Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu—China’s Biggest Tech Titans Are Coming to Brainstorm Tech International

September 21, 2017, 1:43 PM UTC
Alibaba Celebrates 18th Anniversary In Hangzhou
HANGZHOU, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 08: Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma performs during the 18th anniversary of Alibaba Group at the Yellow Dragon Sports Center on September 8, 2017 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. About 40,000 Alibaba employees from dozens of countries and regions attended Alibaba Annual Party. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
VCG VCG via Getty Images

For years now we’ve been hearing about how China is the great copycat nation, the manufacturer of designs drawn up in other countries and then an imitator for its own products. That’s been true, as the developing country followed a path that Japan and then Korea plowed before it.

The trend has almost completely reversed. With innovative companies and products like Tencent’s WeChat messaging service and novel approaches to artificial intelligence and various business models, China rapidly is becoming an innovator in its own right.

That’s one reason we at Fortune are proud to announce Brainstorm Tech International, to be held Dec. 5-6 in Guangzhou, China, the megacity some will know better by the name the West formerly used for it: Canton. Our international event is the first time we’ve taken Brainstorm Tech outside the U.S., where it convenes each July in Aspen, Colo. I’m personally excited we’re devoting an entire conference to non-U.S. tech, particularly in the world’s vibrant No. 2 economy. Just a few of the Chinese innovators who’ll appear in Guangzhou will include Mobike’s Davis Wang, Sequoia Capital’s Neil Shen, and Cindi Mi of Vipkid.

Tonight I’ll be moderating a panel in San Francisco on China innovation, where we’re also celebrating the imminent Fortune Global Forum, which will be in Guangzhou from Dec. 6-8, immediately after Brainstorm Tech International. An impressive delegation from Guangzhou, led by the city’s vice-mayor, Cai Chaolin, will join us at dinner. To see the powerhouse lineup of tech stars who’ll appear at the forum—spoiler alert: these include Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Tencent’s Pony Ma, and Baidu’s Robin Li—click here.

This article first appeared in Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the top tech news. Sign up here.

I’ll report back from dinner Friday morning.


This morning Fortune launches its annual Most Powerful Women in Business list, an agenda-setting, iconic list that has grown more important for each of the 20 years it has existed. On the cover of the magazine is No. 2 on the list, email-addicted Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo (PEP) Inc. I encourage you to check out Beth Kowitt’s illuminating interview with Nooyi, an executive who exudes a love for and joy in doing her job. Perhaps surprisingly for a food-industry veteran, Nooyi repeatedly namechecks luminaries of Silicon Valley for their ability to spot disruptive ideas. Those names include investor Marc Andreessen and entrepreneurs Brian Chesky and Travis Kalanick.

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