China’s Rising Tech Stars
1/10 Hu WeiWei
Why her? Hu founded Mobike, which claims the disputed title of the world’s first bike-sharing app.
The biz With their built-in GPS and smart locks, Mobike’s bicycles don’t need to be returned to a docking station like traditional public bikes; you simply lock them anywhere on the street, ready for the next user. The app helps you find the nearest bike, tracks your journey as you pedal and bills you automatically when you’re done.
The stats Mobike is now the largest bicycle operator in the world and is valued at US$3 billion.
2/10 Zhou Yuan
Why him? Former software development engineer and journalist Zhou founded question-and-answer website Zhihu in 2011.
The biz Similar to a Chinese version of Quora, it enables users to search and share expert and personal knowledge that’s missing from more fact-based search engines like Google and Baidu. Yuan’s personal mantra? “Believe in the power of change.”
3/10 Zhang Yiming
Why him? Zhang’s search engine Jinri Toutiaouses complex algorithms to deliver news content tailored to each individual user. No two Toutiao.com search pages are the same.
The stats It took just 90 days for Toutiao to gain more than 10 million users. As of autumn 2017, the site boasts 120 million daily active users.
4/10 Wang Sicong
Why him? Wang’s online gaming platform, Invictus Gaming, changed the face of e-sport when it was launched in 2011. His e-sport streaming service, Panda TV, which he launched in 2015 to go head-to-head with Amazon’s Twitch TV, is aimed at the 56 percent of China’s 408 million online gamers who watch e-sport competitions
Back story Wang is the son of China’s richest man, Dalian Wanda Group’s Wang Jianlin.
5/10 Cheng Wei
Why him? Cheng founded taxi-hailing app Didi Dache in 2012 when he was just 29. After a merger with competitor Kuaidi Dache in 2015, the company rebranded as Didi Chuxing and went on to acquire Uber China the following year.
The stats Didi Chuxing is now the largest ride-sharing company in the world, with over 20 million trips a day taken with the app. It’s also one of the most valuable start-ups in the world, with a valuation of roughly US$50 billion.
6/10 Wang Tao
Why him? Wang’s childhood dream was to make drones. In 2006, aged 26, he set up shop in Shenzhen and did just that. His company DJI is now the world’s largest maker of unmanned aerial vehicles, with 70 per cent of the consumer market.
Back story Wang doesn’t drink and the sign on his door reads: “Brains only, no emotions.”
7/10 Li Xiang
Why him? Known as “China’s Elon Musk”, Li Xiang is disrupting China’s automotive industry with his electric car start-up, Chehejia, which he co-founded in 2015. Li gathered US$120 million in the first round of funding, and with construction of the factory now complete, the initial production goal is 200,000 vehicles a year.
What’s more The cars won’t rely on charging points; they’ll have detachable batteries you can take home to recharge.
8/10 Wang Xing
Why him? Wang is co-chair of Meituan-Dianping, the company created through the 2015 merger of Yelp-like platform Dianping and Meituan, a Groupon-style deal site Wang founded in 2010. The group continues to go from strength to strength, raising US$4 billion in series C funding this October.
What’s more The group also dominates the burgeoning food delivery market in the mainland, alongside Tencent-backed Ele.me. Through Meituan Waimai users can order food, groceries—and even manicures and massages—to their home with a few taps on their smartphone.
9/10 Tang Jianfeng
Why him? Inspired by his love of the online game World of Warcraft, Tang started his company, PeopleNet, in 2007 to fight cybercrime. Since then he has transformed security technology to erase network vulnerabilities and create cutting-edge dynamic password protection, making the net a safer place for us all.
10/10 Liu Qing
Why her? Former Goldman Sachs banker Liu is president of Didi Chuxing. She originally joined Cheng Wei’s Didi Dache as chief operating officer in 2014, before leading the merger with Didi Kuaidi.
Back story Liu is the daughter of Lenovo founder Liu Chuanzhi.
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