China has the second largest economy in the world with 632 million (and growing) Internet users, yet most of its slice of the internet is virtually unknown to us peasants back in the West. So here's a shortlist of 5 companies that are expected to sky rocket into our side of the internet world anytime soon.
The biggest contributor to Sina’s growth is Weibo, the Chinese offspring of Facebook and Twitter which emerged after the infamous 2009 Twitter ban. Last year, the online media company surpassed 500 million users (meanwhile Twitter currently has only 232 million “monthly active users”) and began trading publicly in April.
Although it has recently been crowned the world’s fifth largest Internet-only company (following Amazon, Google, Facebook and eBay), most of the globe have probably never heard of it. You may however have heard of WeChat or QQ, who have a combined user base of about 1 billion, and are owned by the $150 billion company. Gradually encroaching onto your life, Tencent are looking into buying EA games and Activision Blizzard (the boys behind World of Warcraft and Call of Duty), after already spending north of $700 million on other video game companies.
Ok so you might have actually heard of this one. The third largest mobile phone manufacturer in China right now, it managed to pull in $5.3 billion during the beginning half of 2014 (not bad for a 4 year old), and has also enlisted the former Vice President of Android, Hugo Barra. Dubbed the “Apple of the East” due to its shameless copies of the popular brand, Tim Cook should be slightly concerned about the electronics company’s success, as it plans to launch its almost identical (and much cheaper) Apple competitors in 10 new countries by the New Year.
The E-commerce group has made several headlines recently, as its expected to open to the public on September 1st in the USA. But what actually is it? Well, if eBay, Amazon, Paypal and WhatsApp all joined together, and added a few extra bits and pieces, you would get an Alibaba. So it’s no surprise that the site’s launch is expected to transcend Visa’s record-breaking $20-billion launch in 2008 and Facebook’s $16 million stock market launch - a dip in the ocean for a company that managed to triple their net revenue from $1.36 billion to $3.7billion) in just a year through investments. Blimey.
Remember when Bing tried to replace Google and failed miserably? Well, the same thing happened in China, apart from it was all a lot more successful. Baidu - the Google of China - has managed to erode the search engine’s 70 percent market share to 58 percent and are now moving into the smartphone market. Expecting to sell one billion mobile phones throughout this year (440 million of those which will be smartphones), the software company whose only claim to fame used to be its anti-virus software, is starting to soar.
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