If you’ve been paying attention to China’s internet industry, then you are surely aware of the term “BAT”, an acronym that’s used to refer China’s IT triumvirate Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. For a long time, this term is the only one you need to understand China’s digital market.

As pioneers of China’s internet boom, BAT are often dubbed as the first generation of Chinese tech companies. When they began, they each had their own distinct focus: Baidu for search, Alibaba for e-commerce and Tencent for social networking and games.

Different from the U.S. and Europe, where internet companies focus on one sector and try to be the best at it, Chinese companies start by focusing on and solving one problem, but their ultimate goal is to build huge companies that can attack all different parts of the market.

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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.