China, a country that had dominated the planet many times over the last thousand years, is on course to repeat history once more. Economic reforms introduced by Communist leader Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s has propelled China to become a country currently deemed worthy to challenge the U.S. for the number 1 name. China had averaged a 10% annual increase from 1999 to 2008 and in the last few years, hovered in the 6-8% range. With recent drives for technological inventions, we might see a rise in the figures and finally, an overtake to be world biggest market.
“China has been one of the richest, that is, among the most fertile, best cultivated, most industrious, and most populous countries on earth.” Indeed, over the last few decades, China has taken concrete actions to made a reality. In 2015, China declared”Made In China 2025″, a strategic blueprint that details the required actions to equip and alter the country with local technological inventions and period the Chinese equivalent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In reality, a term was invented to explain China’s unique innovation policy and its ability to drive innovation and technological progress within its geographical boundaries. Below are some reason why China is in a position to or rather, will dethrone the U.S. over the next ten years or so.
- Size matters. China is a enormous nation, whether its geographic size or population. While China and U.S are equally large at 9.3 million square kilometers and 9.1 million square kilometers respectively, China trumps (no pun intended) U.S with over 1.4 billion citizens, more than 4 times the that of the U.S. China’s population high adoption rate for technology in addition to its enclosed ecosystem has created a perfect atmosphere for Chinese enterprises to grow and thrive. Additional taxpayers in China have longed been proven to be permissive in the sharing of the personal data, a sharp contrast to the Western countries where private data policies and regulations are strictly enforced. The current Cambridge Analytica saga regarding Facebook’s user information emphasized the importance of keeping private data private, but it’s one that we might never see in China. However, reports of otional surveillance’ being used where workers’ brain waves are monitored in military websites and state-owned enterprises appears to have crossed the line in its newest efforts to track its people.
- Support from the Chinese authorities. Policies like China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) and Made In China 2025 are powerful evidence of China ambitious plans to establish itself as the world leader in the technology leader. Subsidies, low-interest loans and tax breaks are a few of the support tech companies are expected to get within China’s strategy to propel innovation and research within the country. Furthermore,
Rather than having Western companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter thrive, the Chinese authorities nurtured domestic companies through protectionisms and enormous subsidies. Local tech giants like Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, commonly called BAT, managed to grow under the sheltered surroundings and using the whole Chinese pie to themselves. Since that time, these businesses have expanded overseas through acquisitions and setting up of innovation and research facilities, a move that many countries have deemed to be a clear act of’technology importation’, aka transfer of technologies.
- Lastly, it’s simply sheer ignorance about China. Indeed, many who have very little comprehension of today’s China would still perceive it as a”copy-cat” nation thrives on producing counterfeit goods and”Made-In-China” products for the external world. The simple fact is they are now producing innovation leaders and are the ones to beat. Referred to as China’s Silicon Valley for hardwares, Shenzhen houses lots of the companies which produces the technology product we see now, from drone manufacturer DJI into iPhone manufacturer Foxconn. Ignorance was bliss when one can freely enjoy the reduced cost of manufacturing in China; ignorance has become a looming threat of takeover.
“China has a fairly deep awareness of what is going on in the English-speaking planet, but the opposite isn’t correct.”
The future is going to be one dominated by technology, and China has prepped itself to be part of the future. President Xi Jinping understood the problems of sustaining China’s economic growth and understood the potential of technology to scale to millions of businesses and eliminate inefficiencies while profiting the end-consumers.
However, it is going to be naïve to conclude that China will overtake U.S. only on the grounds of superior technology. The chance of a trade war between the U.S. and China only benefits China, for it has the benefits of economies of scale and a single, independent industry. The continuing trade surplus with the U.S is evident of U.S. reliance on China goods, and a trade war is only going to harm the nation with price hikes in consumer products. The trade surplus for the first quarter of 2018 spiked nearly 20 percent to reach $58.25 billion, citing the potential for a trade war. What’s more, China has been expanding its political and economic influence with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Expected to cost over a trillion dollars and affect 60% of the planet’s inhabitants, the BRI is the biggest undertaking by the Chinese as the Great Wall of China.
In general, China has evolved from a state of fake to one of invention, from among producing products to one of inventing products. Perhaps it’s time for the world to have a great look at China and paradoxically, replicate what they’re doing now. For the U.S, cooperating might be the best, and only way of moving forward.