The BATX, those Chinese “unicorns” (start-up with a $1 billion dollar market value or more), already have a foot in the Occidental market.
These start-ups, catching up on the biggest America technological firms, are conquering Europe. It would be a big mistake to underestimate their progression. The four of them already are a lot of more implemented on the old continent than we could think. And this is just the beginning of a very big expansion.
BATX is the Chinese equivalent of the GAFAM equivalent (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. It includes Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent ad Xiaomi. Four giants having contributed in more than 1.000 company fundings in the past decade.
The European market is vulnerable. Laurent Alexandre, one of Doctissimo‘s founders, confirmed it during an interview with the La Tribune Hebdo French magazine : “In absence of a unique numerical European market, Europe is sandwiched between the GAFAM and the BATX, and doesn’t succeed in building her own unicorns.” At the same time, these big Chinese firms are surreptitiously entering the European market.
Baidu, the first Chinese search engine and the fourth most visited website in the world after Google, YouTube and Facebook, doesn’t expand itself as much as the others. Its main goal still is its national development. China censuring Google allows Baidu to be a direct competitor to the American giant and to develop similar products and services : equivalent of its “google suite” (Google Map, Google Drive, Google Play, etc.), autonomous cars, connected speakers, or artificial intelligence. Baidu represents 73.4% of the Chinese search engines market share.
E-commerce titan, Alibaba, with its website Tabao, its Tmall platform (eBay competitor), or its secure payment device Alipay, is super powerful in China. And its implantation processes in Europe has already well begun.
First, Fliggy, a travel platform dedicated to Chinese people, already built strengths relations with Air France, Accord and SNCF. But its biggest European projects are mostly done via AliExpress, the Occidental version of Alibaba.com, great concurrent of Amazon, Cdiscount and PriceMinister.
The Chinese firm is also open to the Occidental cloud market as seen with its first European Data center. Alibaba is already the fourth world actor in this field, beside of Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft.
But Jack Ma, the charismatic leader, do not attend to stop its progression : a new alliance with the Auchan has been made, allowing the chain stores to get a foot in the Asiatic market through its Chinese subsidiary. In other words, Alibaba is focusing on a new European type of consumers, thanks to and in addition to its e-commerce services, an input into physical commerce.
The success of Tencent is due to WeChat,a super app made indispensable for China’s inhabitants. Taking profits from censorships suffering by other Tech giants (Facebook, Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp…), WeChat gained more than one billion users and has became totally indispensable.
This firm is entering the European market one step at a time. To do so, it found itself some strategic ally : Spotify. Each of them agreed to make an investment swap of 10% into each other. A good way for Tencent to integrate the European streaming musical market.
Never tired of new investments,Tencent now wants to integrate the video games industry. The company has already invested in Fortnite , League of Legend and Clash of Clans. It also possesses 12% of Snap Inc.
You may have heard of this company well-known for its mobile phones. It’s now in the top 5 of phone brands in terms of number of deliveries in the world. In direct concurrence with Apple, its communication strategy is based on an important media coverage, mostly on the Internet.
Xiaomi is currently leading a big European community through forums and social networks. And the physical presence is also well-thought : many shops opened in Spain, France, London, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and Belarus. Xiaomi’s identity consists in a very large product line and discounted prices, hurting the concurrence.
Its last connected bracelet was sold at approximately 15€, when the concurrence was selling it for at least 150€. Xiaomi is now the world second “wearable technology” seller, just behind Apple. Thus, the brand has a great adaptation to the European market, focusing its identity on a great quality-price ratio.
The soaring BATX power on the old continent is good for the concurrence generated and to face the GAFAM’s hegemony. For Europe’s development, on the other hand, this might not be so beneficial : stuck between these two giant groups, this one accuse an unavoidable delay that will definitely increase in the coming years.