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The top 10 startups to work for in China: LinkedIn

Written by Song Jingli Published on   4 mins read

The list aims to showcase the performance of top local startups and appeal to the country’s best talent.

The world’s most valuable startup ByteDance, ride-hailing giant behemoth Didi Chuxing, and cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain are the top 3 startups to work for in China, according to a new report from LinkedIn.

The inaugural “2019 Top Startups in China” ranking, which is made up of 25 companies, was composed by analyzing data of LinkedIn’s four core pillars: employment growth, job-seekers’ interests in the company, the attraction for top talents, incumbent employees engagement with the company.

To be part of the ranking, companies had to be privately held, have more than 50 staff, and be no older than seven years. According to LinkedIn, the list “hopes to showcase the outstanding performance of local companies and their appeal to the country’s top talents, providing more career development and opportunities for Chinese professionals.”

The ranking also shed some light on the employee demographics in Chinese top startups, with an averaged 28-years-old workforce, out of which 10% have an overseas educational background or work experience. Additionally, 30% of them have a master degree or above, while 18% have worked at multinational or top-tier Chinese corporates.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 outperformers on the list.

No. 10: Tongdun Technology

Tongdun Technology is a Hangzhou-headquartered risk management startup launched in 2013 that helps fintech platforms carry out risk assessments. Its clients are from various fields, including the financial industry, internet business, logistics, healthcare, retail, smart cities, and government bodies.

Our recent report: China’s Tongdun Technology offshoot in Indonesia granted license to work with local fintech startups.

No. 9: Horizon Robotics

This Beijing-based startup is an artificial intelligence chipset maker founded by Yu Kai, former head of Baidu’s Deep Learning Institute. The startup is valued at USD 3 billion after completing a USD 600 million series B funding round.

No. 8: Cambricon

Also headquartered in Beijing, Cambricon is an artificial intelligence chip developer for cloud servers, intelligent terminals, and robots. The three-year-old company has offices in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Xi’an, and Hefei.

Our recent report that mentions this firm: Alibaba’s Pingtouge launches own processor, aiming to be a chip infrastructure provider for AI and IoT.

No. 7: WM Motor

Photo: Provided by WM

WM Motor is an electric vehicle (EV) maker backed by Baidu. The startup is one of the emerging EV makers in China that has started to mass-produce its vehicle, delivering more than 9,000 EVs to buyers in the first seven months of this year, surpassing other local rivals such as Nio, which only delivered 8,379 vehicles.

Our recent report: Geely sues EV rival WM Motor in China’s first IP legal battle between gasoline and EV forces.

No. 6: 4Paradigm

Beijing-based artificial intelligence startup 4Paradigm is a technology provider for business clients. It claims it has provided marketing solutions to financial institutions such as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the largest bank in the country. The Chinese startup closed its Series C round of equity financing, collecting RMB 1 billion36Kr reported late last year, giving it a USD 1.2 billion valuation.

Our recent report: Tencent-backed Yonghui Superstores sets up JV with AI unicorn 4Paradigm to prepare for new retail era.

No. 5: Momenta.ai

Beijing-based startup Momenta.ai was set up in 2016 and provides autonomous driving solutions, by using in-house developed technologies such as deep-learning based software, HD semantic mapping, data-driven path planning, and big data services. It claims its team comes from top universities and research institutions such as Tsinghua University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and well-known companies such as Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, and SenseTime.

No. 4: Yitu Tech

Photo: Tuchong

Shanghai-based Yitu Technology is a seven-year-old security artificial intelligence company. Its surveillance analysis technology has been adopted by 20 provincial public security bureaus in over 300 cities as of last year. Yitu’s AI technologies are also utilized in public safety, health care, banking, and retail. Yitu is backed by Yunfeng Capital, which was co-founded by Alibaba chairman Jack Ma.

Our recent report: Three Chinese and two Southeast Asian tech companies named as 2019 disruptors by CNBC.

No. 3: Bitmain

Beijing-based Bitmain is a semiconductor firm that designs integrated circuit chips for bitcoin mining. The company is reportedly working with advisors to prepare for a listing in the United States that could take place as soon as the second half of 2019.

Our recent report: Bitmain reportedly seeks IPO in the US after failed attempt in Hong Kong.

No. 2: Didi

Photo: Provided to KrASIA by Didi

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is now the world’s largest ride-hailing platform, working with over 31 million drivers across China and serving 550 million riders. To maintain its dominant position in China’s ride-hailing sector, it has invested in many areas that are relevant to its existing businesses, including autonomous driving and EV charging. It is also expanding globally, taking its operations to countries such as Japan, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile.

Our recent report: Didi slapped with USD 1.4 million fines by Shanghai authorities.

No. 1: ByteDance

ByteDance is the world’s most valuable startup. The firm now has more than 1.5 billion monthly active users across its matrix of apps including short video apps such as Douyin, known as TikTok outside of China. Recently, the Beijing-based company completed its acquisition of local online encyclopedia service Baike.com, and in August, the firm officially launched its mobile-only search portal Toutiao Search. Earlier this year, Bytedance was also rated by LinkedIn as one of the best companies to work for in China.

Our recent report: ByteDance reshuffles management in a bid to build a third app with 100 million DAU.


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