Globalization has become a mainstream trend among Chinese tech companies over the past year. But if we look back, this trend could be dated back years ago when China’s first group of tool apps found traction overseas. Shanghai-based keyboard app TouchPal is among the Chinese startups that pioneered this trend.

As a third-party keyboard service, TouchPal now claims over 600 million users and a predominating 95% of them are outside China. While the keyboard still the company’s core product, it is now gradually developing other portfolio apps for fitness and content, but their focus is still on the overseas market.

Keyboard app may not sound a sexy business, but it’s a very basic service for every user. “Ten years ago when I left my job at Microsoft and co-founded my new company, we thought that keyboard is not that sexy but it could be a good starting point before we move on to cool projects like Facebook and Google,” TouchPal co-founder Michael Wang said at TechCrunch Hangzhou.

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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.