The experts and analysts stated that China is touching the United States in some technology areas and soon could even overtake the U.S. in specific respects. The second-largest economy of the world is already showing some good performance in its move on home-based industries like chips and artificial intelligence.
The United States-based think tank, (CFR) the Council on Foreign Relations said in a report that China is closing the tech gap with the U.S., and believed that it might not compete with the capabilities of the U.S. across the board, soon it will be one of the major powers in technologies such as fifth-generation cellular networks (5G), robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), biotechnology, energy storage, and robotics.
Today, Beijing is celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. Beijing is showing as the Asian giant military prowess in a military parade in Beijing and Xi Jinping, the President of China talk up the progress of the nation.
The digital footprint of China
A significant part of the development of the nation is technological. The digital economy of China accounts for more than 34% of the net domestic product of the country. Moreover, it is also a headquarter place of some of the giant tech companies in the world, including e-commerce titan Alibaba and tech corporation Tencent. According to an official figure from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the total Chinese number of internet users at the end of 2008 comes to 298 million, which was more than 22% of the overall population at that time. That number escalates to 854 million at the end of June 2019, or in other words, we can say more than 60% of the total population of China.
According to the official statistics of the Chinese government, just more than 99% of web-users of China access the internet on their smartphones. Whereas in the United States, just above 92% of internet users access it on their mobile devices, these are the separate figure from eMarketer shows. The focus of Chinese people on mobile helped several companies roll out their products rapidly on a large scale. Furthermore, the rise of China is an alarming situation for the strong position of America in technology. Head of investment at Hermes Investment Management, Eoin Murray told that they have a tech grip from the United States that truly being uncertain separately China at this stage.
Changing of Copycat Image
However, the rise of the tech industry of China smudged with the allegations of intellectual property theft and claims that the tech companies of the country are copycats. Either it Chinese-designed smartphones that look similar to the iPhone of Apple, or Chinese e-commerce firms being compared to Silicon Valley’s Amazon or Google or Chinese search, China extensively carried the image of a technology flower. However, the image of China is changing. Author of “Tech Titans of China” stated that for a few years. Silicon Valley observes China tech and realizes that it is only copying. But now, there is awareness that the world’s second-largest economy is revolutionizing and getting ahead in specific some technology arenas.
There are even signs that few of the biggest tech firms of America copying some Chinese companies now. Last year, Facebook released a brief video app named Lasso to keep away competition from the TikTok app of Bytedance. TikTok made main inroads with consumers from the United States.
China threat to the United States Technology
During the last few years, Beijing openly stated its desire to made future critical technology, like artificial intelligence and fifth-generation speedy mobile network, 5G. Even before the trade war of the U.S. and China, Beijing claimed in 2017 that it planned to grow as a world leader in Artificial Intelligence by 2030. In this respect, some of the biggest companies in China, including Huawei, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, are all investing massively in Artificial Intelligence. Just last week, Alibaba released its own AI chip after following the footsteps of Huawei.
Beijing also expressed that semiconductors will be a critical area of the plan of Made in China 2025, an initiative of the government that emphasizes to speed up the production of high-value products. China wants to focus on strategies to develop more of the chips it uses. In the meanwhile, the largest telecommunications equipment-maker of the world, Huawei secured maximum commercial contracts of 5G than its rivals Ericsson and Nokia. 5G promises super-speedy data transfers and the ability to run new technologies such as autonomous vehicles.
The response of the United States
Technology is the main point of the continuing trade war between the United States and China, and in this dispute, one Chinese company specifically, Huawei being on hitlist in the conflict. The tech giant of China placed on the blacklist of the United States, which restricts its access to American companies. But after these restrictions, the firm maintained its focus on developing more of its software and components it needs. In this regard, the company is releasing its own processors for smartphones. Moreover, a few days back, it reveals its own operating system in an effort to less reliant on the United States.
According to an expert, the response of Washington to the Chinese tech industry rise has about containment else than trying to stay forward. One of the authors of CFR’s report, Adam Segal, said that up till it mainly emphasizes on slowing down China and stopping the crucial technologies from moving towards China. Whereas, there is still a debate in Congress and White House that the United States needs to take more steps to put home innovation at speed-track.
In addition, Segal suggested the United States has to restore federal funding for development and research to its historical percentage. According to Segal, it means, to increase funding from 0.7% to 1.1% of net domestic product yearly. While in other words, from $146 billion to around $230 billion at the exchange rate of 2018. Fannin also said that the United States must have a national agenda in crucial tech areas. She added, the ongoing trade conflict won’t stop the rise of China. The trade war is hurting both sides, the U.S., and China. The ambition of China to become a worldwide leader in technology is unstoppable, with or without the trade war.