Internet Trends 2019: China Setting a World Stage

by Ganesh Subramanian

The internet is still very young – we don’t even know what it can do. What we have known before is probably just a beginning. When the internet can connect people’s brains, which is the most difficult part, it will be the beginning of a real internet.

Wang Jian, Chief of Technology, Alibaba Group


courtesy: scmp

This edit looks at four key trends emerging from the world’s largest internet ecosystem (China) based on the report recently published by South China Morning Post. With China leading the way, looking at what is happening in China will give the rest of the world what is to come and get prepared.

Why China sets the world stage for internet trends? It is the largest ecosystem with over 800 internet and mobile users.

#1 China’s CopyCat Tech Industry is now being Copied

China has pioneered the “Super App”, a one-stop-shop for services from shopping to ride-hailing to money transfers to flight bookings. Global technology companies are now replicating successful concepts from their Chinese counterparts, from the Super App to social+ e-commerce to short video.

#2 China is racing ahead in 5G

China is taking all efforts to stay ahead in the 5G race. 5G networks offer faster data rates, reduced latency, energy savings, cost reductions, higher system capacity and massive device connectivity.
China best positioned to lead the 5G infrastructure amongst other nations taking the initiative.

#3 China is adopting AI in Massive Scale

Quoting Kai-Fu Lee (AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order)“In stark contrast, China’s startup culture is the yin to Silicon Valley’s yang: instead of being mission-driven, Chinese companies are first and foremost market-driven. Their ultimate goal is to make money, and they’re willing to create any product, adopt any model, or go into any business that will accomplish that objective. That mentality leads to incredible flexibility in business models and execution, a perfect distillation of the “lean startup” model often praised in Silicon Valley. It doesn’t matter where an idea came from or who came up with it. All that matters is whether you can execute it to make a financial profit. The core motivation for China’s market-driven entrepreneurs is not fame, glory, or changing the world. Those things are all nice side benefits, but the grand prize is getting rich, and it doesn’t matter how you get there.”

Key areas of AI roll-out include,

#4 Social Credit System

China’s social credit system relies on a series of rewards and punishments meant to encourage people and businesses to abide by rules and promote integrity and trustworthiness in society at large.

What do these imply for any brand or retailer?

Our take on these trends are,

1. The future medium of consumer interactions is transforming. Watch out for Super Apps.
2. Visual is a key medium (images and videos) for consumers to interact. Build capabilities to understand them.
3. “Data is a new Application“. With the exponential growth in data, Brands and Retailers must build capabilities/partner eco-system to make the best use of them.

4. The recommendation is overtaking Search in discovery and action. Focus on recommending rather than making your users search.

We at Stylumia are constantly keeping track of future trends in the digital era to enable brands and retailers to stay relevant in the Data is the Application world.

For those who would like to have the full report, you can download by clicking here