entering the global motion picture market in a big way. "This combination of digital media content production capability at quality parity and a tenth of the cost of North American based content, combined with, more importantly, the ability to distribute globally over your own digital distribution network, is an intriguing proposition in the entertainment space and why CloudTime has been sought after by a number of major IP holders and IT players, despite its pre-launch status."
"All the tools are in place," says Matt. "It takes time. It also takes extra-ordinary networking capabilities. We have been very close, went down the road a long way and we will get there. Today, there is a concept called an exponential entity. CloudTime is one of them."
Matt Vegh is a Canadian who has lived in Chengdu for 15 years. Currently he runs social/digital media startup CloudTime, alongside his graphic arts, publishing and 3D animation studio Middle Kingdom Studios, while currently Executive Producing three major Hollywood/Chinese feature film co-productions. (www.middlekingdomstudios.com)