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We shall be unable to turn natural advantage
to success unless we make use of local guides.
-The Art of War, Sun Zi

China’s Goals & Key Challenges – and the opportunities they generate!

China’s Goals & Key Challenges – and the opportunities they generate!
February 2018

And should official confirmation be needed, the plan calls for 70% of technology products to be “Made in China” by 2025. This indicates that the more high-tech elements will still be imported. In fact, it is reasonable to assume that demand for such components will actually increase due to the additional needs generated by the government push for technology. All in all, the plan will definitely create considerable opportunities up the technology value chain, which is where international technology niche champions are particularly strong and stand to benefit.

For sure selling technology products in China is not without risks. Yet, there are ways to mitigate these risks and we will come back with more and specific experience on the subject in a follow-up analysis.

But now, will China become a true technology innovator, in the sense that we understand it?
Well, the examples above illustrate our opinion: most probably not in the short and the mid-term.

In fairness, it is difficult enough to catch up with fast developing technology. It is even more difficult in an era of technological acceleration such as the one we are about to witness, with the onset of the fourth industrial revolution. In this respect developed economies keep an enormously advantageous position.

Besides, it is not China’s ambition to catch up in the coming years: the 13th Five Year plan calls for China to become a “world powerhouse in scientific and technological innovation” by 2050, more than 30 years from now[6].

[6] China Science and Technology Powers Ahead (China Daily, 17 Nov 2017)

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