Can China become a leading global innovator?10 October, 2014 / Articles
Assembled in China but designed in California, Japan, or Europe. That’s been the story of China’s economic rise for the past 30 years.
Few if any of China’s companies are considered innovative by global standards – and Nobel prizes for science remain frustratingly elusive.
But China wants to be more than the factory of the world and its government knows it has to move on from a “beg, borrow or steal” strategy on innovation if it is to keep growing its economy. Will it be able to do this?
Husband and wife entrepreneurs Yang Yang and Winnie are working on a prototype for a pen that writes in plastic. Unfortunately, the pen is smoking more than it’s writing and the room fills with a foul smell of burning plastic.
I’m in Shenzhen, China’s answer to Silicon Valley and its most entrepreneurial city.
I’ve tracked down these young inventors at one of China’s first meeting places for business start-ups.
“Really horrible, I know. But I’ve only been working on this for two weeks,” laughs Yang Yang as we stand back from the smoking shreds of green plastic on the work bench.