With the rise of mass innovation in China, money is flooding into startups, especially those in the latest emerging verticals. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun puts it more colorfully: “Even a pig can fly if it is in the middle of a whirlwind.”

Despite the sector-wise differences, history is repeating itself in China’s internet industry. Nearly every whirlwind sector is going through a similar path. A certain hot industry attracts a swarm of startups, then a large amount of capital dives in to fuel the extravagant cash burning war for players to snap larger market share. Finally, the battle ends in a merger between the industry leaders, like the case in Didi and Uber China.

But at least one thing is different now: the speed at which the entrepreneurs and investors are reacting to the rise of a new vertical. From the first boom of taxi-booking service in early 2013 to the final merger between Didi and Uber in late 2016, it takes around three years for Didi to establish its sole dominator position in China’s ride-hailing 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.