There’s no magic formula to making it big in China’s tech industry. Just take a look at the country’s latest experiment with a homegrown Nasdaq-style stock market. 

Shanghai’s new Star board has given rise to a new crop of tech titans who made their fortunes in a variety of different businesses, spanning hardware manufacturing and artificial intelligence.

Here’s a quick look at who they are.

The first batch of 25 companies debuted on China’s tech innovation board, the Star market, at the Shanghai Stock Exchange in July 2019. (Picture: Fang Zhe/Xinhua)

CHEN WENYUAN

Whether you’re an Apple or Samsung user, the phone you’re holding right now might have been made with the help of Suzhou HYC Technology.

The company, founded by Chen Wenyuan, makes test equipment for flat panel displays like LCDs and OLEDs, commonly found on phones and TVs. Besides Apple and Samsung, the company has counted LG and Sharp among its biggest customers. 

HYC was the first company to launch an IPO on the Star in June, making Chen the market’s wealthiest founder. Success hasn’t always seemed reachable, though -- Chen and his wife struggled to come up with enough capital for their early business.

CAO JI

Besides the screen, another essential component of your phone is the battery. Unfortunately, the lithium-ion batteries commonly used on modern handsets can be unstable, resulting in those rare but disastrous incidents of phone battery explosions you’ve likely read about in the news.

Cao Ji’s company, Zhejiang Hangke Technology, builds test equipment for battery makers so they can be sure that their products are safe for consumers. It’s not just important for handsets -- Hangke’s technology is also used for batteries in electric vehicles.

MICHAEL DENG

Our smartphones are getting better at taking pictures, and it isn’t all about having as many lenses as possible. Michael Deng and his team at ArcSoft focus on building software for mobile photography.

The company specializes in computer vision, a field of AI that trains algorithms to interpret the visual world the way humans do. The US-educated founder says his technology helps handsets shoot brighter photos at night, adjust for camera movement to get sharper pictures, take 360-degree panoramic photos and more. 

ArcSoft’s clients include Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo.