Schol­ars say high tech­nol­ogy feats are ex­em­plary, and need to be repli­cated

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS -

BEI­JING — China, which boasts epochal in­ven­tions in an­cient times, has once again demon­strated its abil­ity to change the world with its “new four great in­ven­tions”: high-speed rail­ways, elec­tronic pay­ments, shared bi­cy­cles and on­line shop­ping.

The four in­no­va­tive ways of life were most ap­peal­ing to youths from 20 coun­tries par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey by the Belt and Road Re­search In­sti­tute of Bei­jing For­eign Stud­ies Univer­sity.

“The ‘new four great in­ven­tions’ are all re­lated to China’s high-tech in­no­va­tion, which im­proved the qual­ity of peo­ple’s lives,” said Wu Hao, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the BRRI.

“My wal­let is no longer in use. I can buy and eat what­ever I want sim­ply with a (tap of ) fin­ger­tip on my phone,” said Lin Jin­long, an over­seas Chi­nese stu­dent from Cam­bo­dia, adding that “even pan­cake sell­ers are us­ing Ali­pay (mo­bile pay­ment).

“We can also or­der food at home, which is su­per con­ve­nient. If I were at home in Cam­bo­dia, I would have to go out­doors.”

The bikes them­selves are not new, but the op­er­at­ing model of bike-shar­ing is based on satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, mo­bile pay­ment, big data and other high tech­nolo­gies.

Chi­nese en­trepreneurs have sur­prised the world with the busi­ness model of bike-shar­ing which in­cor­po­rates those tech­nolo­gies, and are en­ter­ing over­seas mar­kets such as Sin­ga­pore and Bri­tain.

China has en­tered a new in­no­va­tive era, thanks to the large amounts of cap­i­tal China has in­vested in en­cour­ag­ing in­no­va­tion, said Bern­hard Schwart­lander, World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in China.

As a huge fan of bi­cy­cles, he also ex­pressed his af­fec­tion for China’s shared bi­cy­cles, say­ing that “shared bikes are bring­ing cy­cling back to peo­ple’s lives ... and they are mak­ing pub­lic trans­port more at­trac­tive and con­ve­nient, and en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to be more ac­tive.”

Re­bacca Fan­nin, founder and ed­i­tor of Sil­i­con Dragon, noted that China is be­gin­ning to lead in in­no­va­tion in some ways.

It is in­creas­ingly clear that China is in­no­vat­ing and no longer copy­ing West­ern ideas.” Re­bacca Fan­nin, founder and ed­i­tor of Sil­i­con Dragon

“It is in­creas­ingly clear that China is in­no­vat­ing and no longer copy­ing West­ern ideas. This is es­pe­cially true in mo­bile, where China is lead­ing in many ways such as ... so­cial mes­sag­ing app WeChat,” she said.

“This is partly be­cause China skipped over the PC era and went di­rectly to mo­bile. China has the largest mo­bile use in the world.”

Yoneyama Haruko, an ex­pert with the China Re­search and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Cen­ter of the Ja­pan Science and Tech­nol­ogy Agency, said Chi­nese peo­ple’s lives have be­come more and more con­ve­nient due to abun­dant tech­nol­ogy us­age, adding that Ja­pan has been fall­ing be­hind China in tech­no­log­i­cal in­nova- tion for the past 10 years or so.

With re­gard to the “new four great in­ven­tions”, Char­lie Dai, prin­ci­pal an­a­lyst of Amer­i­can mar­ket re­search com­pany For­rester, said th­ese prod­ucts and ser­vices have def­i­nitely im­proved cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence, boost­ing na­tional and global econ­omy at the same time.

Statis­tics show that tech­no­log­i­cal progress con­trib­uted 56.2 per­cent to China’s eco­nomic growth in 2016.

A grow­ing num­ber of for­eign­ers hope to pro­mote eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in their home coun­tries by high­light­ing the need for tech­no­log­i­cal achieve­ments like that of China.

Lin cited his ex­pe­ri­ence of trav­el­ing by Chi­nese high- speed train from Bei­jing to the coastal city of Tian­jin more than 100 km away. The jour­ney takes only half an hour, while in Cam­bo­dia, which has only two rail­ways, such a jour­ney may take up to three hours.

“As a Chi­nese say­ing goes, ‘Build­ing roads is the first step of get­ting rid of poverty’, and Cam­bo­dia can achieve faster eco­nomic growth by in­tro­duc­ing Chi­nese high-speed trains,” Lin said.

Wu said Lin’s view ap­pears to sug­gest that youths of coun­tries par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive wish their home coun­tries would em­u­late China in terms of tech­no­log­i­cal achieve­ments.

XIN­HUA

Manch­ester traf­fic po­lice pose with Mo­bike bi­cy­cles at the launch of the bike-shar­ing ser­vices on June 29. Manch­ester marks the be­gin­ning of the Chi­nese com­pany’s global ex­pan­sion, which pop­u­lar­izes the con­cept of shar­ing econ­omy.

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