China’s hottest tech trend in 2020 was collective online grocery shopping, also known as “community group buying.” This contact-free model for digital grocery retail took off during the pandemic as a convenient way to procure daily necessities in lockdown. Doubling in value over the course of the year, community group buying has all of China’s e-commerce giants, including tech companies outside the e-commerce space, aggressively pursuing a share of the pie.
In 2015, President Xi committed to eradicating rural poverty by the end of 2020, and despite the economic distress brought on by the pandemic, China declared its momentous victory. While a mix of state policy and private sector support were key to the campaign’s success, digital technologies such as e-commerce played a pivotal role in improving the quality of life in rural areas and have brought China one step closer to realizing a moderately prosperous society.
Over the last decade, Beijing has spent billions of dollars developing AI technologies to become a global leader in autonomous vehicles. If domestic tech giants can lower the marginal cost of AVs, offer a safe and secure form of autonomous transportation, and secure full-scale adoption within the world’s largest consumer market, China will revolutionize the automotive industry and earn trillions in revenues.
US sanctions designed to limit China’s access to cutting edge semiconductor technology have challenged Beijing’s ambition for technological hegemony. Even with significant state-backed investment over the past 30 years, China’s semiconductor industry still lacks the capabilities necessary to compete in the global marketplace. The current economic and political environment poses an ultimatum for the country: innovate or fall behind.
The Hong Kong national security law created a series of provisions that restrict the flow of information and suppress the civil unrest within the region. In the short term, this new law has had a profound impact on the business landscape, creating a series of winners which seek to expand their market share in the local marketplace. In the long term, it will reform the technology landscape in Hong Kong for years to come.
AI technology dominance is playing a larger role in China’s global ambitions. Now, Beijing and tech players alike are seeking to push the industry to the next level through AI Open Source Software – a framework that greatly influences innovation, shapes market norms, and cultivates healthy competition – making it a core component of China’s long-term AI strategy.
China’s cloud computing market, while the second largest in the world, remains a fraction of the size of its US competitor. As Beijing continues to prioritize investment in this sector, China’s tech giants will continue to propel the quickly growing domestic industry outwards into the global stratosphere.
The ‘Era of Live Streaming E-Commerce’ first blew up in 2019, creating a new industry at the intersection of e-commerce and live streaming. The pandemic has proven to be a major opportunity for this industry, both in terms of attracting new potential consumers and capturing shifting consumption habits. But one question stands: ‘Will it last?’
China is pursuing top foreign talent and investment to strengthen its fintech industry. The industry offers easy access to capital and supportive regulation that provide substantial market potential for ambitious market entrants. Despite cultural barriers and distinct consumer preferences, foreign startups with a proper China strategy can receive many of the same incentives and opportunities for success as domestic competitors.