Underestimating China is easy. For many years it’s been the land of the cheap mediocre copycats. Chinese culture is foreign to most Westerners. It’s plagued with idiosyncrasies that cultured western institutions have defined as inferior or wrong. The fact that few outside of China speaks or read Chinese doesn’t help. We disregard and downplay that that’s different or unknown to us.
But the truth is, it’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore the fact that China is on the verge of becoming the world’s technological leader.
While Chinese universities still have a low rate of international participation, that will change fast. It’s a matter of time before foreign students start flocking China, looking for the next Stanford.
Meanwhile, more and more companies are turning to China for funding and customers. The US and Europe are lagging behind in technological adoption. Robotics, AI-based systems, automated education, Quantum computing
or smart mobility are all happening in China, not in the US. The market is in China, the funding is in China, and the regulation is in China
China will, most probably, dictate the rules of the next technological revolution. Organizations need to invest in understanding the new landscape before they get obliterated in the crossfire.