Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Chinese tech hopefuls challenge Silicon Valley heavyweights at TechCrunch

By Katie Hunt and Zhang Dayu, CNN
updated 1:28 AM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
TechCrunch Beijing showcases some of China's most innovative start-ups. During the two-day event, which ended on Tuesday, participants took part in a Silicon Valley-style pitch competition with products such as this smart watch designed for pregnant women to help them keep track of their baby's kicks. TechCrunch Beijing showcases some of China's most innovative start-ups. During the two-day event, which ended on Tuesday, participants took part in a Silicon Valley-style pitch competition with products such as this smart watch designed for pregnant women to help them keep track of their baby's kicks.
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • More than 100 Chinese startups attended Beijing TechCrunch this week
  • Organizers and participants say Chinese startups face tough challenges
  • Fund-raising and counterfeits are big problems for Chinese tech innovators

Virtual Think Tank is a digital series focusing on the emerging markets, covering their startups, the power of the middle classes on their economies and the macro environment.

Beijing (CNN) -- San Francisco-based TechCrunch brought a taste of Silicon Valley to Beijing this week, with more than 100 startups showcasing their innovations to tech fans and investors at a two-day event in the Chinese capital.

The conference attracted some of the most forward-thinking and dynamic Chinese technology wannabees, including ANTVR, a wearable gaming device company.

The startup attracted a long line of visitors eager to try out its very first product, ANTVR kit.

Consisting of a headset and a controller, ANTVR claims the kit can provide a "fully immersive experience" by projecting a high-definition image onto users' retinas without distortion and provide an experience similar to an IMAX movie.

During the demo, the player is thrown into a pitch-dark room and told to find the source of a sound, which leads to a pale ghost with blood trickling down her face.

Qin Zheng, founder of ANTVR said the kit is compatible with all major gaming consoles and will hit both Chinese and overseas markets by the end of the year.

The 27-year-old said ANTVR went through the same difficulties as many startups in China — it was hard to find proper platforms to release products and raise funds.

Crowdfunding

Qin founded the company half a year ago, and to get started raised initial funding of $231,095 on U.S. crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

"Fund-raising is hard (here). I think this is why everybody rushes to crowdfunding sites," Qin said.

Lu Gang, head of Technode, TechCrunch's partner in China, said that Chinese startups face a unique set of challenges.

"I think Chinese startups (face) much tougher competition, like copies," said Lu. "We've found so many copycats."

By bringing TechCrunch to China, Lu hopes to bring the originality and creativity that Silicon Valley is known for and inspire Chinese companies to invent something that "really makes a difference."

"I think the TechCrunch brand obviously stands for original work for entrepreneurs, and for creating something out of nothing, which is ideal. I think this is what everybody's striving for," says Lu.

"We want to encourage people here to be truly innovative instead of copying."

Beijing intern Shen Lu contributed to this report

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Virtual Think Tank
updated 6:30 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Chinese promoters wear colourful wigs to attract customers to a telecommunication shop for a May Day sales promotion in Hefei, east China's Anhui province on May 1, 2011. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world attended May Day rallies to defend workers' rights they say are under fresh attack from austerity measures, and to press for democratic reform, but in China, its business as usual. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Don't let slower GDP statistics distract you -- the battle for a share of the growing consumer class is underway now and will grow more fierce.
updated 11:41 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
It's no longer necessary to launch your startup in Silicon Valley -- thanks to the internet, you can do it anywhere.
updated 6:42 AM EDT, Thu October 9, 2014
Likefunding.me is a new startup in Hong Kong that has devised a way of harnessing Facebook
You've heard of crowdfunding -- raising funds through donations on the internet -- well, get ready for "like" funding.
updated 7:25 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
circa 1953: A woman wearing a crocheted wrap puts a hand to her head as if suffering from a headache. (Photo by Chaloner Woods/Getty Images)
Feeling sick? Worry no more! A mobile app lets patients consult with doctors to diagnose their ailments.
updated 6:24 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
Experts pick 10 of the best startups to come out of emerging markets this year.
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
What are the startups dominating China's ferociously competitive social networking landscape?
updated 3:01 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
eCommerce giant Alibaba's wildly successful IPO raises questions about the future of tech startups in China.
updated 1:28 AM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
Chinese tech hopefuls challenge Silicon Valley heavyweights at a two-day event in the Beijing.
updated 6:52 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Tree climber
Below-the-radar inventors across India are devising low-cost solutions to local problems using bespoke technologies of their own creation.
See the full coverage of CNN's Virtual Think Tank -- the digital series looking at the startups, middle class and macro-environment in emerging markets.
ADVERTISEMENT