Reach global markets

Digital dragons: Asia’s internet giants are rising

Discover the five multibillion-dollar digital businesses you’ve never heard of, but need to know all about.

Digital technology is leading to a massive, rapid growth in opportunities for businesses throughout the global economy, and nowhere is this growth faster or more dynamic than in Asia.

Digital dragons: Asia’s internet giants are rising

These opportunities will only escalate throughout the region due to the diversity of countries, cultures and scope, says Telstra’s head of global enterprise, Andrew Wildblood.

“Technology breaks down many of the borders and barriers between the different cultures, creating great opportunities for Australia,” says Wildblood. “You’ve just got to be respectful of cultures when trying to do business in Asia, and understand it’s not a homogenous region.”

The chief executive of the NSW branch of the Australia China Business Council, James Hudson, says Australian companies should already have an entry strategy to take advantage of rising disposable income and booming demand for Australian goods and services.

“Having an effective online retail presence is becoming an increasingly important component of any entry strategy into the region,” Hudson says.

The first step in any Asian growth strategy should be to understand what is already there, because the next digital giant is just as likely to surface in New Delhi or Shanghai as it is in Silicon Valley.

Here are the digital dragons that are currently outsmarting, outselling, and effectively outgrowing their global competition.


The Chinese search engine, founded in 2000 by Robin Li, is today worth some $US75 billion ($102 billion) with more than half its revenue generated from mobile platforms.

With (unaudited) profits nearing the $US350 million mark for the last quarter, much credit is due to Baidu’s chief financial officer, Jennifer Li, who also heads up the company’s growing marketing and communications team, as the giant knocks on the door of Google’s global dominance.


China’s Tencent is the mobile-first company responsible for the popular mobile text and voice-messaging service, WeChat. With a market cap of $US200 billion, it is one of the 10 biggest internet companies in the world.

With its diverse portfolio of investments, including social networks, web portals and advertising, Tencent is on par with the likes of Amazon and eBay in retail, and Google in advertising. (Jingdong Mall)

E-commerce outlet has almost doubled its market cap in the 12 months since it listed on the stockmarket, making it one of China’s biggest, if not the biggest, direct sales retailer.

With a model that allows retailers to distribute goods via a same-day or next-day delivery service, this platform is proving incredibly popular and has formed partnerships with some of the region’s biggest brands, such as Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo.


With a mobile-only strategy and plans to remain private for at least three more years, Flipkart is India’s biggest online retailer, estimated to be worth $US8.7 billion.

The recent acquisition of Appiterate, a New Delhi-based mobile engagement and marketing automation company, will soon see Flipkart execute an integrated targeting strategy for its mobile users.

Daum Kakao

Valued at close to $US6 billion, Daum Kakao is the social networking and gaming giant used by 93 per cent of South Korea’s smartphone owners.

Formed in 2014, when Daum Communications and Kakao merged, Daum Kakao plans to expand its already 140 million-strong app-user base via strategic partnerships in Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Related News

man working from his car
Liberate your workforce
Liberate your workforce
Working smart and mobile in 2018

To thrive and stay innovative, organisations need to embrace agile, mobile-focused ways of working. We all know that being chained to your desk and dealing with antiquated syst...

Architect at construction site
Optimise your IT
Optimise your IT
QBCC embraces the benefits of hybrid cloud

To promote organisational flexibility, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission made the switch to a hybrid cloud solution. Find out how the project was completed ah...

People pointing to a computer screen
Optimise your IT
Optimise your IT
Why your organisation needs SD-WAN

Discover why SD-WAN technology is an increasingly attractive choice for rolling out services and applications across an enterprise. With flexibility, speed and a reputation fo...

Truck on highway
Create transformative innovation
Create transformative innovation
Five fields Industrial IoT will revolutionise

From fleet management to customer experience, Industrial IoT is transforming Australian industry and realising Big Data's promise. The Internet of Things, or IoT refers to ite...