Top Japanese manufacturers, including Toyota Motor and Hitachi, are forging ties with Chinese start-ups, following Western giants, like Airbus and Intel, that have already harnessed innovation coming out of the world’s No. 2 economy.
Toyota is looking to develop devices for connected vehicles, while Hitachi is on the hunt for fintech opportunities. Their moves are the latest sign that China is becoming a new focus of “open innovation,” whereby companies cross industrial and national boundaries in pursuit of fresh technologies.
Until recently, such endeavours had largely centred on Silicon Valley in the US. Earlier this month, Toyota tied up with IngDan, a Shenzhen-based company that supports the development of Internet of Things devices. The Chinese company, established in 2013, is working with about 15,000 companies and has access to a vast supply chain in Shenzhen, known as the factory of the world.