How Can Foreign Startups Sink or Swim in China

China is the biggest yet most difficult market for foreign startups to crack, period. If tech giants like Google, Facebook, eBay, Amazon, Microsoft’s MSN, Groupon, Uber…all have drowned in the country, what are the survival chances of those small fish?

But we still see some daring and brave ones swimming toward the middle kingdom for great opportunities.

Sentiance is one of the kind. It is a Belgium background motion intelligence startup established in 2012, which basically applies data science and machine learning to turn sensor data from smartphones or connected devices into rich, behavioral insights, in order to detect and predict people’s activities and whereabouts in real time. In that way, Sentiance’s clients can leverage these insights to reduce risk or engage their customers. Below is the video illustration for its solution.


In Europe, Sentiance has already been applied in diverse sectors such as insurance, health, retail, mobility etc. This month it just announced the news of acquiring a personalized digital coaching service company BrandNewHealth.

Its booming success convinced Sentiance’s founder foray into the Chinese market. Last year the startup set up a small office in Shanghai with 3 employees. The team worked on the localization process, for instance, all the GEO-location data generated from Google map must be pivoted to Baidu map, nevertheless, a major roadblock soon emerged…

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By: Cecilia Wu

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