CNBC has named three Chinese and two Southeast Asian companies as part of its Disruptor 50 list.
The Chinese firms are ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing, social e-commerce platform Xiaohongshu (“Little Red Book” in English), and artificial intelligence startup Yitu. Over in Southeast Asia, CNBC highlights Grab and advertising platform InMobi.
Softbank-backed Didi, which is labeled as “China’s uber-disruptor,” moved up two spots to the second slot on this year’s Disruptors list as it expands in new markets like Mexico and Australia. The company is overhauling its technology to improve passenger and driver safety, developing electric vehicles with major automakers, and helping cities plan efficient recharging networks using AI.
Uber and Lyft, both of which went public this year, failed to make to the list this year.
Alibaba-backed Xiaohongshu, which CNBC calls “China’s trendspotting app,” is a newcomer to the list at the tenth spot. Xiaohongshu features a community of fashion and beauty enthusiasts, who post pictures of their favorite products and provide information about where to buy them. The strategy has made it the world’s largest lifestyle platform that integrates community content with e-commerce, and it has built up a following among some of China’s biggest influencers, said CNBC. Xiaohongshu claims that it now has more than 200 million registered users and that number is growing by 300% each year.
Shanghai-based Yitu Technology is also a new addition to the Disruptors list, ranking 20th. CNBC said the seven-year-old company is using artificial intelligence to build a safer and more intelligent world. 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.
Over in Southeast Asia, Grab ploughs on with its super app, and will be creating an insurance marketplace in a joint venture with China’s ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co. Its chief competitor, Go-Jek, failed to make CNBC’s cut.
Singapore-headquartered adtech company InMobi came in at the 12th spot, receiving recognition for its app Glance, a content aggregator that appears on the lockscreens of smartphones. The company says it is already profitable.
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