This week’s Tech Talk is all about numbers, specifically the figures that show who gets bragging rights as China’s biggest high-tech names. That issue was at the forefront last week when sputtering search engine Baidu briefly slipped off the leader board of China’s top five tech firms after years in the No. 3 spot behind the much larger Tencent and Alibaba.
Baidu’s slide from grace actually began earlier this year when it fell out of the top three, leading many to call an end to the “BAT” era of Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. It was replaced by Meituan Dianping, the money-losing up-and-comer that has built a name as China’s leading provider of online-to-offline (O2O) services like internet-based takeout dining.
This got veteran China hand Doug Young thinking about the sudden state of flux after a relatively long period of stability, and what the landscape might look like five years from now in terms of who’s-who at the top of China’s high-tech heap. To answer that question he polled a few of his contacts who are experts in this realm and have a relatively clear view on who is coming and going.
What did he find? Read the column for some surprising results.