China’s BAT: divergent strategies for going international

Travis Wu, vice president and research director for Forrester

The meteoric rise of China to the world’s second largest economy can partly be attributed to its 1.35 billion population skipping the PC revolution and embracing digital and mobile. This is the observation shared by Beijing-based Travis Wu, vice president and research director for Forrester, at the Huawei Analyst Summit held in Shenzhen this April 2017.

This near-mass adoption has benefitted, in particular, three Internet companies – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (referred to as BAT) allowing them to experiment with ideas and rollout products fast to market. The success of each – Baidu in Search; Alibaba in e-Commerce and financial services; and Tencent across a broad spectrum of social-led services via WeChat – has inspired each to look at the larger international market as new opportunities outside its borders.

In this exclusive interview with Retail Tech Innovation, Wu talks about the international expansion strategies of these companies and the challenges they will each face as they expand their footprint outside the Mainland.

He also believed that the mindset of these Chinese organizations need to change to reflect the local culture and business model of each country they want to operate in.