Black Swans and Breakthroughs: China's Top 50 Innovative Public Firms in 2020

Automotive, Technology, Healthcare Author: WIM Committee, Beier Kan Editor: Luke Sheehan Oct 20, 2020 07:40 PM (GMT+8)

In the times of crisis like COVID-19, even established companies risk falling due to the sudden drop in their income. By contrast, companies that cling to innovation may unlock more value as they fight against the challenges.

Image credit: EqualOcean

On December 9-11, 2020, EqualOcean will host this year's World Innovators Meet (WIM). WIM2020 will take on a bolder stance and adopt a more global outlook by taking the form of an online conference that will be streamed simultaneously in all countries and regions that champion the realm of technology and innovation. 

During the World Innovators Meet, the WIM Committee will release the annual blockbuster WIA list, the World Innovation Awards, based on our annual industry and investment research findings, together with a series of research reports.


► China's innovation commitment has paid off significantly with economic expansions occurring during the COVID-19 crisis. 
► EqualOcean will select China's top 50 innovative public firms in 2020 to identify the most efficient innovation practices across eight industries. We welcome companies with innovative potential and the motivation to showcase said potential as they compete for the World Innovators Award.
► The rating criteria of selection will provide investors around the world with insights relevant to the key areas and showcase Chinese public companies that have the most growth potential for the following years.

Technology-enabled innovations are creating enormous value in every industry, while the conversion from potential into actual business value requires proper opportunities and implementations with thorough considerations of the profits and risks brought by the innovation. The COVID-19 pandemic in the year 2020 has been inspiring in some cases, forcing enterprises to make big changes, discover new use cases, adapt to new consumption habits, and prepare for uncertainties.

China's innovative drive is leading to fast economic recovery and growing financial markets

China, as the only economy that rebounded from a pandemic contraction as early as the second quarter of 2020, also presented the largest increases in the gross domestic product (GDP) and expansions in manufacturing and industrial production. One reason for China's quick pandemic recovery and economic benefit is the public sector’s efficient operations and cooperation in terms of pandemic control. Another essential factor lies in the country's business and financial sectors, in which companies have been striving for survival, business excellence, and people's welfare, despite the external pressures.

Examples from the latter factor tell us: the only way out of the unanticipated and unprecedented challenges is to innovate, in terms of the business model, organizational restructuring and technology enhancement. Besides, innovations from both public companies and startups are encouraged by the Chinese government through favorable fiscal and monetary policies, as well as other related policies such as tax reduction and talent policies, which cement China's relentless commitment to multi-dimensional innovations.

China's proven strong and resilient economy is attracting global investors to participate in its capital market, as the market index of China's A-shares so far in 2020 outperformed many of major US stock market indicators. China concept stocks that are listed in Hong Kong and New York also presented handsome financial results as well as stock price enhancement by October 2020. Chinese publicly traded companies showed the tremendous power of innovation.

China's Top 50 Innovative Public Companies are coming

Thus, EqualOcean, a Chinese pioneering research institution that focuses on China analysis with a global perspective, will select 50 of the most innovative publicly traded Chinese companies and release the list and an innovation research report at the World Innovators Meet 2020. The list and research report aim to identify the most recent technology trends in China, as well as the proper place and pace for innovation implementation. The themes and key conclusions of the ' China's Top 50 Innovative Public Firms 2020' report and lists will help entrepreneurs and managers in business reinventing and decision-making for companies' post-pandemic development. 

The 'China's Top 50 Innovative Public Firms 2020' lists and reports will touch upon innovations across industries, covering technology, consumer, automotive, industrials, healthcare, real estate, financial institutions, and communication. Considering the industry differences in terms of innovation identification, for example, the patent number in the healthcare industry might be way lower than the technology industry on average since the changes and economic benefits brought by patents in healthcare companies are higher than the benefit in technology companies.

Many other factors in our rating system have similar structural issues across industries. Thus, apart from the main list that covers all the eight industries that mentioned above with 50 companies on exhibition, EqualOcean also intends to prepare a series of lists – 'China's Top 10 Innovative Public Firms 2020' – for each industry as follows:

- China's Top 10 Innovative Public Firms 2020: Technology

Technological innovations always make trend leaders. According to PwC's 'Most Valuable Companies in 2020' list, the technology industry carries the most listed valuable companies with 20% of the total. The total market cap of the listed technology companies adds up to USD 6.26 trillion, which is approximately the sum of the market cap in consumer services, industrials, and healthcare industries.

