Here are 4 news from Chinese startups.
Apple Invest 1 Billion in Rockstar Chinese Application Didi Chuxing
What is Didi Chuxin?
With 11 million transactions every day and its 14 million registered drivers, it is the most widely used mobile app to call a taxi. It is also the direct competitors of Uber, which is backed by the Chinese giant of search, Baidu.
What are the reasons behind Apple’s move?
The announcement actually came as quite a shock to some people. But it actually makes much sense. Apple executives said they are looking for a good return on investment as well as a chance to get to know the Chinese market better.
Analysts however, will tell you this isn’t the full story. Apple is more and more reliant on China, as it is the largest iPhones market, in front of the United States. Moreover, its other products such as the Apple Watch are also performing well there.
Also this decision took places just a few months after Chinese authorities took down the iBooks store. It wouldn’t be unlikely that Apple is trying to find partners to go around a possible ban of others of its applications. After all, the industry remembers how bad Google debacle was a few years ago.
Furthermore, it allows the company to use some of the massive revenues they have accumulated abroad.
Eleme : China’s Top Food Delivery Companies Reaching New Heights
Ele.me is a Chinese startup? Its Chinese name comes from the Chinese sentence “你饿了吗 ?” which means “Are you hungry?”. The service is available in over 700 cities all over China and claims to have over 70 million active users.
The platform was founded in 2008 and allows restaurants to register their home delivery services. The establishment close enough to deliver to you are listed on the search (through geo-localization) and can also be sorted by user ratings. You pay directly inside the app, which then takes its commission.
The business system is solid. However, it came upon the spotlight in a very unpleasant way on national television when it was proved to have some unsanitary restaurants listed in its index. The firm promised to clean up the house. Whether they did so or not is still up to debate. Anyways this bad public relation episode was quickly forgotten and the service is more on demand than ever.
It just reached the astonishing number of 5 million orders a day, joining the elite few such as Didi Kuaidi(Taxi) and Taobao(C to C ecommerce) in the pantheon of the Chinese Internet. And with over 2.4 billion in investments (1.5 from Alibaba alone), the success story is probably just beginning.
Baidu’s CEO Writes to His Employees Over Health Scandal
Baidu is the main search engine in continental China. And has arguably one of the best technology to respond to the needs of Chinese users, as unlike Google, it was specifically designed for them. But even the Silicon Valley company had trouble hold true to his motto “Don’t Be Evil”. No matter how big a company you are, you cannot check what all of your client do with your services.
Baidu’s troubles came from a tragic story that made the news. A young student, dying from cancer, made a post that went viral about how he and his family were scammed out of all their savings by a hospital pretending to have a treatment through Baidu.
Baidu is guilty of severe negligence, there is no question about it. All the signals of large medical scams were there, but they didn’t act upon them and now are paying the price for it.
But they are only the tip of the iceberg in a much wider, criminal scandal. The Medical Industry in China is in need of much more hands on supervision from the government. Treatment that has been proven inefficient or even harmful for the patient is advertised as a miracle solution to diseases. Tricking, Scamming and coercing patient has become common practice for some hospitals.
The letter from Baidu’s CEO was inspiring and emotional. Let’s hope the Captain as he said realized his mistakes, and is taking his ship to much safer waters.
The Declining Chinese P2P lending industry
What is the P2P lending?
When we hear peer-to-peer, movie piracy is the first thing that comes to mind. As it was widely discussed in the media. But this concept where everybody is sharing can also be applied to money. And this is what it is about here. Here we are talking to companies that aren’t Banks, but still take your savings to lend them to others, making money and giving you interest in the process.
Why is the sector slowing down?
It is all well and good until someone get scammed. This is a turbulent industry to say the least. Dishonest business practices such as Ponzi schemes are always a threat when dealing with such companies. And it seems to never fails to happen in China, resulting in a bad reputation for the sector as a whole.
It is a shame because they are needed actors in the economy. They help finance companies and entrepreneurship in a country where traditional banks prefer state-own firms. Without them the unregulated shadow banking flourished, and it is rarely a good sign.
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