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At the moment when the domestic Internet dividend peaked, more and more Chinese entrepreneurs and investors began to pay attention to “globalization.”But in the face of the vast overseas market, how to choose a destination?What are the characteristics and opportunities of different overseas markets?To help readers understand these issues, 36 Krypton launched a globalization manual.
This is the ninth issue of the 36 Krypton “Global Handbook” series.In this issue, we will look at the basic situation of the Japanese market with readers.
Japan, with a per capita GDP of about $40,000, is one of the most developed countries in Asia.This country, which is only 1/25 of China, is home to big companies such as Toyota, Honda, Fuji, Sony, etc., as well as the consortia behind these companies.
As China’s close neighbors, Japan and China have many things in common, such as complicated dialects and nine-year compulsory education.
The difference is that in China, the local mobile phone Huawei OV occupies more than 60% of the market share, while in Japan, the Apple mobile phone is an absolute “overlord” with a market share of more than 50%.In addition, the venture capital ecology in Japan is very different from that in China, and large companies have become the backbone of local investment as CVC.At the same time, as a developed economy, there are only three unicorn companies in Japan. It is not only difficult to see China, the United States, and India, but even less than Indonesia in Southeast Asia.
The Japanese entrepreneurial ecology is also developing.From 2011 to 2019, the capital of Japanese startups has roughly doubled.
basic situation
Japan, the island country across the sea from China, has an area of ​​about 1/25 of China and a population of less than 1/10 of China, but has more than 90% of the urban population.
At the same time, it is also one of the most “old” countries in the world.
In the review of previous issues, we see that compared with emerging markets such as Latin America, Southeast Asia, and India, the Chinese with a median age of 38.4 years old can be called “old age”.However, Japan’s median age is 10 years older than China, and the median age of the population is the second highest in the world.
Religion & Language
Japan is a multi-religious country, and Shintoism and Buddhism are the two most accepted religions in the area.Neither Buddhism nor Shintoism are monotheistic religions.In other words, neither religion requires belief in only one “God.”Many Japanese are also believers in these two religions, and believers in both religions account for about 70% of the total population.
Among them, Buddhism is very familiar to everyone, and I will not mention it here.Shintoism is a native Japanese religion. It did not exist in the form of religion from the beginning, but originated from the Pan-spirit worship of the Japanese.The name of Shintoism was formed after Buddhism was introduced to Japan.
After Buddhism was introduced to Japan, the Japanese on the one hand coined the term “shinto” to fight against the rites of Buddhism; on the other hand, by absorbing Buddhism and Confucianism, they formed a more complete Shinto system.Buddhism and Shintoism have been “loving and killing” on Japanese soil for thousands of years, and they have also penetrated into the lives of Japanese people.Japanese weddings, funerals and other ceremonies are affected by these two religions.
Similar to Chinese, Japanese also has “Mandarin” and dialects, and their “Mandarin” is formed based on the Tokyo dialect.Japanese dialects are also complicated and can be divided into four major systems: eastern dialect, western dialect, Kyushu dialect and Ryukyu dialect, and each dialect can be subdivided.Kansai Tune, which is often mocked as “rustic” in Japanese anime, is a branch of Western dialect.
As a “neighbor”, Japan’s education system is similar to China’s.
Similar to China, “nine-year compulsory education” also exists in Japan, covering 6 years of elementary school and 3 years of middle school.After completing compulsory education, most Japanese students will continue their studies.In high school and university, Japanese students also have many choices.At the high school stage, Japanese students can choose to attend regular high schools, or they can choose a specialized school or a five-year college.After graduating from high school, you can choose to enter a specialized school, junior college or university.Among them, the junior college system is 2 years.Japanese students who want to go to college after finishing college or short-term college can start directly from their junior year.In addition, the postgraduate education system in Japan is two years.
Since high school is not within the scope of compulsory education, Japanese students need to take various high school entrance exams after graduation from junior high school.At the same time, Japanese high school students also need to take the national examination after graduation, similar to the Chinese college entrance examination.In addition, Japanese students are also keen on extracurricular tutoring.
The difference is that Japan is not a “one-time test for life”. In addition to the “college entrance exam”, Japanese students who want to enter the university also need to take the independent admission test of the corresponding university.
According to World Bank data, in 2018, China’s adult literacy rate was 96.8%, while Japan’s reached 99% in 2002, which can almost be said to have entered the stage of “national literacy”.
At the same time, the enrollment rate of Japanese higher education is also much higher than that of China.In 2019, Japan’s higher education enrollment rate reached 82.8%, while China’s was only 51.6%.It is worth noting that the higher education in Japan here includes students from the fourth grade of universities, junior colleges, specialized schools and higher vocational schools.
basic situation
Japan is the third largest economy in the world and one of the most developed countries in Asia.Its economy mainly benefited from the huge growth after World War II.
In terms of industrial structure, Japan’s agriculture has a limited contribution to GDP, accounting for only about 1%. This is because Japan’s arable land area is very small.However, its unit land output has reached the world’s first.
Japan is an industrial powerhouse, and industry contributes about 30% of the country’s GDP.Whether it is heavy industry including metal industry, machinery industry, chemical industry, or light industry including textile industry, food industry, pulp industry, Japan has advantages.Automobile brands such as Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Mazda and Suzuki all originate from Japan and are an important part of Japanese industry.
