The Economist: Technological gap getting smaller between China, America



The technological gap between China and America is getting smaller, and the most populated country has surpassed the US in certain areas, according to an article released last Thursday on The Economist.

The article, titled “The battle for digital supremacy”, listed several technological achievements of China in recent years – the fastest supercomputer “Sunway TaihuLight”, the most abundant quantum-computing research center, and the forthcoming satellite-navigation system “BeiDou”, which will compete with America’s GPS by 2020.

Progress of Chinese tech companies in overseas markets has also been eye-catching. The country has the world's biggest mobile payments market, and Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay can also be used in various countries outside of China.

“China’s world-class tech giants, Alibaba and Tencent, have market values of around 500 billion US dollars, rivalling Facebook’s,” said The Economics article.

Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay can also be used in various countries outside of China.

The US has felt the threat. The Economist article mentioned the bill from the Congress earlier this year, which stops the government from doing business with two Chinese smartphone giants ZTE and Huawei.

“America is rattled,” said the article.

In other areas, China possesses the highest density of artificial intelligence (AI) scientists. With a group of more than 800 million Internet users – the biggest in the world – China has the richest database for AI developing.

According to China Daily, there are 4.6 million new graduates of engineering, which gives China another advantage in AI.

Former chairman of Google’s parent company Eric Schmidt has predicted that China will overtake the US in AI by 2025.

Encouragements of mass entrepreneurship and innovation from the government have provided an ideal environment for entrepreneurs, which is one of the major forces for boosting technological development in China. From 2014 to 2017, the number of incubators increased from 1400 to 8000, said China Daily.