During the year of the goat, here are some of the most important trends we see taking place in China. One thing is clear - what happens in China no longer stays in China - so expect these same trends to spread globally around the world:
- The continued global expansion of the major internet companies like Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Qihoo and others. For at least a few more years we expect success mainly via acquisition - but they are loaded with cash and quick to act.
- The Chinese smartphone OEMs are no longer satisfied with being ODMs selling though carrier channels. Nearly every established OEM is currently undergoing a major internal restructure as they strive to create global brand strategy or replicate or respond to their perceived threat of the "Xiaomi model". It is already clear there will be some winners and many losers as bevy of well financed “open channel” new brand devices with no clear direction or differentiation will enter the market in 2015.
- 2015 will be the biggest shakeup of the Chinese Telecoms since the 2008 restructure as the government tries to balance their desire to expand China's homegrown TD-LTE standards with the need to maintain a competitive market. The first major change we saw was the consolidation of the content bases into the “Migu” business but already we have seen over 20 GM level China Mobile executives that have been rotated or reassigned.
- IOT, Smart Home and Wearables will continue to explode as companies like Xiaomi, Qihoo, Alibaba, Meizu and others look for ways to create new entry points to touch and attract consumers to their kingdoms.
- Internet companies will continue aggressively expanding locally and globally in financial services, healthcare and media.
- Chinese government will continue to push and support efforts to develop homegrown or acquired smartphone chip industry around Spreadtrum, Lenovo and others