Key insights from Plug and Play's Chen Zhao's speech at the recent EqualOcean event.
China's business system operates in the so-called 'startup economy' era, where large corporations and state-owned entities solve new challenges by cooperating with specialized startups. Instead of utilizing sources and massive systems of their own, large businesses in China chose to invest in and lock up long-term contracts with lightweight players.
On December 9, 2021, at the 'Investing in China' Summit, a part of EqualOcean's World Innovators Meet (WIM2021), Chen Zhao introduced Plug and Play's latest focus, the corporate innovation platform. The platform facilitates connecting big companies with their desired small-sized partners. Based on six cutting-edge scenarios from his company's investment and business practice, Mr. Zhao has introduced possible future leaders of China's Big Tech.
Chen Zhao is the managing partner at Plug and Play and is currently spearheading Plug and Play Tech Center's startup accelerator and investment activities in China. He has led and participated in investment and cross-border acceleration of over 100 startups in China and the US, including Hexaflake AIGPU, Flexiv Robotics, ZifiSense, Authing, Xpower, Archifiction, Zhen Robotics, Yours Robotics, NRJ Nano Tech, King Weather, Woobo and AutoX.
Along with the increasing average labor cost and the slowing down of overall economic growth in China, digitalization and automation become crucial to quantify a company's performances, reduce expenditures and enhance the overall effectiveness of the manufacturing system. Plug and Play extracts vital focus areas of the digital and intelligent factory scenario by working with clients from various sectors.
Big corporations in the building and infrastructure industry look for solutions that provide space optimization, energy efficiency, cost efficiency and labor safety. China's carbon-neutral and pro-environment policies also significantly guide and restrict businesses from the technologies they use.
Metaverse is a hot buzzword standing for a collection of entertainment technologies and other relative concepts such as decentralized finance (DeFi). As the next-generation upgrade of big entertainment companies, firms like Sony, Tencent and Baidu are actively looking for partners with the following tech trends.
This is another scenario closely related to China's carbon-neutral strategy. Big vehicle manufacturers are not the only group that favors the category; logistics and supply chain companies also retain close interest.
The ex-head of Y Combinator in China, Lu Qi, has publicly expressed his excitement in the EV ecosystem more than once. Yet he is not alone; through Chen's presentation, companies from entirely different industries started to set strategies to seize the future market share of the EV ecosystem.
"Although telehealth has been widely adopted in the US and other countries, China is still at a fast-growth stage, both quality- and quantity-wise," said Mr. Zhao. Not only telehealth, policies and capital in China have been accelerating digital and intelligent healthcare since 2020.
For Chen Zhao's slides and presentation recording, please subscribe to our weekly newsletter: we will be sending them out in the following weeks.
As a part of WIM2021, China & The World Summit was hosted on December 9-10, 2021. It was focusing on the world's second-largest economy's global impact and interaction with the rest of the world.
WIM 2021 China & The World Summit is built around two major topics:
Ⅰ. Investing in China: Seeking value amid global turbulence.
Over the past decade, China has been an attractive investment destination. But will it remain one in years to come? WIM 2021 gathered global investors, senior executives, and market participants to discuss this and other questions concerning the world's second-largest economy's past, present and future.
Ⅱ. Localization & Globalization: Global enterprises' 'China story' and Chinese companies' global expansion.
China's role in the global economy has been continuously changing. As the country's market matures, the world's largest enterprises have been venturing into it – with varied success. Meanwhile, Chinese new-economy companies are also expanding their presence in foreign markets. At WIM 2021, a number of eminent experts and industry insiders discussed the most important trends and narratives at the interface of China and the rest of the world.
Follow EqualOcean.com and stay tuned for other WIM recap articles!
WIM2021 'Digital Reshaping the World' will be hosted offline in Shanghai and New York while broadcasting globally. The event covers 11 topics, including the hottest industries (from automotive to healthcare) and concepts (like Carbon Neutrality and 'Zhuan Jing Te Xin').
World Innovators Meet (WIM) is a yearly flagship event hosted by EqualOcean for the past 6 years. It is a time where international delegates gather to discuss hot button topics in China's key industries.
We see innovation as the biggest driving force to building a better world. Hence, through WIM we seek to create a platform for global innovators to connect. By uniting bright minds, we seek to foster learning, inspiration and wonder – and inspire conversations that matter.
In a short span of 6 years, WIM has grown from a local event in China to a global event that bridges the world and China by bringing together 1,500+ international speakers (including several Nobel laureates), 50,000 global attendees, and 2,000+ media and community partners.