“NEW era, new revolution. I am a MAKER, for the hearts of the dream.”

So goes a rallying cry carved in giant letters on the wall of a warehouse in Shekou, a seaside enclave near Hong Kong.

Many of China’s most promising entrepreneurs flocked there recently for a conference organised by TechCrunch, a technology publisher from Silicon Valley.

Ekt 2bYet Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent—established Chinese internet giants collectively known as the BAT—were overshadowed by upstarts such as Didi Chuxing, a ride-hailing firm that chased America’s Uber away from China, and Ofo, a bike-sharing startup that is going…