China's Successes Are Not So Secret Anymore

By Scott Kriner, Green Metal Consulting

What is behind the curtain?

China has historically been mysterious to the Western world. In today’s news, China is mentioned in regard to currency and international tariffs, as well as dumping some products. What was once very closed within China is now open to the world.

The January issue of MIT Technology Review provided an expose of China in many areas from Research and Development to China’s multi-billion-dollar tech companies.

Between 1991 and 2016, China underwent a scientific and technology renaissance. The country overtook Japan on spending for R&D. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicts China will outspend the USA by 2019.

China has built the largest supercollider.

China has launched the world’s first Quantum communication satellite.

 China claims the world’s largest single dish radio telescope and several of the fastest supercomputers.

China boasts nine of the world’s 20 largest tech companies, including 3 of the top 10.

China may be funding big science projects, but rarely announces breakthroughs. Despite the growing number of elite universities, China can only claim one Nobel laureate. In fact, many Chinese patents are called “junk patents” that are not renewed after their fifth year.  But China ranks first in the world—ahead of the United States—in the number of science and engineering papers published in international journals. According to the MIT magazine, globally the average English language paper is cited 11.8 times, but for scholars from Chinese institutions, the figure drops to 9.4 times.

In the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), China treats that development as a strategic part of their technical plan.

The curtain hiding China has been opened to some degree.  What we see is a blending of long-term strategic government planning as well as some free enterprise.  Surprisingly the mix seems to work.

Scott Kriner is the president and founder of Green Metal Consulting Inc. He is a LEED Accredited Professional who began his career in the metal construction industry in 1981. His company is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, the California Association of Building Energy Consultants and the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET).

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