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China’s coming two decades of innovation

China’s coming two decades of innovation

In the recent article by John Ross entitled “China’s coming two decades of innovation” at, the author discusses about the perception of innovation and Chinese innovation in particular. While China has been striving hard to lead on the innovation front, how far has China come in the last two decades?

People often overlook the expansion of Chinese innovation, believing that their economy is based entirely on manufacturing creations other countries invent. These people often overlook that Japan has made extreme innovative strides in the past three decades. China’s critics ignore that both South Korean and Japanse companies have made great innovative strides, from creating cheap toys to manufacturing America’s top buys in TVs and luxury cars. Experts say that this progression will occur in China over the next two decades.

Critics of China’s innovation ignore the fact that they are in the same economic development stages that Japan and South Korea experienced in the ’60s and ’80s.

Although Toyota’s first up-and-coming car, the Crown, was removed from the market in 1960 due to detrimental overheating problems– and it was a subsequent nine years before they began exporting a total of one million units a year- today, Toyota produces the United States’ number one luxury car, the Lexus. If the GM CEO had been told that Toyota would become the largest car producer worldwide, he would not have believed it. However, that is precisely what occurred.

South Korea shares a similar tale with their popular Samsung Electronics products. They progressed from importing most of the components from Japan in the latter portion of the 1970s, and their own transistors were so lacking in quality that their own company would not use them in their productions. However, over the next twenty years, Samsung produced more dynamic random access chips, known as DRAM chips, and is now the largest manufacturer worldwide of TVs in all markets.

In hindsight, the progress Toyota and Samsung made is easy to understand. In the beginning, they utilized large investments in capital materials and labor to grow their industry. In fact, South Korea and Japan’s rate of investment was about double of the United States during both countries periods of innovative growth. This investment of funds allowed their industries to quickly surpass the United States and improve their superiority and flexibility of production techniques by using robots. Samsung increased their amount of projects in development by two hundred percent, and began producing new productions of DRAMs that surpassed their competitions’. Both Samsung and Toyota spent a great deal on R&D, allowing them to become the super giants of quality that they are today.

China is now in a position to do the same as Japan and South Korea, and has a high amount of money invested in research in development. But this just the beginning.

In the past twelve years, China has doubled their spending on research and development-an increase that surpassed any of their rivals. However, they started out at a low base of spending, and the percentage of GPD that they are putting into research and development is just over half of the United States, and less than half of South Korea and Japan’s investments. In essence, China is making strides to catch up with their competitors, but their progress will be gradual. The fact that they have enormous financial resources, and are dedicated to increasing spending on education and research will guarantee that they will reach and surpass their competitors.

By following the timeline of Toyota and Samsung’s development, it can be predicted when China will reach the same standards of innovation. Samsung spent nearly thirty years on developing tactics that led them to become the leader in TVs, and Toyota took twenty years to become a major player in the automotive field, and another ten years to produce the bestselling luxury car. This process involved acquiring vast sums of finance, and allocating a decent chunk of money and resources into research and development. China clearly understands this process very well. Each leader who speaks on economic policy underscores the need for innovation and research and development. Their progress will only take funds and some patience.

Doubters of Chinese innovation are similar to those who stated in the ’60s and ’80s that South Korea and Japan could not create, but were only good for manufacturing ships and producing steel. Time will show that China can bring innovation to the international table, and the people who question them now will be amazed.

Note: The preceding is a summary of an article found though our research, and is provided here with editorial comment for members only. Please see the full article at the following link for full original content.

The New Asia Innovation Team