- China has changed its reputation from global factory to the centre of technology innovation
- Government initiatives such as “Made in China” encourages innovation
China is already far ahead of the rest of the globe in sectors such as e-commerce, financial technology and transport, says Johnny Hon, Chinese angel investor and chairman of Global Group. Chinese products no longer have a reputation for being cheap and poor. Instead China is becoming known for its innovative technology as it takes the lead in the following sectors:
Users across China are adopting mobile payments via QR codes and cellphones and tossing their debit cards and cash. In 2012, US$31 million transactions went through mobiles. This number is now over $12 trillion in transactions. The ease of use of this cashless system has allowed Chinese consumers to sell their own products online, opening up an entirely different market and allowing consumers to earn additional income.
Chinese firms are increasingly using technology to deliver their services in a way that Western firms don’t offer. Financial institutions are often slow and unwilling to compete in the financial technology sector, but China has been successful here. Chinese based company, Wecash, uses a social media-based credit rating algorithm to serve users overlooked by traditional financial institution systems.
China plans to overtake all Western nations in its implementation of artificial intelligence, the country said in 2017. Currently China is second in the world after the US, and its goal is to be first by 2030. Chinese major search engine, Baidu, has recently unveiled the world’s first artificial intelligence park in Beijing.
Chinese social media company WeChat has been widely successful in China, with the main attraction its integration of multiple functions in one application. Besides social media, the app allows users to book doctors’ appointments and pay traffic fines and bills. Users describe it as the “app for everything”. The owner of WeChat, Tencent, has overtaken Facebook as the fifth most valuable company in the world.
China’s decision to invest in technology as a priority has allowed China to work its way up the ladder to start leading the world in this sector.
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