In the newly released 2018 Fast Company Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in China list, Tencent overtakes last year’s winner Alibaba to claim top spot. The latter slides to number six in this year’s report. Other two Guangdong companies making the list were DJI, a Shenzhen’s cutting-edge drone manufacturer and New Degree Technology, an advanced producer on touch panel technology.
Fast Company said it had placed Tencent on top because it honours “content as king,” while Tencent is also successfully turning WeChat, which has 980 million active monthly users, into a springboard for content consumption, including literature, music, video and games.
The ranking, entering into its 11th year, sees the first inclusion of K11, a disruptive “mall-museum hybrid concept” which brings art, culture and commerce under one roof. Founded by Hong Kong entrepreneur Adrian Cheng, K11 “brings together the interactive and engaging nature of a shopping mall, the captivating beauty of an art exhibit, and the demand for environmental consciousness,” according to Fast Company. K11 Art Malls are now in Hong Kong (with a 99% occupancy rate, and a monthly footfall of over 1.5million), Shanghai and Wuhan. Two new K11 openings are also scheduled for this year, in Guangzhou and Shenyang.
Another newcomer is Beijing-based VIPKID, an international online learning platform. Rounding out the Top 10 list are Bytedance, a Beijing-based AI-driven newsfeed platform, Haier, the consumer electronics and home appliances company, New Degree Technology, the hardware start-up and SF Express, China’s second largest courier.