The velocity of technological innovation in China makes its startup scene incredibly cutthroat. Great ideas can be emulated—and improved upon—and negate the advantages of getting there first. Companies that find success solve fundamental problems that others overlook, ride on trends that become habits for users, or even develop unique tech. Here are five startups that caught the eyes of our reporters and contributors in the first half of 2021.
#1: Leia brings 3D holograms to life
An accidental scientific discovery led to the company’s lightfield-based holographic technologies that are being used in medical imagery, education, and the automotive sector.
#2: XTransfer simplifies cross-border payments for exporters
Founded by Ant Group alums, the team behind XTransfer knows a thing or two about building practical payment solutions.
#3: AI firm Aibee digitizes physical shopping spaces
Aibee was formed by a former head of Baidu Research. The firm creates digital counterparts to “space, people, and products” for brick-and-mortar retailers and shopping malls.
#4: Calm-backed mental wellness startup puts stressed out Chinese at ‘Ease’
Young people in China are increasingly taking steps to care for one another’s mental health, and Ease intends to be one of their go-to resources.
#5: Red Date is lowering the entry point to the blockchain network for SMEs
Blockchain technology might not be changing the world yet, but Red Date is building key infrastructure to make that happen.
Check out KrASIA’s full collection of profiles covering startups in China.