When I participated the Paris Le Web conference back in 2006, I was really excited about a China-themed panel called the The Dragon’s Web, dedicated to China’s internet landscape. However I was disappointed to find the whole conversation was completely focussed on the firewall and China’s copycat culture. In the past decade, the middle kingdom has undergone dramatic changes, and so has the internet ecosystem both here and abroad. So what can we expect from the ‘Dragon’s Web’ in 2015?

We still have to face the frustrating fact that the compact culture here in China is still running rampant. It will continue to be a malign feature of China’s internet scene, especially when it comes to technology innovation. But we can also acknowledge that Chinese companies are making great breakthroughs in terms of business model innovation. WeChat’s transformation from an instant messaging tool to an all-inclusive service is one of many tributes to that innovation. Many new business models with unique Chinese elements are emerging, including trends in Online-to-Offline (O2O) and Internet Plus, a government policy bringing traditional industries online. Although, these concepts might sound confusing for foreign investors at first, they have a huge number of applications in the country. China’s internet market is massive, but its traditional market is larger and urgently needs reform. That’s why online education and online finance are becoming buzzwords in China.

In Shenzhen, the hardware Silicon Valley, we see hopes of a “hardware renaissance” in China in the coming years. The emergence of a slew of promising fields including Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, wearables, smart homes and virtual reality are bringing new hopes to China’s tech market thanks to their inseparable connections with hardware.

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Gang Lu

Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.