Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Pinduoduo made it big with rural users before wealthy Chinese urbanites had even heard of the app. Other companies and investors could follow in its footsteps.Credit: Pinduoduo A little less than a year ago, when the reality of the pandemic had yet to hit California, I caught up with my friend, Ron Cao, on one of his regular trips to Silicon Valley. Ron is a seasoned venture capitalist who has spent two decades in China, invested in many of the biggest hits of the last decade — Meituan, ByteDance, etc. — and eventually opened up his own fund called Sky9 Capital. Our favorite topics whenever we get together are, of course, cross-border learnings and future opportunities. With China’s growth decelerating, I wanted to know, where was he going to invest? Was he, perhaps, going to try his luck in Southeast Asia like so many other managers we knew? Or how about India — wasn’t that one of the places touted as the next China? “No, Rui,” he replied earnestly, “the next China is China.” What Ron is referring to is the exponential rise of what I like to call “developing China,” the vast inland area in the central and western parts of the countrSubscribe, register or login to read the rest. Registered users can access a limited amount of content for free.Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.