Aerial view of Lujiazui Financial District at dusk, Pudong, Shanghai, China.
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China's 25 best start-ups to work for, according to LinkedIn


China's hottest start-ups right now are those making major breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, according a new report from LinkedIn.

Artificial intelligence businesses taking the lead in autonomous driving are among the most popular companies to work for in the country, dominating six of the top 10 positions in LinkedIn's list of the best start-ups 2019.

But it is internet behemoth and online content platform ByteDance that tops the ranks as China's most popular start-up this year.

To be considered for this year's list, companies had to be privately-held, be seven years or younger, and have 50 or more employees. They were then ranked based on LinkedIn user feedback across four criteria: Employment growth; engagement with employees; job interest; and ability to attract top talent from leading employers.

CNBC Make It takes a look at the list of the 25 most attractive start-ups in China right now.

Top 25:

25. Meicai — Internet

24. Rokid Corporation — Consumer electronics

23. Royole Corporation — Information technology

22. Insta 360 — Consumer electronics

21. Burning Rock Biotech — Biotechnology

20. Yunmanman — Internet

19. Sunmi Technology — Internet

18. Mobvoi — Internet

17. Keep — Internet

16. Heytea — Hospitality

15. Ubtech Robotics — Consumer electronics

14. Lilith Games — Consumer electronics

13. Geek+ — Information technology

12. LinkDoc Technology — Computer software

11. Lixiang Automotive — Automotive

10. Tongdun Technology

Global headcount: 1,300

Headquarters: Hangzhou

Hangzhou-headquartered Tongdun Technology is a risk management start-up launched in 2013 to help businesses with their decision-making processes. Six years on, the company has received several innovation awards and served 5,000 corporate customers from its 13 offices across Asia Pacific and the U.S.

Inside Tongdun Technology's office.
Tongdun Technology

9. Horizon Robotics

Global headcount: 1,200

Headquarters: Beijing

Artificial intelligence business Horizon Robotics produces technologies for use in applications such as smart driving. The four-year-old start-up this year completed a $600 million Series B funding round, which valued the company at $3 billion. It was founded by the former head of Baidu's Deep Learning Institute, Dr. Yu Kai.

8. Cambricon

Global headcount: 1,000

Headquarters: Beijing

Three-year-old start-up Cambricon is an artificial intelligence chip developer. The 1,000-strong workforce is highly skilled, with 65% having a master's degree in software algorithms, chip design and computer architecture. The fast-growing business is currently hiring across its offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xi'an, Hefei and Nanjing.

7. WM Motor

Global headcount: 3,000

Headquarters: Shanghai

Autos manufacturer WM Motor launched in Shanghai in 2015 to drive ahead in the electric vehicles market. The four-year-old business, which has raised over $3 billion so far, has developed two electric vehicles to date and has ambitions to become a "new eco-service provider."

6. 4Paradigm

Global headcount: 500-1,000

Headquarters: Beijing

4Paradigm is an artificial intelligence and technology provider for business clients. The company's youthful workforce has an average age of 30, and more than half of them are university graduates with expertise in new technologies such as machine learning. The company is currently recruiting in its Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen offices.


Global headcount: 500-1,000

Headquarters: Beijing in its own words "builds autonomous driving brains." The auto business, which has products including highway autopilot and autonomous parking, last year became China's first autonomous driving unicorn after receiving backing from Tencent and several state-owned investors.

4. YITUTech

Global headcount: 1,000

Headquarters: Shanghai

YITUTech is an artificial intelligence start-up that provides facial recognition technology to businesses in industries ranging from security and medicine, to finance and retail. Currently, the $2 billion company is hiring specialists in engineering, research and development and project management in Shanghai and Beijing.

3. Bitmain

Global headcount: 2,500

Headquarters: Beijing

Bitmain is a semiconductor design company known for its custom chip design for bitcoin mining machines. The business' headquarters are in Beijing, but its has research centers globally — including the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, Russia and Brazil. It currently accepts unsolicited job applications.

2. DiDi

Global headcount: 5,000

Headquarters: Beijing

DiDi Chuxing, commonly known as DiDi, is a Chinese ride-hailing business headquartered in Beijing. The company provides a full breadth of transportation services — ranging from taxis to buses and e-bikes — in over 1,000 cities worldwide. The seven-year-old start-up is also developing its own autonomous driving capabilities and has been hiring significantly in this area.

1. ByteDance

Global headcount: 50,000

Headquarters: Beijing

ByteDance, which earlier this year was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the best companies to work for in China, also tops the charts for the country's best start-up. The internet technology business has seen rapid growth in its seven years and now boasts a 50,000-strong workforce and several content platforms including news site Toutiao (meaning headlines) and video-sharing app TikTok. Increasingly, the company is focused on using machine-learning technology to tailor their product to audience's interests, and is hiring in this regard.

How TikTok took the world by storm
How TikTok took the world by storm