How an ancient
culture is leading
the rest of the world
into the future

From ground-breaking advancements in hi-tech,
to trillion-dollar global investments, and taking the
world by storm with e-commerce innovations,
modern day China is moving full steam ahead.


“My vision is to build an e-commerce ecosystem,
that allows consumers and businesses to do all aspects of business online”

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba

China “Goes Out”

When China initiated a policy that will open it up to the world it would change its global standing forever. This was the ‘Go Out’ policy, introduced in 1999, and which is the country’s strategy to encourage enterprises to invest overseas. This policy was then further accelerated when it entered the World Trade Organization in 2001.

With China’s global offshore assets expected to reach nearly $20 trillion by 2020, the country will become one of world’s biggest overseas investors. Among its notable acquisitions are:

  • 2005 Lenovo’s acquisition ofIBM's personal computer division for $1.75 billion
  • 2012 Motorola was also acquired by Lenovo for $2.9 billion
  • 2012 AMC, America’s largest movie theater chain, was bought for $2.6 billion
  • 2016 GE Appliances was bought for $5.4 billion

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A Road Leading West

Another important initiative taking China West is the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, which refers to the development of new infrastructure—particularly railroads and highways—that are intended to connect China’s interior provinces with Europe by way of Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

This is accompanied by the “International Production Cooperation” initiative, which aims at undertaking production projects in a host nation for projects such as railway construction, preparing Brazil's 2016 Olympic Games, and infrastructure in Kazakhstan.

Both of these initiatives, introduced by China’s President Xi Jinping, reflect the leader’s views on overseas investment and signal China’s move towards globalization and mutual cooperation.

The Digital Revolution

Among the more remarkable achievements of modern China is its digital transformation. Consider this:

  • 731 million internet users
  • 626 million smartphone users
  • 963 million active monthly WeChat users
  • 46 billion transactions in 2016 with a value of $290 billion

The digital age is firmly entrenched in modern Chinese society – and its achievements are both enviable and worthy of emulation. Take Alibaba and WeChat as two prime examples: 

Alibaba: Taking E-Commerce to Bigger & Brighter Places

Alibaba is China’s — and by some measures, the world’s — biggest online commerce company. Its three main sites — Taobao, Tmall and — have hundreds of millions of users, and host millions of merchants and businesses. In fact, it handles more business than any other e-commerce company in the world, where transactions on its online sites totaled $248 billion last year, more than those of eBay and combined.

Alibaba became one of the most valuable tech companies in the world after raising $25 billion from its US IPO in 2014. In terms of market capitalization, it comes in only after Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

To learn more about Alibaba, click here.

WeChat: Much More Than a Chat App

WeChat is China’s super-app for social media, instant messaging, e-commerce, and payment services. Since its first release in 2011 it has become one of the largest standalone messaging apps by monthly active users, at over 963 million.

It is widely known as one of the world's most innovative and versatile apps, regarded as China's "App For Everything." It has numerous unique functions and platforms, which make it like WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, Amazon, Uber, Instagram, Tinder, and more rolled up into one. This kind of functionality is revolutionizing the digital experience, how marketers target their audience, and is becoming a beacon for its peers in the West.

To see WeChat in action, click here.

Here Come the Millennials

All over the world – businesses have their eyes on Millennials as the next wave of consumer power. This is the generation that was born between mid-1980’s to the mid/end-1990’s, and which is expected to have the kind of buying power that will influence the global economy for years to come.

China is expected to have the largest millennial population in the world. Moreover, it is China’s millennials who are expected to bring sway over how the global digital economy will unfold.

China’s millennials are a new breed of consumers, numbering today at more than 400 million, and accounting for almost a third of China’s population. At 400 million strong they even outnumber the working population of the US and Western Europe combined.


Clearly, we can see that China’s rich and fascinating history can only be equaled by the outstanding and paradigm-shifting promise of its future.


18 points of interest

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