China is the largest market on earth in every respect. With over 720 million Internet users, more people are online in China than in the US and Europe (700 million, 2016). These 720 million are, however, only slightly more than half of the total Chinese population. The growth in the market itself is gigantic: within the next few years an additional 300 million people will come online. China's middle class is already the world's largest with 120 million and could be half of the global middle class by 2030.
As far as technological innovation and start-ups are concerned, China is now also at an equal footing with the USA in many areas. Especially in areas such as e-commerce, Fintech / Mobile Payments, Social Networks, Mobile as well as Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, Chinese start-ups are the world's leading technology companies and innovators. Companies such as Alibaba, Wechat (Tencent) or Baidu are also very well known in the West. Even in the hardware sector, China has now become a pioneer through decades of cooperation with Western companies such as Apple, Intel or Dell. Also in the area of venture capital financing, China is slowly approaching the USA and Chinese investors are more and more looking to invest in Europe and the USA.
Advantages for Start ups / Mission of the Federal Association of German Startups:
For start-ups these developments mean that the Chinese market is becoming increasingly important not only because of the mass of potential customers and users, but also because start-ups can learn the most innovative technologies, business models and the user behaviour of the future from China. Venture Capital investors are increasingly looking abroad to bring German models to China or to invest themselves in the German market.
Nevertheless, there is little connection between the German and the Chinese startup market. For many, the Chinese market, despite its influence, is inaccessible due to different language, culture and regulations.
The mission of the Federal Association of German Startups in China is to promote a continuous exchange of both countries and ecosystems on the topic of start-ups and innovation:
- Creating networks bringing together Chinese and German investors, startups and large companies
- Connecting leading German industry firms and Chinese Startups
- Facilitating Venture capital financing in both countries
- Exchange programs between Chinese and German start-ups
Fabian von Heimburg
Head of Coordination