BEIJING — Silicon Valley has long enjoyed a reputation for technological innovation, while times may have changed as industry insiders are currently seeing China as further ahead, especially in mobile tech, the New York Times recently reported.
The Times article took WeChat, Alipay, and YY.com — all native Chinese social media giants — as outstanding examples that first popularized barcodes-scanning payment and money transfer, mobile order services and video-streaming, among other hits, that some US tech giants, such as Facebook and Snapchat, are following suit.
In 2015, China has surpassed the United States in mobile payment. Also, more people in China, than anywhere else, are using mobile devices to order services, make friends and watch videos, according to the article.
Some business insiders interviewed by the Times shared the view that China has become the leader on many fronts in the mobile world. Ben Thompson, the founder of the tech research company Stratechery, told the Times that “the trope that China copies the US hasn’t been true for years,” and in today’s mobile world, “the US often copies China.”
The article also pointed out that in comparison with the idea among their US peers of making apps simple, Chinese tech firms often stuff several functions into one app — you can chat, order food and car rides, do shopping, book trips and hotels all through a single platform. They also allow other companies to grow within them to directly offer services, which have created many successful business stories, the article said.
Meanwhile, Chinese tech giants are also exploring overseas markets themselves. On Aug 4, WeChat, the most widely used mobile messaging app in China, announced it was entering the New Zealand payments market with its automatic payment app WePay.
WePay has 400 million active users in China, processing over 500 million payment transactions a day.