Homéric de Sarthe: “Chinese start-ups do not highlight their origin”
Homéric de Sarthe spent seven years in China, where he launched a social network application (Soscha App) in Shenzen. Previously, he held consulting positions for the Dragonfly group in Shanghai, or for the Areva group in China. It comes back in detail for Frenchweb on the Chinese entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Frenchweb: How is the world of start-ups evolving in China today?
Homéric de Sarthe, entrepreneur: The Chinese have always been entrepreneurs, business creators.
The number of start-ups being created in China is constantly increasing. When you live in a big city like Shanghai or Shenzhen, you all know one or more entrepreneurs, one or more startups.
All business sectors are concerned and covered. China offers a sufficiently large market that the number of “Early adopters»Allows start-ups to position themselves and develop.
In addition, there is now the phenomenon of young Chinese who have studied abroad and return who decide to set up their own start-up. Unlike the vast majority of Chinese, they have the advantage of their international openness which will allow them to prepare very early for development outside Chinese borders.
What are the emerging trends?
China and its people have often been seen as lacking in creativity and knowing nothing but copying.
But Chinese start-ups show that the situation is changing. To avoid being penalized by these preconceived ideas, many of these young companies will adopt marketing and communication without highlighting their origin. The reason being, they have developed a product that perfectly meets international standards and criteria in terms of design, functionality, safety and are real innovations!
Established companies like Huawei, whose parent company is in Shenzhen, are now recognized for their innovative and quality products.
The emerging trend is therefore to fully consider China as a player in global innovation and no longer as the world’s factory.
What are the particularities of Chinese start-ups?
Chinese start-ups are turning machines! If I take the example of a start-up incubated at HAX, I met in Shenzhen during my last trip 2 weeks ago, and which made a robot, I met them in the early afternoon or they presented me with their prototype. I came back to see them the next morning. In less than 24 hours, they had completely transformed their previous robot to give it a smaller size, better grip and integrate a new functionality. The most impressive thing for me is that this new prototype was operational!
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