The service industry is the mainstay of the Japanese economy, accounting for about 70% of its GDP.The well-known animation industry is one of the characteristic industries.
Although Japan has experienced “lost two decades” since 1989 and was hit hard by the financial crisis in 2008, it is still a high-income country, with GDP per capita still hovering around US$40,000, much higher thanChina.
In the Japanese economy, consortiums play an important role.
According to a report from the China Financial Information Center, in 2019, 52 Japanese companies were included in the Fortune Global 500 list, and more than 40 of them belonged to the six major Japanese consortia-Mitsui Consortium, Mitsubishi Consortium, Sumitomo Consortium, Fuji Consortium, SanHe Consortium and First Persuasion Consortium.We are familiar with Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Panasonic, Sony, Hitachi, Canon, Shiseido, 711 and other Japanese brands, all of which can be seen behind these consortia.
The Japanese consortium originated from the chaebol born during the Meiji Restoration. After World War II, under the dominance of the United States, the Japanese chaebol also experienced the doom of being forced to disintegrate.However, after the outbreak of the Korean War, the United States relaxed its restrictions on Japan, and the former chaebols were able to change their face and return to the rivers and lakes as a consortium.
The Japanese consortium usually consists of three core components: financial institutions including banks, trusts, and funds, comprehensive trading companies that focus on trade and investment, and equipment manufacturing companies.This structure that integrates production, commerce, and integration is in the same vein as the chaebol before the Second World War.
However, compared with the chaebol, the consortium holding model has changed.Before the Second World War, the tyrannical chaebol mostly existed in a pyramid model under the control of a central company and holding subsidiaries in layers.After World War II, Japan enacted the Anti-Monopoly Law. The past model no longer applies, and consortiums have adopted a circular shareholding model in which multiple companies jointly hold shares.In addition, business managers have also changed from family members to professional managers.
the Internet
Data show that Japan’s Internet penetration rate has reached 95%, which is far higher than China’s.However, 95% of Internet users in China use mobile Internet, compared with only 80% in Japan.
In addition, whether it is fixed wifi or mobile traffic, Japan’s Internet speed is not as good as China.
Cell phone
The penetration rate of smartphones in Japan is comparable to that of China, and Apple is the absolute local overlord with a market share of more than 50%.Among foreign brands, Samsung has also squeezed into the top five in the market.The other three seats in the top five are occupied by local Japanese brands.
The top five mobile phone brands occupy a total of about 90% of the Japanese mobile phone market, and the remaining 10% are “split” by many brands such as Huawei, Xiaomi, and OPPO.
Entrepreneurial ecology
Japan is not a country where the entrepreneurial ecology is very active.According to CB Insights statistics, there are only three existing unicorns in Japan.This data is not only far from China and the United States, which each hatched more than 200 unicorns, but also has a big gap with India, even less than Indonesia.Even Sun Zhengyi, who set up a billion-dollar vision fund, has little interest in Japanese startups.
However, this phenomenon seems to be changing in recent years.A report released by the Japanese data and information analysis company INITIAL shows that from 2011 to 2018, the cumulative financing amount of Japanese startups rose from 800 trillion yen (about 7.5 trillion US dollars) to about 4000 trillion yen (about 400,000 dollars)One hundred million U.S. dollars).But from 2018 to 2019, this data has not increased much, and the number of startups that have received financing has even declined.
In Japan, CVC is an important participant in venture capital ecology.
According to the European technology media Tech EU, in 2017, CVC contributed the largest amount of investment in the Japanese venture capital ecosystem, accounting for 41%.VC, other financial institutions, government agencies and universities, and others account for more than ten percent each.Panasonic, Toyota, Sony and other well-known Japanese companies are all active in the venture capital ecosystem as CVC.
In terms of the track, we can see from the previous market introduction that in India, Southeast Asia, Middle East and North Africa and other emerging markets, e-commerce and logistics are often favored by capital.In Japan, both in terms of media reports and financing, Shenzhen Science and Technology has received more attention. Artificial intelligence, SaaS, healthcare, and IoT are the most “hot” tracks in the Japanese entrepreneurial ecosystem.
When it comes to entrepreneurial ecology, in China, we have to look north to Guangzhou and Shenzhen; in India, we cannot get around Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore.In Japan, there are currently three entrepreneurial centers relatively active: Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka.
Among them, Tokyo is the political and economic center of Japan and the most populous city in Japan. Giants such as Mitsubishi, Honda, Toyota, Sony and Mizuho are located here.In 2017, the Tokyo government established support plans for the five core industries of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, robotics, financial technology, and asset management.The three current unicorns in Japan are all “born” in Tokyo.
Osaka is the second largest city in Japan in Kansai. The local government also established the “Osaka Innovation Center” in 2012 to strengthen the local entrepreneurial ecology.
Outside of the two major cities, Fukuoka, located in northern Kyushu, was designated as a National Strategic Special Zone in 2014, positioning itself as Japan’s “Startup City” and benchmarking Silicon Valley.
This is the ninth issue of the 36 Krypton “Global Handbook” series.Prior to this, we have sorted out the market fundamentals and capital situation in India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, and we welcome your attention.
Text | Yaqi @36氪出海
Editing|Zhao [email protected]氪出海

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