Longtime enterprise capitalist Hans Tung is a huge man. His dimension may simply be lifesaving.
A primary-generation Taiwanese-American who got here to the U.S. and to LA particularly in 1984, it was a fraught time for the then 14-year-old. Two years earlier, a 27-year-old, Chinese-American draftsman named Vincent Chin was crushed to dying in Detroit by a Chrysler plant supervisor and his stepson, a laid-off autoworker, who reportedly believed that Chin was of Japanese descent and had been offended over the growing success of Japan’s auto business. He was killed the evening of his personal bachelor social gathering.
Anti-Asian sentiment might have appeared to reduce over the following a long time, however it has nonetheless remained fixed, and Tung as been on the receiving finish of it, he says. “Growing up, I faced my share of taunts, of racial epithets, whether it was in California or Boston or New York. I’m fortunate that I’m over 6’4″ tall and weigh more than 200 pounds,” or he is perhaps bodily harassed sooner or later, too.
Tung has by no means been extra aware of his dimensions than now, with anti-Asian sentiment abruptly worsening final yr primarily based on political rhetoric about the coronavirus. “As COVID broke out in China, we knew that Asian Americans would be blamed,” says Tung, who flies backwards and forwards to China routinely for work as a managing director with the cross-border funding agency GGV Capital. “We saw this with SARS, too, but it wasn’t as big a pandemic, so people were being harassed and not killed.”
Anecdotally, Tung believes life is extra harmful proper now for Asians in the U.S. primarily based on conversations with family and friends members and the worrisome headlines to emerge of aged people in explicit being crushed on the streets of San Francisco and Oakland and on New York subways and outdoors of Times Square, as occurred on Monday when a 65-year-old lady was viscously attacked in a scene that was filmed by an onlooker and has provoked nationwide outrage.
The numbers again him up. From 2019 to 2020, general hate crime charge declined whereas hate crimes focusing on Asians elevated, as first reported by NBC and primarily based on evaluation launched by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. Overall, its examination revealed that whereas such crimes decreased general by 7% final yr, these focusing on Asian folks rose by practically 150%, with the largest surge in New York, the place anti-Asian hate crimes rose from three in 2019 to 28 final yr, an 833% improve.
With these numbers seemingly persevering with to climb in 2021, Tung and his companions at GGV Capital determined to take motion two weeks in the past, rapidly selecting what they do greatest, which is to reply to the rising violence with their monetary muscle and community. A primary step was publicly providing to match $100,000 in donations to organizations that help the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) communities. GGV’s transfer was virtually instantly matched by different traders and founders keen to assist, together with Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed Venture Partners and Eric Kim and Chi-Hua Chien of Goodwater Capital, who’re additionally matching up to $100,000 in donations.
Fast-forward and Tung says that 11 days into GGV’s de facto Twitter campaign, roughly $5 million in donations have now been made by greater than 175 founders (together with Jen Rubio, Stewart Butterfield and Eric Yuan) and members of greater than 30 enterprise corporations in a form of partnership that’s “rare to see in the VC community,” Tung notes.
It’s a nice begin, says Tung, who’s amongst the 15% of Asian-Pacific Islanders who’re companions at U.S. enterprise corporations, in accordance to National Venture Capital Association figures.
At the identical time, he notes that the drawback is ongoing and that extra assets — which everyone seems to be sending on a person foundation to a number of Asian-American neighborhood teams which can be coping with a spiking racism and its implications — are wanted. Indeed, to assist funnel donor curiosity in the proper route, GGV is recommending not less than 5 organizations whose work it believes to be making an impression. These embrace Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Red Canary Song, GoFundMe Support the AAPI Community, Stop AAPI Hate and Compassion in Oakland.
Tung takes pains to be aware that GGV has been energetic in different campaigns, together with AllRaise, the group that’s bringing extra gender equality to funding corporations and to the board room. He says that his companions had been additionally extremely moved by the Black Lives Matter motion final spring, donating to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Southern Poverty Law Center, amongst different organizations.
He says that earlier actions — together with an effort by investor Ryan Sarver of Redpoint final yr to assist each front-line employees and restaurant employees by devising a approach for donors to “buy” chef-made meals for hospital employees — have been experiences from which he has realized.
One of these classes is that when one thing is shut sufficient to one’s coronary heart, it’s value the threat of being perceived as a “VC who is showing off” if it strikes the needle.
In this case, says Tung, “so many of these crimes are treated as individual incidents and not as hate crimes,” which include extra extreme penalties, he’s decided to elevate consciousness and visibility into the matter, even when it means making himself extra susceptible about his personal expertise than he is perhaps absolutely comfy.
“When it comes to Asian hate, it’s such a personal matter,” he says.