Silicon Valley's tech companies have a new argument in the unfolding debate over their size and power: We're better than the Chinese competition, Axios' David McCabe writes.

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Data: eMarketer, Note: Google includes YouTube, Microsoft includes LinkedIn; Chart: Axios Visuals/Axios

The big question: How long will those companies remain second to American ones?

  • From an advertising perspective, the answer is that some of the "Big Three" in China are now growing faster in ad revenue, the primary source of income for some of the biggest American social tech companies.

Driving the news: The China Internet Report, co-authored by South China Morning Post, Abacus News and 500 Startups, shows how China's big three companies — Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba — have grown across all industries. This includes ad-based media and communication industries, like social apps, messaging and video.

Takeaways from the report:

  • The Big Three are involved in almost every sector, but success is often contingent on government authority.
  • They are empowering rural communities to become connected. For example, 78 million people in rural China read news from the three primary news apps at least once a month and 175 million short video app users are in rural China.
  • They often embrace the "social+" model, like U.S. companies, meaning they use social media functions to promote other use cases, like streaming and digital payments.

Go deeper: The report lets you filter through every investment, acquisition and self-made app being built by the "Big Three" in China.

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