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Which Innovative Chinese Businesses Will Succeed in the West?
While Chinese businesses are not generally recognized for their innovation, there are in fact companies that are changing not only the business landscape in China but may in fact impact business in the West as well.
First, there is Tencent. Even though it is actually a holding company of media, entertainment and internet businesses, what makes this conglomerate so innovative is actually not any single subsidiary, but an application called WeChat. On the surface this is simply a communication app that enables chat and social media. Underneath though is its ability to allow nearly seamless mobile transactions that may very well change ecommerce in western markets.
One company that leveraged how WeChat mobile technology facilitates communication was Alibaba. Instead of relying on its website to produce sales, this company used a human salesforce with smartphones to connect suppliers and distributors. But what was truly innovative about this titan built by Jack Ma was growing thousands of cottage businesses. Instead of the traditional village infrastructure of China being an impediment to global commerce, this company helped to grow a wave of individual suppliers to the world market.
Another company benefiting from mobile technology is Xiaomi. Their willingness to sacrifice razor thin margins for profits on the back end is similar to the freemium model that has allowed companies like Supercell to profit from giving away their game, Clash of Clans, becoming the number one grossing game in 2015. Similarly, by practically giving away the phone, Lei Jun’s electronics company actually makes most of its profits through sales of paid apps, games, advertising, and other services.
Other Chinese companies to watch include BGI. By becoming the “go to” source for scientists to collaborate on genetic information, BGI seeks to become “a biological Google.” Already their advancements have lowered the cost of sequencing complete genomes from $3 billion in 2003 to only thousands by 2014.
So, to ignore what these Chinese companies are doing is to miss out on the likely source next wave of innovation in the West.
Xiaomi. (2014). Retrieved October 06, 2016, from https://www.fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2014/xiaomi
BGI. (2014). Retrieved October 06, 2016, from https://www.fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2014/bgi
Alibaba. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2016, from https://www.quora.com/topic/Alibaba-company-1
WeChat. (n.d.). Retrieved October 06, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WeChat
Tencent. (n.d.). Retrieved October 06, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tencent
Clash of Clans. (n.d.).Retrieved October 06, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_Clans