Most Innovative Chinese Companies You Have Never Heard Of

by | July 18, 2016

Most Innovative Chinese Companies You Have Never Heard Of

by | July 18, 2016

Historically seen, China made some of the most influential discoveries. Four of those inventions are: papermaking, the compass, printing and gunpowder. In the time of these mentioned inventions, China was one of the leading cultures in the world. Many years later, in 1839, China fell into century of humiliation until 1949.

During the century of humiliation, China became known for its copycat behaviour. Without any respect for intellectual property rights, Chinese companies copied famous brands from all over the world. In this same period, low Chinese wages made it possible for China to become the factory of the world. “Made in China” has lead to the resurrection of the Chinese economy.

Nowadays China is aiming to become a service-oriented industry. Stimulating exciting start-ups, China became a fast changing business environment. Besides known companies like Alibaba and Huawei, there are many exciting companies with innovative ideas, technologies or software. Please find 6 examples of innovative Chinese companies you have probably never heard of:


15000556022_ab9eb18d4a_zScoutbots is an open source startup, making it a very unique Chinese company. The company has invented autonomous sailing robots with Transformers-like qualities. The hulls of the boat are made from bendable segments.

The technology is open source because the owner of the company, Cesar Herada, wants the technology to be available for all. So what is the boat, costing a few hundred dollars, useful for? The boat can be used for anything ranging from data collection to scout missions for oil companies. Currently Scoutbots are busy at developing a larger version of the versatile boat.


Perhaps you have never heard from Tencent. But chances are you have heard from the revolutionary application called WeChat. Launched as a social media platform, the multifunctional app now holds many diverse functions. With over 400 million users the platform is used for; chat, sharing, online and offline payments, booking platform and much more.

Currently, Tencent is also planning to provide such broad services to international users. They are aiming for creating strategic partnerships with international service providers to achieve their international goals.

Apricot Forest

One of the largest challenges for the government in China is the healthcare industry. A rapidly aging population needs a lot of innovation in order to cope with the strain on the current system. Many new applications focus on providing services in this industry. Apricot Forest, a combination of three apps, is aimed at releasing the strains on the Chinese healthcare system.

A Physician in China earns a low basic wage and has many patients at the same time. 25% of the two and a half million Chinese doctors nowadays use at least one app of Apricot Forest. The doctors use MedClip and the other apps to organize and store records and consult other physicians.


Founded in 2010 by Lei Jun, Xiaomi produces affordable Smart phones Xiaomiand tv’s. Competing with Apple, Xiaomi sells their latest phone with comparable qualities to the IPhone 6 at merely 285 euro’s. This is over half the price of a new iPhone 6s. Besides phones, they are quickly diversifying their product portfolio with the Internet of Things, gadgets and their latest addition: a competitively priced drone with 4k recording possibilities.

Xiaomi became big fast by being innovative on multiple fronts. A great example was their strategy to only sell the Xiaomi phones online in China. To become even bigger in the future, Xiaomi has borrowed 1 billion dollars to expand into emerging markets. With their renewed focus on countries like India, we can expect them to become even bigger in the future.


Like Xiaomi, DJI is a well known name in their respective industry. DJI (Dajiang Innovations) was founded by Mainland Chinese born Frank Wang. He founded DJI in 2006 as a revolutionary drone innovator.

From the start, they produced a very high quality product, with a price around 3 to 4 times cheaper than competition at that time. After spectacular growth in the last 10 years, DJI is currently holding around 70% of the global civilian drone market. With an expected civilian drone industry of worth around 4 billion, we will hear a lot more from this company in the years to come.


China is in a unique situation concerning Google. On one hand, all operation systems of Chinese phones like Xiaomi and Huawei run on Android. On the other hand everything else by Google including Google Play, the app store of Google, is illegal in China.

Former employee of Google, Junyu Wang started Wandoujia. Wandoujia designed a reliable app store for Android users from China. Over 450 million users have used the platform to download 1.6 billion apps to date through the platform.


By naming six, we forget many other initiatives and innovative ChineseScreen Shot 2016-07-15 at 15.44.42 companies. China is on the rise when looking at researchand development. In 2013 the R&D expenditure was t 1.96% of the GDP. Now the 17th of the world, in 1996 the figure was a mere 0.57%. In the past, Chinese companies where known for “made in China”, but currently China is busy helping to innovate the future.

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What happened in the year 1421?

From 1421 to 1423, during the Ming Dynasty of China under Emperor Zhu Di (朱棣) the fleets of Admiral Zheng He (鄭和), commanded by the Chinese captains, discovered Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, Antarctica, the Northeast Passage; and circumnavigated Greenland.

Due to this endeavour we can conclude that “1421 is the year that the Chinese discover the world”.