The Internet of Things, or IoT, emerged as the third wave of internet development and is gradually merging the physical and online worlds. Prompted by the smart hardware boom, this sector is in full bloom in China with repercussions across fields such as smart homes, wearables, connected cities and cars, and beyond.

The size of the Chinese IoT market has soared from RMB 170 billion (around US$27 billion) in 2009 to RMB365 billion in 2012, and exceeded RMB500 billion in 2013 with annual compound growth of over 30 percent. The burgeoning market is attracting ever more companies: here are ten startups worth watching in the new year.

1. Xiaomi is trying to duplicate its business model, so successful in the smartphone market, in various hardware sectors. After initial success with its low-cost fitness bracelet, the company launched a 100-hardware-companies strategy in a bid to connect more smart gadgets in fields like healthcare (iHealth), smart home (Ants, Yeelink), and so on. The company also announced a strategic partnership with Chinese home appliance giant Midea.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.