"Watch out, Silicon Valley. China's out to eat your lunch." So says Travis Kalanick, the Silicon Valley pioneer who steered Uber Technologies Inc. He's now setting his sights on China: the ride-hailing company's domestic unit is now valued at more than $8 billion, Kalanick told reporters in Beijing on 15th.
The Uber Chief Executive, who's personally overseeing Uber's come-from-behind battle against Didi Kuaidi, argued the country's growing cohort of entrepreneurs will eventually eclipse those that have made the Bay Area a cradle of global technology innovation.
"In the next five years, there will be more innovation, more invention, more entrepreneurship happening in China, happening in Beijing than in Silicon Valley," Kalanick said at the "Geekpark" conference in Beijing on 15th.
Kalanick's view may not sit well with those who deem the country a violator of intellectual property rights, home to copycat ripoffs and subject to rigorous content restrictions.
Yet the country has birthed some of Asia's largest and most well-regarded technology corporations, from social media and gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. to e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Along with search-engine operator Baidu Inc., they have invested in and helped foster a plethora of startups and online services — from mobile payments and messaging to online finance — whose scope and scale outstrip those available in the U.S.