The Journey To the West (Part I) – They Are Chinese Startups Rocking the World, Solute!

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It’s been a long while that the “Made in China” represents cheap and low quality. But this needs to be changed, and in the global mobile industry we have seen the change already: Tens of Chinese mobile application and games developers have started rocking. They are based in China, but their focus is on oversea market and earning U.S. dollars;

We know sooner or later, Chinese internet companies will go abroad and try to conquer the global market. It is the trend, and we thought Chinese big companies such as Tencent, Baidu etc will take the lead, but we are wrong, in fact the companies already in the journey to the west are mostly Chinese startups, mainly from mobile industry.

A big Thanks to Google which gave us the opportunity to bring a group of China startups to visit Silicon Valley during Google IO conference. These startups you may never heard of their names, but I bet many of you have tried their applications or games. As Leon Zhao, the head of Mobile, online partnership group at Google China, said in his speech at our San Francisco event,

If we do a simple math, these startups actually present over 410 millions downloads in the global mobile app economy.

It’s a journey to the West which you should be aware of. So in this series of posts, we will try to give an in-depth report on these companies, and analyze why they are taking this move and what are the difficulties they are facing.

First of all, let’s solute to these Chinese startups which are rocking the global mobile market!

INTSIG is the premier provider of innovative mobile applications specializing in pattern recognition and image processing. INTSIG holds hundreds of Independent Property Rights and patents for Optical Character Recognition, Handwriting Recognition, Image Processing and so forth. With expertise in delivering simple but effective applications among different mobile handsets, INTSIG develops a portfolio of applications comprising CamCard, CamScanner and CamDictionary to enable users to digitize access and manage information anytime and anywhere more effectively. As a leading business application provider, INTSIG has been partnering with leading operators, mobile manufacturers all over the world such as Softbank Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Lenovo, ZTE and etc. Furthermore, INTSIG provides custom-made enterprise solutions such as business card scanning, document scanning and management, business contact management, expense management and so on.

DroidHen is a leading game provider on Android platform. It’s based in Hangzhou and founded by several graduates from Zhejiang University. DroidHen’s games has got over 160 million total downloads with high ratings by users. The company is invested by Sequoia Capital, but as Andrew Zhang said to us, they have not really used that funding yet, because the company has positive cash flow since the first day. One of its games, Defender was ranked Games.com’s Top 10 Free Android Games of 2011. DroidHen has done a great achievement in the global mobile market, but surprisingly they don’t have any representative based in U.S. and the founders have never visited the West before. Reported by InsideSocialGames, DroidHen is the top 3 targets Zynga might consider to acquire.

TouchPal is one of the fastest growing mobile startups in China. It is the top 6 finalists of TechCrunch Disrupt, the winner of GSMA Mobile Innovation Award at MWC, and the partner developer at Google I/O. It is 2nd largest mobile input solution provider in the world and has over 50 million users worldwide, and has shipped with over 20% of Android phones worldwide. Rumor says the company might sign a big contract with U.S. top mobile operator Sprint which means Sprint’s contracted phones will have TouchPal pre-installed. TouchPal is making millions of dollars from the mobile operators which pay license fee for pre-installation.

3G.cn, established in March 2004, is the pioneer of China’s free mobile internet, and is the leading mobile internet company. The company owns China’s earliest and largest mobile internet portal, 3G.cn, and the Go apps, which consist of a series of mobile applications that were developed based on the multiple operating system platforms. Ever since its establishment, 3G Portal has had over 170 million registered users and more than 25 million active users daily. Since 2010, 3G.CN has quickly turned to the operating system platforms, such as Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. Currently on the global market, 15 of the company’s apps have been downloaded for more than 200 million times, for instance, Go Launcher, GO SMS and Go locker, etc.  Among them several apps have been ranked the first on Google Play Store.

InfoLife focuses on developing productivity apps for android devices. Their apps, such as Advanced Task Manager, Easy Uninstaller etc have been downloaded for more than 30 millions times in total. It’s a 5-person small company which is making good money without raising any venture capitals. TANG Chen, the co-founder of InfoLife said to us, he spent a day to develop the first version of the Advanced Task Manager and did not expect it can drive that many of downloads. The company is working on its first home application for Android which will bundle with its popular apps, Tang said.

TopGame is a Beijing-based mobile game developer. It was founded in April 2010 by Xu Le and Leon Qiu, and now has over 60 people in the team. Xu Le who also founded the company SNSGame, was recently featured in FORTUNE China’s 2012 list of top 40 business elites under the age of 40. TopGame has a global user base of over 10 million, and it is the exclusive publishers of Zombie Farm, the world’s 6th biggest iPhone game, in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia.

The companies listed above are just good representatives of those travelers, and there are tens of more. These companies are growing at different stage, some are ready to set up office in the west, some are looking for local representative for expanding business and marketing purpose, and some others are still learning the market.

The reasons drive these companies go abroad are also varied, so coming next, The Journey to the West (Part II) – Why the West? is it Better than Home …

  • Paul

    Technode – Thanks to all of you for always putting out excellent content and knowledge.

    Thanks again,

    Paul

  • http://www.facebook.com/junde Junde Yu

    erm.. App Annie?