Tech giants in China
The tech industry in China develops by leaps and bounds, and has produced a number of companies which are gigantic in their scope, revenue and number of and users. China’s huge population, strengthening middle class and government restrictions on foreign companies have significantly eased the way for Chinese tech companies into the market. They now boast the market caps similar to those of their overseas alternatives making them able to compete internationally and, sometimes, win. Here are the most impressive tech giants.
Alibaba （阿里巴巴 ālǐbābā）
Indisputably, China’s key player in the e-commerce industry. The Alibaba group incorporates Taobao （淘宝táobǎo）, TMall （天猫tiānmāo）, Aliexpress （全球速卖通quánqiú sùmàitōng）, Alipay （支付宝zhīfùbǎo） and a number of other internationally less famous but nonetheless domestically powerful platforms each of which generates gigantic revenues for the whole group. While Aliexpress is an internationally oriented platform for B2B and B2C business models, Taobao is specifically C2C modeled, so that everyone can set up an online shop without owing any productive powers on his own. TMall has official online shops of most chain stores. Large department stores like Carrefour and Wal-Mart pride themselves on delivering your groceries by the time you get home from work if you order them before noon. And of course, most of the online payments are made via Alipay.
To understand the scope and the growth of the company, compare the market cap growth for the Alibaba Group which increased from $192.98B for January 2016 to 234.72B for January 2017 and the one of Amazon – from $298.52B to $378.23B for the same period. Single’s day on November the 11th alone generated a record-breaking $14 billion in sales (although that doesn’t translate into the same amount of actual revenue for the company).
Huawei （华为huáwéi）and XiaoMi （小米xiǎomǐ）
Huawei and XiaoMi are the two biggest privately-held domestic competitors in the consumer device market. Huawei also has a huge business selling the gear that mobile and fixed-line networks are made of. XiaoMi is very creative in innovative gadgets and home appliances. Its latest products include flat screen televisions, hi-fi headphones and earbuds, an Android TV set top box, a fitness tracker, a hoverboard, a water quality measurement pen, and a WiFi-enabled rice maker. The largest overseas competitors of the two tech giants are Apple and Samsung.
Tencent （腾讯 téngxùn）
Everyone who is even remotely familiar with China has heard of the WeChat app, which is one of the products of the Tencent company, which is among domestic most influential tech giants. The company was long known for its instant messaging client QQ.com, but WeChat with its vast array of other online services, including voice and video calls, mobile games, digital content and online wallet is on its rise. The app had a whopping 549 million monthly active users at the end of 2015. It is now impossible to imagine shopping in China without a Wechat wallet, which together with Alibaba’s Alipay online payment system allow you to use your mobile phone as a wallet instead of carrying around cash and credit cards.
This “Chinese Google” is the biggest domestic search engine, offering a wide variety of services such as maps, news, cloud storage, internet TV, food delivery, wallet, “Baidu scholar”, hospital registration etc. Since regular Google is banned in mainland China, many mobile apps which rely on Google services are not functioning without a VPN. Baidu efficiently provides services for domestic app developers. It is super efficient in Chinese search and very poor in English, and that is, probably, another reason (apart from competition with the world-ubiquitous Google) which makes it hard for Baidu to play big internationally. On the other hand, just like other Chinese tech-giants, the company is quickly diversifying and will probably easily find its way on the international market in one of its many products. For example, it is currently working on development of driverless car technology.
Many of existing and emerging tech-giants have their headquarters in Hangzhou. The city is located within one hour of speed-train ride from Shanghai and is already positioning itself as the Chinese Silicon Valley. Hutong School offers tech internships in Hangzhou as well as in other largest cities in China. If you want to join a modern and creative team working in web or software development, game industry, mobile engineering and other IT fields, check the full list of available internships from Hutong School.