If we were to take a look at China today versus China a decade ago, you would notice the drastic change in the ecosystem and how technologically advanced China has become. Being home to a third of the world’s unicorns including companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent (BAT), Toutiao, Meituan, Didi (TMD), China has now more than 180 companies that are valued at more than $1 Billion. The presence of these tech companies has led to a closed ecosystem which includes digital payment, new retail, bike/car sharing as well as the food delivery services. This ecosystem is something that many countries are hoping to achieve but yet will still require a few years before they reach a point of penetration of the entire country. The article will highlight some of the transformation the country has as the global leader of technology.
As China enters a new era of cashless society, one might wonder how a giant like China can adopt a cashless society with the income/technological disparity the country has amongst its first to fourth tier cities. However, the country has proven the world wrong with the emergence of Alipay and WeChat pay that are currently the most popular method of payment with users in China. In fact, China’s popular messaging app, WeChat has since reached a Monthly Active User (MAU) count of 1 billion users. From large shopping malls to even street stall owners are accepting the usage of the two payment system to almost the entire country.
New Retail/ Food Delivery:
China’s Alibaba boasts the mission to make doing business anywhere easy. One might say that this is a huge claim to make, however, this company has revolutionized new-retail and e-commerce in China. Just last year, 2018, China’s Singles Day (Nov 11/11) records a total of more than $30.8 billion in sales within 24 hours. That is indeed a huge feat and shopping has become a leisure activity with the tap on a finger on one’s smart phone. Alibaba’s subsidiary company, Ele.me and Meituan’s food delivery company has made the obtainment of food so convenient that you can get any cuisine on their platform in just a matter of 30–40min of wait time.
With the known capability of taking products from one to a hundred, China’s yet one of the most entrepreneurial countries existing. Entrepreneurship is vibrant in China and given the huge market potential of close to 1.39 billion people, many foreign start-ups and entrepreneurs are attempting enter China in order to tap on the huge market. China also has a large number of Venture Capital and Private Equity players which an entrepreneur with a good idea will never find the lack of connections to investors. The accelerators such as Chinaccelerator and Xnode located in Shanghai have incubated and accelerated a large number of start-ups as well in China.
China, with an economy second to the US, is certainly a country that we should not underestimate when it comes to doing business. With plentiful of opportunities in Asia, China should be the focus and maybe it is time to work on the Chinese language (Mandarin).