(Yicai Global) July 30 – As many as 21 Shanghai-based firms made the list of top 100 internet companies in China, per latest official data, in an indication that the seeds of internationally-oriented internet firms fall on the fertile fields of the city, with its inclusive culture and eagerness for overseas talent.
The official Information Center under the country's industry and information technology ministry and semi-official Internet Society of China jointly released their 2018 Top 100 Chinese Internet Firms list on July 27, among which are 21 Shanghai-based companies, including Wangsu Technology, Ctrip Computer Technology (Shanghai) and Shanghai 2345 Network Holding, all in the top 20.
The Shanghai companies distinguished are mainly in the game, entertainment and media field in a phenomenon associated with Shanghai's cultural diversity.
Companies in the eastern Chinese megacity may have gone through a grim time to adapt to the wild growth phase of the internet sector, but immediately started to rise once it started to shift toward market segmentation when a refined positioning and standardized operations become a vital necessary, one analyst told Yicai Global.
Shanghai-based online game developer Youzu Interactive, which made the cut, serves to illustrate. With a total of nearly one billion global users from 230 countries and regions across Europe, America, the Middle East, Asia and South America, the company has not only built up cooperation with overseas internet giants such as Facebook and Alphabet's Google, but also established business relations with more than 1,000 other overseas partners. Youzu has emerged as the pillar of Shanghai's gaming industry and is now a renowned Chinese gaming brand poised to go global.
Another gaming entrant, 37 Interactive Entertainment, announced in March it will issue six gaming products this year with the monthly turnover for each to top CNY50 million (USD7.34 million).
"Shanghai features masses of leading game companies, a circumstance mainly attributable to the early ones like Shanda Games and Giant Network, which served as an entrepreneur training center for the city," a senior internet observer told Yicai Global. "Many talents from these companies all did quite well in their own later businesses."
Its human resources edge and a favorable business environment are also major causes of the emergence of successful internet startups in Shanghai.
"Though our company is registered in Beijing, most of our technician teams are running in Shanghai because many of our employees are from abroad or have overseas experience and prefer the lifestyle in this city," Wang Zizhuo, the chief technology officer of Cardinal Operations told Yicai Global.
Professor Peter Glynn, director of the Department of Management Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering, Stanford University, and a member of the US' National Academy of Engineering, gave high marks to the municipality's talent introduction and innovation policies in a recent interview with Yicai Global.
He has forged cooperative ties with many universities and startups in town, partly because some of their professors and founders were once his students, and he is glad to see them back in China working hard to develop novel technologies, he said.
In a similar vein, Hujiang Education Technologies that operates the online learning hujiang.com website, which also ranked in this year's Top 100, was founded by students from the venerable University of Shanghai for Science and Technology in 2001. The company was just a foreign language learning forum at its inception, but after securing investment from Chinese internet behemoth Baidu it soon developed into a mobile online education platform.
The progress of artificial intelligence (AI) has also been conspicuous in the town on the Huangpu River in recent years. The significance it has attached to AI technologies has caused many startups dealing in big data analytics to sprout in Shanghai. Yitu Technology, which combines developing AI technologies with industrial applications, and which obtained USD100 million from China Industrial Asset Management, was likewise born in the city, which is set to host a global AI conference this September.
Editor: Ben Armour