Fifteen Chinese startups reached unicorn status last year alone; effectively 30% of the world’s new billion dollar companies were created in China in 2017. While the world was focused on the Orange Muppet and Brexit, China was focused on what is most likely to prove the most significant shift of this century. What I mean here is the transfer of global power from the west to China. China is busy re-shaping the world around economics and technology and placing itself at the centre of the debate in these issues. China is not focused on exporting its politics and ideology. It prefers to build, innovate and prevail through economics. It is building its ascendance through prodigious mercantile and technological change and influence. Whilst the West is dealing is with its decaying infrastructure and political systems China is using its one party system to plan projects that can be barely fathomed in the West. Just look at the Belt and Road Initiative. Even if they achieve half of what they say this will be one of the largest projects on earth.
China’s Long Term strategy coupled with its huge population means that it has a natural advantage in tech. It will lead the world in machine learning with its ambitious roadmap for AI published last year. It just has so much more information than anywhere else on earth and it has more people online (and mobile!) than anywhere else so will have much more data for the machines to learn from! It is focused on Blockchain which plays to China’s significant geopolitical advantages. And finally it will lead the world in electric vehicles. Just look at Didi alone that raised a further $4 billion to plough into AI, Electric vehicles and International Expansion. Didi today is also the world’s most valuable start up. Not only did it kick Uber out of China it also knocked it off the pedestal on the world stage by taking its title of the World’s most valuable private company. China used to be accused, rightly so, of stealing technology and building me too companies. Those days are over! China now is focusing on innovation rather than imitation! And having worked in China for nearly two decades let me tell you when they focus on something – they get it done! Anyhow I am looking at Chinese tech startups for Walpole Capital so watch this space for more interesting information!