Resembling the global landscape, Chinese tech companies are also leading in the capital market in terms of both stock price increase and the total market volume. Besides the capital hype, technologies related to artificial intelligence, cloud services and communications did empower businesses with more efficient and digitalized business models in other industries.

In this list, we sincerely welcome China's leading innovative tech firms to bid for the listing position and co-present the Chinese tech innovation to the world with EqualOcean.

- China's Top 10 Innovative Public Firms 2020: Consumer

Innovation will be more important than ever as we move toward the next normal given changing consumer needs and occasions. However, though the importance of innovation in the consumer sector is climbing, in a post-pandemic world, this challenge of anticipating consumers' needs, and measuring and managing innovation to address those needs, is likely to get tougher as a result of massive, lasting behavioral disruption across consumers, categories, and channels. In short, innovation is getting harder. According to a recent research report from McKinsey, the average of first-year sales for new products declined by 50% between 2012 and 2018.

EqualOcean's WIA public innovation list of the consumer sector will present China's innovation in this industry and how the 10 most innovative companies adopt to the country's fast-changing consumer preference and the highly digitalized consumption patterns.

Similar to the top 10 lists of technology and consumer industry, the top 10 lists will stretch out to the following industries, showcasing the role-model innovative companies respectively.

- China's Top 10 Innovative Public Firms 2020:  Automotive

- China's Top 10 Innovative Public Firms 2020:  Industrials

- China's Top 10 Innovative Public Firms 2020:  Healthcare

- China's Top 10 Innovative Public Firms 2020:  Real Estate

- China's Top 10 Innovative Public Firms 2020:  Financial institutions

- China's Top 10 Innovative Public Firms 2020:  Communication

Here, we welcome Chinese public companies that are confident on its innovation capacity and interested in showcasing the Chinese innovation achievements to the world, to contact us and bid for the listing positions.

Rating criteria – Stock with potentials

EqualOcean has developed a set of innovation capacity rating criteria for Chinese public companies. The criteria judge a company's innovation capacity from three dimensions: innovation input, innovation output, and innovation sustainability. The innovation input will be measured majorly from financial aspects, including the innovation-related expenses and investments. The innovation output score will be based on the company's innovation achievements, such as patent application numbers and intangible assets related to the company's innovation projects. The third dimension – innovation sustainability will be majorly linked to the company's presented growth and growth potentials that it will see in the following years.

According to Accenture, globally the return on companies' innovation spending has declined by 27 % over the past five years, showing that not all innovations that companies presented have business values. Thus, with EqualOcean's all-around rating criteria, we believe the upcoming report on China's top innovative companies will give global investors clear guidance on which areas and which companies bear great growth potentials generated from internal innovation.

About WIM

Hosted by EqualOcean, the World Innovators Meet (WIM) is a world-class event for innovators. It provides limitless opportunities to learn from and connect with the most sought-after technology pioneers.

About WIA

The World Innovation Awards (WIA) are announced at WIM to recognize game-changers across various industries and geographies. Selected by a committee of distinguished experts, entrepreneurs and investors, WIA are designed to acknowledge technology disruptors striving to make a positive impact.

Register for the event

We sincerely welcome you to join WIM2020 on December 9-11, 2020.

Click here to register and you will receive:

[Global Trends] Key insights from 11 Industry and Overseas Chapters made available to you for all three days of WIM2020.

[Insightful Conversation] Connect with 120 top-notch global speakers, listen to their perspectives and interact with them online.

[Innovative Community] Join an exclusive network of 10,000 professionals to participate in discussions and gain first-hand information from fellow participants.

[Business Networking] Gain 1:1 business-connect opportunity to launch or speed up partnerships worldwide.

[Comprehensive Report] Exclusive in-depth research reports will be delivered right to your mailbox.

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Join the WIM2020 family and become a member of the World Innovation Community, participating in a technology and innovation carnival that connects the world right at your doorstep, all while drawing a special end to the extraordinary 2020!


If you would like to become/recommend a speaker, discuss cooperation opportunities or media partnerships, apply for the World Innovators Awards or to be a volunteer, please click here to fill in the WIM2020 Cooperation Form (we recommend you to do so on a computer). We will be in touch as soon as possible. Thank you and welcome!