In 2014, high-tech giants in China are looking to aggressively expand their influence beyond China’s borders. Ironically, many of these companies only became successful after the Chinese government helped them by shutting out competitors from abroad.
Jack Ma is the founder of Alibaba, the “online bazaar that allows a business to sell almost any item to any other business” and is considered to be bigger than Amazon.com. He – and his company – reportedly has “no equivalent in the West.” According to the Telegraph, Alibaba is worth at least $110 billion, and the NYSE, Nasdaq, and the London Stock Exchange are all courting him.
Xiaomi, a company that makes smartphones and is trying to challenge Apple, has a Russian billionaire among its chief investors and just started “its international expansion push in Singapore” by declaring that it “aims to more than double sales this year to” 40 million handsets.
Sina Weibo, which is the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, is run by Charles Chao. The site claims 600 million users, according to reports, and is so influential in China that Google chief Eric Schmidt “has predicted it will play a major role in a gradual democratization of the country.
Sina Weibo, though, became successful because “it filled a vacuum left when censors cut off access to Twitter by agreeing to restrict certain subjects.” Similarly, Baidu, China’s chief search engine, was also “helped when Google was forced out of China” in 2010. Baidu now “has an iron grip on the web search market,” and it will also seek to expand its influence.