It is inevitable that students, professionals and tourists on a trip to China will be astonished at how the country has closed its gates when it comes to connecting to the outside via the internet. This authoritarian and protectionist stance of local government has made many popular companiesin the West have minimal or no presence there, preventing you from checking your messages in Gmail or check-in on Facebook when you’re on the Great Wall.
Of course, in the face of this scenario, several local companies gained prominence and filled many of the gaps left by external competitors. After all, whether you like it or not, China is still a massive market full of potential to be exploited. So it is only natural that many of these brands assume an equivalence relationship to names like YouTube , Twitter , Amazon and many other Internet and technology giants .
The list is quite curious
To give a taste of this peculiarity of the Chinese ecosystem, the Business Insider staff compiled some of the companies that most resemble their Western counterparts . Is this enough to make your passage through the country more peaceful? Hard to say. However, it is true to say that the list is quite curious and shows that, in one way or another, Asian entrepreneurs are good at emulating foreign successes.
1. Google vs “you know who”
To top the gem list , it’s hard not to start with Baidu . Gigantes ca in his homeland and known for the wrong reasons among the Western public, the company is the clearest equivalent to Google . The Baidu has the most popular search engine in China , has its own application maps, operates in the storage industry in the cloud, and fall, has been developing its own autonomous car. So, you okay or want more?
2. Many want to be Apple
When talking about a ” Chinese Apple ” it is difficult to point the finger in one direction only. The Huawei would be the equivalent in size and income, since the brand dominates the market mobile site and offers several premium devices – which unfortunately never come to Brazil. But in terms of inspiration and design, it’s Xiaomi and Meizu that come closest to Apple, bringing products that can often be confused with iPhones by unsuspecting users.
3. Giant like Facebook
Aside from wandering its way to the lucrative gaming world – being the current majority shareholder in Riot Games, the owner of the League of Legends – Tencent is a monster of social platforms and messengers in China . Just see that the main product of the house, the WeChat , counts on 1 billion monthly users only in the country. It is worth noting that the app, however, is much more complete than Facebook , since it mixes social wall, chat, news center and more in one place.
4. Two Amazon
Everyone knows that Chinese Amazon is Alibaba , right? After all, the company founded by Jack Ma is a benchmark in the e-commerce business, it has the local equivalent to eBay and, as if that were not enough, is also emerging in the cloud segment – a sector led by Jeff Bezos company in the USA. What most people do not know is that JD.com also has a very relevant share of online commerce in China , as well as playing with deliveries via drone the same way as Amazon .
5. The next Uber?
While in the West everyone fights to be the one of the “next Uber ” Didi Chuxing already has been doing this work with slack in Chinese lands. In fact, the fight with the company created by Travis Kalanick was so ugly there that led to a price war that culminated in Didi absorbing the entire Uber operation in China . Brutal victory of the local brand.
6. How Twitter ? Not better!
Origin of nine out of every ten leaks in the world of technology, Weibo would be the Chinese social network closest to Twitter . The platform offers a series of features similar to those of Facebook , but as it is the microblogging interface that most calls attention, the comparison is even fair. It is worth noting, however, that Jack Dorsey can learn a lot from Weibo, as the app from the partnership between Sina and Alibaba has been growing at a very fast pace, unlike Twitter .
7. Gateway up to Netflix
The product most similar to the favorite video streaming service of most Western Internet users could be none other than iQiyi – which is part of Baidu’s portfolio . The on-demand video portal has a giant co- catalog , is investing a buck in its own productions and has a signature plan very similar to that of the American company. An interesting detail is that Netflix ended up licensing its original content to iQiyi for not being able to overcome the entry barriers of the Chinese market.
8. Monopoly of music streaming
Searching for a Chinese equivalent to services like Spotify , Apple Music , Tidal , Pandora and others is something that really does not give a job. After all, Tencent dominates this market with an iron fist. In addition to having created QQ Music, the industry leader in China , the company recently bought the apps from its main competitors: KuGou and Kuwo. With the acquisitions, it is estimated that the company has more than 70% of the market for itself.
9. A Tinder to call your own
There is no secret here: Tantan is a practically accurate copy of Tinder for the Chinese public. The application allows you to slide suitors left or right when you are searching for your soul mate – or a quick encounter – and has one of the most balanced proportions between male and female users: they are 60% male versus 40% Of women. Not bad, huh?
Bonus: a YouTube that did not work
If a platform could be compared directly to Google’s video site, it would probably be Youku. The problem is that Alibaba’s offspring did not launch like YouTube and is struggling to keep its users engaged. This is because the Chinese government keeps a close eye on all material transmitted in the system, preventing local Internet users from feeling comfortable producing content for Youku.