Frank Yu: I don’t think the next Google or Amazon will come out of China, but I do think that maybe the next Oracle or even GE has the potential to come out of China. These tech giants are not known for innovation but are known for their ability to deliver service and products to the public that though not groundbreaking, have their own reputation of usefulness and consistency. China is strong in fine-tuning processes, not in groundbreaking technology… yet.

Obstacles

Education and mentorship are the biggest problems. The Chinese educational system is geared for volume and not quality. Skills important for a knowledge economy such as critical thinking, risk-taking and conceptual meta-thinking just don’t get taught in the universities well. There are many smart people in China but without the proper nurturing, these talents are wasted. The chain of mentorship the US and European tech industry takes for granted is not developed here because its all relatively recent. The command and control style of Chinese management which trickles down into their mentorship and leadership style doesn’t help.

The Influence of Technology on Development in China

Chinese developers are naturally agile. Natural prototypers, they work fast and dirty to get something to work. China is leapfrogging into the information age — it has had an industrial phase but it has also gone from an agricultural society into an information society in less than three decades. China will be a tech leader as a manufacturer, but not as an innovator.

Written by

Frank Yu, The CEO and co-founder of Kwestr. Frank was born in the US and moved to China in 2004.

 Issue v0.7: Emerging Markets China   Technological Potential of China