Uber CEO Travis Kalanick recently said that in the next five years, there would be more innovation happening in China than in Silicon Valley. But will it really happen?
CCTV America’s Mark Niu has the details.
China tech innovators seek to create the next Silicon ValleyUber CEO Travis Kalanick recently said that in the next five years, there would be more innovation happening in China than in Silicon Valley. But will it really happen? CCTV America’s Mark Niu has the details.
Like the secret agent James Bond, Bond Zhao loves gadgets enough to have founded three tech-related startups since the age of 18.
His latest product is Linner, which he said is one of the lightest, most affordable ear buds with USB charging and noise cancelling across a wide range of frequencies.
“Most of the U.S. companies, they have a good technology, but they commercialize it with a really high cost. With reasonable labor in China we can make stuff at a reasonable price. That’s the point why I think China can surpass U.S. technology,” Zhao said.
Linner still chooses to have a dual headquarters, one in Shenzhen, China and one in Silicon Valley, too, partly because launching on U.S. crowd funding site Kick starter helps them raise money well in advance of their product being ready.
“In the U.S. we have the earliest adopters. We can use the marketing in the U.S. The U.S. people, they want to appreciate the technology you bring, so they are willing to give you lots of time on manufacturing your new stuff,” Zhao said.
Bond also said another area Silicon Valley is way ahead of China in its intellectual property protection. He said when you know someone can easily copy your product it discourages many ideas from ever taking shape.
But imitation works in the other direction too, as U.S. tech companies play catch up with Chinese heavyweights like Alibaba and Tencent.
“Overall, in terms of technology, certainly Silicon Valley is the leader. But in the space of mobile internet, especially in mobile payment and finance, I think China is leading,” Danhua Capital Founding Chairman Shoucheng Zhang said.
Venture Capitalist and Stanford Physics professor Shoucheng helps bring Chinese investment to U.S. startups, which, in turn, helps those companies adopt a global focus that includes the China market.
“Because something is rather backward, it gives China the opportunity to leapfrog into the next generation of technology. So retail is controlled by a few monopolies, not very innovative. Overall e-commerce is a lot more in the daily lives of the common people in China. And that’s partly because the density of the population makes e-commerce more efficient. Alibaba is already profitable where Amazon is hardly,” Zhang said.
Zhang believes more U.S. – China crossover also helps bridge cultural gap siting the example of Musical.ly, a lip-syncing app developed in China that launched in the U.S., where it hit number one.
No matter it been called imitation or inspiration-innovation, is breaking barriers and crossing borders on both directions.