Will China's BAT companies -
Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent - go mainstream in the U.S. anytime soon? Probably not.
While these Chinese tech giants are becoming better known in the U.S. as a Silicon Dragon market has risen from China and stands to challenge Silicon Valley for leadership, these titans are actually focused not on the U.S. but on their home market as well as increasingly, Southeast Asia. A battle for global tech leadership will not be fought in the U.S.
Consider this: only 1 percent of
Baidu's revenues come from international markets, only 11 percent of
Alibaba's revenues stem come from outside China, and only 5 percent of
Tencent's revenues are from international markets. Compare this with much larger international revenues for
Google at 53 percent,
Amazon at 32 percent, and
Facebook at 56 percent of their total revenues.
Mobile and Internet brands from the BAT are not catching on in the U.S. due to cultural differences, language issues, security concerns, and regulations.
It's with investments that China's BAT are actually breaking through in the U.S. Over the past five years, the Big Three Chinese Internet companies have inked 95 tech deals totaling $27.6 billion.
An inspiring all-women conference about China was held by
SupChina last week in New York to discuss how women are shaping the rising global power China.
Wei Sun Christianson, CEO of China for
Morgan Stanley, spoke about how technology is reshaping China with gains in mobile payment, artificial intelligence and next-generation telecommunications, plus she noted the impact of China's Big Three.
"China is moving toward tech leadership and is no longer the copycat. In Silicon Valley, the talk is about how China is transforming itself and becoming important to the world. The rest of the world is watching China's pace of innovation and its impact," she said.
Music to Silicon Dragon ears.)
Broadcast journalist and media entrepreneur
Lan Yang, considered the
Oprah Winfrey of China
, spoke about media fragmentation in China. She alone has 40 million followers!
Wei Christianson, Janet Yang
Cultural insights came from Hollywood producer
Janet Yang who talked about her new initiative to promote Asian female talent and the rise of China in the movie-making business. She mentioned that a new film,
Crazy Rich Asians, could be the first Asian-themed movie to make a splash in the U.S. since
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
DEALS AND IPOs
The talk of the town
Ant Financial's expected $10 billion fund raise this week, looping in
Carlyle, Warburg Pincus, Temasek and the
Canada Pension Board. One catch: investors can't put money into rivals
Tencent, group buying sites
Meituan-Dianping and e-commerce giant
JD.com. What's next? An IPO of the
Jack Ma-controlled unit that could edge up to Alibaba's own $25 billion public debut in 2014.
No confirmation yet of a $2 billion fund raise for Ant Financial's closest rival
JD Finance, which is also heading toward IPO status.
Haidilao, China's popular hot pot chain, has filed for an IPO in Hong Kong. If you want to sample the food in the U.S., head on over to Los Angeles suburb Arcadia, and you'll find the restaurant amid a vast shopping mall.
It's the only Haidilao so far in the U.S. although the chain operates nearly 300 hot spot restaurants in China and 24 overseas.
In other deal news:
Sequoia Capital China and
LYFE Capital put $37.5 million in China pharma startup HiFIBiO Therapeutics in a second round joined by a host of firms.
Sequoia also backed Chinese heart valve developer Venus Medtech.
500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures and Sequoia Capital India invested $85 million in community marketplace
Caroussel, a startup that Silicon Dragon featured two yeas ago and greenlighted for
Forbes Asia 30 under 30.
In tech-trendy China, even glorified vending machines are raising billions. A buzzy Beijing startup, Mr. Fresh, has free-standing shelves where shoppers can scan QR codes and grab what they want. Purchases are tracked through facial recognition. The retailing concept has caught on Chinese office lobbies. At least 19 startups have pulled in $1.7 billion funding of these new-fangled kiosks. Tencent and IDG Capital are backing them.
Consulting firm Racepoint Global has teamed up with corporate image tracker Reputation Institution to launch ChinaRepTek, to track how Chinese consumers regard brands and help them upgrade.
Veteran U.S. producer
is debuting a series of local-language films in Vietnam through his new startup production company
Pacific Horizons Pictures
, along with
, which is bringing out
Crazy Rich Asians.
will be speaking at
Silicon Dragon LA 2018
, July 25 at the Pasadena Convention Center.
Silicon Dragon's analysis of venture capital investment comparing China and the U.S. is due out this week at CNBC.com. Full details in next week's issue.