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This is the first post in our series: Discover China’s Next BAT, where we will go over the potential tech giants that are leading China’s IT industry. Stay tuned over the coming month to keep updated on the next ‘BAT.’
Anyone who is interested in IT industry in China would probably be familiar with what ‘BAT’ stands for: Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, the three tech giants in China. However, they are all quite mature and old. Indeed, it is time for a new acronym that represents three significant companies, following the success of BAT.
Now, we’d like to introduce a new acronym, TMD: Toutiao, Meituan, and Didi Chuxing.
Toutiao, meaning “headlines” in Chinese, is an insanely popular Chinese news aggregation app. Toutiao boasts some 700 million users in China, with more than 68 million active daily users.
It is important to note that Toutiao is not a mere news reading service but rather a curation platform with highly sophisticated machine learning technology. With the database of readers’ taste and preference, Touiao precisely tailors its offerings accordingly to get more clicks.
Recently, Toutiao acquired Flipagram, a popular video app in the US. The company plans to integrate Flipagram videos in those recommendations, so that should improve Flipagram’s reach.
Meituan and Dianping, two of the dominant group deals e-commerce platforms, merged in October 2015, forming a joint company called Meituan-Dianping or Xinmeida in Chinese.
By joining forces, it claimed RMB 170 billion (US$ 25.84 billion) in gross merchandise volume (or the value of merchandise sold online) last year and currently serves about 150 million monthly active users who place about 10 million orders each day.
Just last month, Meituan-Dianping announced the launch of their own online financial services, following Alibaba and Tencent.
After a bruising two-year battle in mainland China, Uber sold its China operations to Didi Chuxing which in turn gives Uber a one-fifth stake in Didi.
The Didi deal is the latest sign that global Internet and technology companies are struggling to break into China’s cut-throat market, where local entrepreneurs have built formidable businesses, partly helped by a supportive government.