2018 has been a turbulent year for tech companies across China. The trade war tension between the US and China has been unsettling for their businesses and long time American trade partners. Regardless, many have managed to persevere through the soaring tensions and shape the global economic landscape.
Pandaily has been following closely with some of these influential Chinese tech companies throughout 2018. Using data collected by Pandata and other organizations, we’ve compiled a list of who we think are the most successful ones that have gone global in 2018. The order is not an indication of their rankings, but simply a list of ten. Here they are outlined below:
OPPO is a consumer electronics and mobile company known for their smartphones. The iconic smartphone device that they released this year is undoubtedly the OPPO Find X, an innovative way to revisit the sliding mechanism to house the cameras. It was able to achieve an incredible 93.8 percent screen-to-body ratio with the hidden cameras, an unprecedented feat that prompted other smartphone manufactures to explore the possibility of utilizing a sliding mechanism in smartphones.
Their Super VOOC Flash Charge technology has emerged as the FASTEST charging technology on the market as of 2018. It has been thoroughly tested for safety and compared with other fast charge technologies. The company has shipped over 100 million smartphones equipped with Super VOOC in 2018, and even got the iconic Japanese Pokemon, Pikachu, to be their Super VOOC Charge ambassador.
Another smartphone company that has been very successful going global ever since it was founded is OnePlus. Since the release of their “flagship killer of 2014” OnePlus One, the company has been a favourite among smartphone tech enthusiasts and Android users across the world.
OnePlus’ iconic flagship device of 2018 is undoubtedly the OnePlus 6T that was unveiled in New York in October. At the product launch, OnePlus announced a cooperation with T-Mobile, a US telecommunication services provider, to allow more American consumers to buy the flagship device and spread brand awareness. This is an unprecedented achievement for Chinese smartphone companies for many reasons, for example the growing tension between China and the US, and the ongoing trade war at the time. Other Chinese companies have come close to breaking into the American market as well, but ultimately faced rejection.
On the topic of powerful laptops at a reasonable price, Lenovo’s definitely one of the brands to look to. The company began primarily as a laptop manufacturer, but has migrated to smartphones since 2012.
Its iconic 2018 smartphone is the Lenovo Z5 Pro, a powerful budget phone around $285 dollars that had the highest screen-to-body ratio in the industry—95.06 percent. To support its full screen display, it revisited the good old sliding mechanism that were common from cellphones a decade ago. Its upgraded version, the GT 855, was released in December and was the first smartphone in 2018 to be using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855. Lenovo quickly caught up to the other giants in the global smartphone race.
VIPKID has emerged to become the largest online English education platform in China in 2018. It pairs up Chinese students with foreign teachers living abroad for quality online English classes. What made its education service exceptional was its easy-to-use UI and premium English content that it provided.
To make their curriculum even more personalized, VIPKID established a cooperation with HMH, a Boston-based publisher of textbooks for young readers and adults, in August this year. The company founder Cindy Mi says that the additional learning materials will allow Chinese students to be on the same page as American students in terms of English education.
Alibaba’s reputation precedes itself and needs no introduction really. Its e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and TMall, together, make up the world’s biggest e-commerce website. As of 31 March 2018, Taobao has over 617 million monthly active users.
Its other platforms such as Lazada is the number-one online shopping and selling destination in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Through all of these platforms together, Alibaba has generated an aggregate transaction volume of over $30.7 billion during last year’s Double Eleven Shopping Festival. The orders placed were from over 230 different countries and marked a 27% increase in sales volume compared to 2017.
2018 has been a rough year for Huawei, but still managed to persevere and expand its business outside of China. Huawei is a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics company based in Shenzhen, China.
One of the company’s more popular products last year is undoubtedly the Mate series smartphones unveiled back in October. It comes in four different versions with one of them featuring a Porsche design. Aside from the massive 4000mAh battery, it also sports three Leica cameras and its own Kirin 980 chipset.
Mobvoi is an AI company that developed Chinese voice recognition and natural language processing. They designed their own Android-based smartwatch OS called Ticwear, and released the first TicWatch back in 2014.
The company’s most popular product is its Ticwatch, a favourite among smartwatch enthusiasts. It was often praised for its great designs and comprehensive set of functions for a smartwatch. Aside from the watches, the company also unveiled a whole range of other smart products for home in May this year, such as the smart speaker Tickasa Fox and Bluetooth earpods TicPod Solo.
2018 might not have been amazing for the company ByteDance as a whole, but it definitely was for TikTok, its most popular short video app. ByteDance is a Chinese Internet technology company operating several machine learning-enabled content platforms such as Toutiao, Xigua Video, and others. However, its most popular platform is still the viral TikTok.
Tiktok has become the newest craze among young adults to share short videos with each other. It’s so popular that it has a monthly active user count of over 500 million globally. ByteDance bought musical.ly last year and combined Tiktok with it into a single app named after TikTok on August this year. In Japan and Thailand, it has reached #1 in free app category. According to a report by US research firm Sensor Tower, TikTok made a leap to the world’s most popular app, over Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, in the first quarter of 2018.
On the topic of aerial photography, the big name that comes to mind is DJI. DJI is widely known for making powerful and stable drones for aerial photography and videography. It has an estimated 74 percent market share according to Skylogic Research.
DJI’s drones are targeted towards both enterprise and personal use. Its latest products released this year include the Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom, and Mavic 2 Enterprise. In November, it released a powerful lipstick-sized camera for vlogging called Osmo Pocket, that became a hit instantly across the world. Its handy size allows vloggers to simply carry it in their pockets and take 4K videos at 60fps on the go.
If you’re a tech enthusiast then you definitely know Xiaomi for their consumer electronics, smart home devices, and smartphones. Its most popular product, the Pocophone, has been a consumer favourite since the first generation was unveiled. The Pocophone F1 that was released in 2018 was no exception. Aside from its popular smartphones that was released in 2018, Xiaomi also topped the list of global wearable shipments during the third quarter, according to IDC.
But what made the company truly successful in 2018 was the fact that it filed for an IPO in May on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and became the world’s largest IPO since 2014. Xiaomi was expected to become the first company listed in the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited with a dual-class share structure. Its IPO had a joint sponsorship from CLSA Capital Markets Limited, Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. and Morgan Stanley Asia Limited.
And this concludes our list of the ten most successful Chinese companies that have taken their businesses abroad of 2018.