Kai-fu Lee, a high-profile Internet figure and founder of Chinese venture capital company Sinovation Ventures, expressed great confidence in China's Internet market despite mounting challenges to the global market during a speech Tuesday, The Paper reported.
Lee said the Chinese Internet market still had huge potential for growth while acknowledging that the global market as a whole had been going through a tough time.
"The global market is now confronted with growing challenges," said Lee. "However, because of China's long-term and relentless efforts in the development of science and technology, we can still see a lot of opportunities in the Chinese Internet market."
According to Lee, China's Internet users, which has already reached over 800 million, can be divided into three categories.
The first category consists of what Lee called core Internet users who live in China's first- and second-tier cities and are obsessed with personal computers. "They're the main target of such tech companies as Chinese online knowledge-sharing platform Zhihu as well as trendy digital news outlet toutiao.com," said Lee.
The second category is comprised of younger generations from China's small cities. Lee said that this demographic group, who are often indulged in various entertainment content, were fascinated with China's popular video-streaming apps like Kuaishou and such low-end smartphone brands as Vivo and Oppo.
The last category contains what Lee described as the mainstream population of China's small cities. According to Lee, this group of people, who are pursuing high-quality products at a relatively lower price, often shop around on China's group-buying e-commerce platforms, most notably, Pinduoduo.
"Huge demographic dividends are now lying in these Internet consumer categories," Lee said.
Lee also highlighted the prevalence of smartphones and mobile payments in China, saying that these are the so-called late-mover advantages for China compared with the U.S market which is dominated by credit card payments.
In his speech, Lee said that great opportunities often hide in difficult times. "Just look at Google and Facebook," said Lee. "They both emerged from tough economic situations."