How our world functions in another five, 10, or 20 years will depend significantly on China. They are and will become the most influential world economy in just a year or two.
They already are significantly influential and powerful. But there’s still a view in the ‘Western world’ that the US will continue to ‘reign supreme’. The US has been a global might for the last 120 years. The entirety of the 20th century and the current chunk of the 21 st has all been about the US.
But as we know in the last five or six years, the change and development of China has been something incredible. China has very specific goals of being the world’s leader of science and technology by 2030. They will achieve it by dominating fields such as robotics and automation, artificial intelligence, smart, connected technology (IOT), high-speed networks, and the digitization of everything. They’re shifting from a low cost, manufacturing giant to an economy rooted in high-knowledge, cutting-edge, revolutionary technologies. And they’re doing this through sheer weight of numbers.
China’s most innovative company is Meituan-Dianping, the Chinese connected services company. They are like Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Booking.com, Airbnb and more rolled into one. They have a hand in bike sharing, ticket sales, food delivery and serve over 350 million customers. They use cutting-edge AI in their distribution centers and automated robotics. They are the definition of innovation and technology. And we’ve never heard of them.
That’s not to say that Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent aren’t innovative. They are some of the world’s most innovative companies. But Meituan in 2019 is the most innovative company in China, and arguably, the world. And the world has never heard of them.
Think about the talent pool that China has to choose from. Every year there are around five million Chinese graduates in STEM subjects. India, another academic powerhouse, had 2.6 million new STEM graduates last year while the U.S. had 568,000.
Over several decades the Chinese have been heading all over the world, to the best universities in existence. Universities in the US, the UK, Europe, Australia and more. The idea was for these people to become expert academics in their field. The long game was they would come back to China into the Chinese university system to educate the next generations of Chinese graduates.
It is working. These graduates are going into giant, innovative companies like Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba, Ant Financial, and Meituan-Dianping. They are working on the next level of tech, AI, robotics, automation, biotechnology and augmented biology, genetic engineering, connected devices, quantum computing, blockchain and crypto assets.
If China does become the technology leader of the world, it won’t be the end of us, but could be the catalyst needed for the rest of the world to up their game again. Their technology leadership may just force the hand of the rest of the world to sit up, act and push revolutionary technology opportunities to the next level.
Chinese President Xi Jinping was hinting that China may not loan the U.S. any more money. President Trump is now talking to him about a reverse mortgage.