Business / Companies

Entrepreneurs' future bright in China

By LIA ZHU in San Francisco ( Updated: 2016-06-27 11:01

Entrepreneurs' future bright in China

Jean Liu, president of DiDi Chuxing. [Photo by LIA ZHU/]

The third driving force is technological applications, including artificial intelligence, internet of things and cloud infrastructure, because enterprise software application in China "lags behind the US by a big margin", said Deng.

The entrepreneur ecosystem in China is also nurtured by the scale of the Chinese market, which is the fundamental difference between China and the US, according to Jean Liu, president of DiDi Chuxing, a ride-hailing company often referred to as the "Uber of China".

The company handles 14 million rides for urban commuters on a daily basis, which means five times the ride-share market in the US, she said.

If all the private cars in Beijing were put together, they would cover an area bigger than Manhattan, Liu said. Founded in 2012, Didi has grown to the world's largest mobile transportation platform thanks to the huge market. Last month Didi got a $1 billion investment from Apple.

"Although Didi is the largest by size, it's just a beginning, because China has a huge market and only 1 percent of urban rides are conducted through ride-sharing. So there's a lot of room for us to grow," she said.

"To us, innovation is about tackling local specific issues," she said.

China has made great progress in entrepreneurship in the last decade, but it still has a long way to go to catch up with the US, said Deng.

One factor is the Chinese governments are much more involved, but sometimes not in a good way, he said. "But they are learning quickly and I've seen the changes," he added.

Last year, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang launched a mass innovation and entrepreneurship drive to help transform the economy from manufacturing-oriented to service-driven, he said.

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