CHINA is open for business with African tech startups

Tech startups in South Africa often complain that the market in the country is not big enough to scale their businesses. The Changemakers program for China is trying to solve this problem. The program, Changemakers for China, aims to bring global talent to China by developing relationships with startups. Startups selected for this program benefit with access to Chinese industry leaders as well as institutional and government delegates who have pre-vetted interest in their businesses. Additionally, startups may also get to have 1-on-1 meetings with companies they want to do business with. These benefits are great for tech startups in Africa in expanding their market in China.

The goal for this program is to create a cross-border community for Chinese companies and organizations to benefit from innovations happening abroad including Africa. Benefits include free office space in China for an extended period in order to begin building a local presence.

Startups with a focus on the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Robotics,

  • Artificial intelligence

  • Autonomous driving

  • Biotech and

  • Aerospace engineering.

Tech startups in the growth stage can submit their applications online before 12th October 2019. Further information will be available here.

China’s information and communication technology (ICT) market are among the most dynamic sectors.  By 2021, the market is projected to reach $8.1 trillion, representing 55% of China’s GDP, according to information technology (IT) consulting firm IDC.  China’s ICT imports in 2017 totalled $528 billion, while its exports reached $781 billion.  

The adoption of technology with fin-tech leading the way positions China as one of the few countries where technology startups can succeed. According to a McKinsey report,  penetration of mobile payments among China’s Internet users grew from just 25 percent in 2013 to 68 percent in 2016. In 2016, the value of mobile payments related to individuals’ consumption was $790 billion, 11 times that of the United States.

African technology startups can jumpstart their growth by locating themselves in China. China has around 700 million internet users and 282 million digital natives (internet users less than 25 years old) eager to adopt new technology. The massive scale of the Chinese market and a supportive regulatory and supervisory environment in the early years of digitalization made China a global leader in frontier industries such as e-commerce and fin-tech.  Digitalization will continue to reshape the Chinese economy by improving efficiency, softening—but not reversing—slowing growth as the economy matures. China, already a global force in digital technologies, is set to experience huge shifts in revenue and profits as businesses digitize, boosting the economy’s international competitiveness. China has become a force to be reckoned with in digital technologies at home and around the world. As a major worldwide investor in digital technologies and one of the world’s leading adopters of the technologies, it is already shaping the global digital landscape and supporting and inspiring entrepreneurship far beyond its own borders.

Kay Ann