If I asked you to name the two online platforms that have experienced global exponential growth during the Covid19 crisis, you would probably say TikTok and Zoom. Am I right?
These are great examples of Chinese innovation which have enjoyed a significant boost from the unexpected effects of the global pandemic of 2020.
According to Forbes, ”TikTok is owned by Byte Dance of China. Byte Dance is a private company with many reports that it is worth $100B and beyond. Byte Dance runs a similar service to TikTok in China, Douyin, which was launched in 2017. TikTok was launched outside of China in 2018 and merged with Musical.ly, another company owned by Byte Dance, that year. TikTok was the most downloaded, mobile, non-game app worldwide in January and February this year. There are over 800M worldwide users. In China there are 400M users which doubled in one year”.
Owned by Eric Yuan (aged 49) one of only a handful of Chinese Americans to lead a major Silicon Valley company, Zoom had one of the most successful IPOs this year (rising 72% on its first day of trading) and is now worth US$35 billion. According to Business Insider “usage of Zoom has grown 1,900% since December as schools, universities, and workplaces have shifted online as authorities across the globe have asked people to embrace social distancing in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus”. I am sure you are now a regular user yourself.
A few years ago I used to say on stage to audiences that “the next Steve Jobs would come from China” and this usually got a (nervous) laugh. I don’t think anyone’s laughing now!