The sleeping dragon has awoken

sleeping dragon

I’m back to the office for a few days before returning to China for Mobile World Congress Shanghai next week, where we’ll be demonstrating our latest facial recognition systems.

I’m looking forward to seeing if the show is as lively as CES Asia was last week. There are so many events going on in China at this time of year. Don’t people ever experience technology fatigue?

The answer is no, I suspect. At least not during this rapid growth phase in which the proliferation of smart phones, electric vehicles, shared bikes, and other smart devices is powering tangible improvements in people’s lives such as making shopping convenient through mobile payments and home delivery services. That this proliferation is also accelerating economic development by enabling the creation of new products, services, and companies is also a key factor.

Indeed, it can be argued that the China tech industry has entered a virtuous cycle in which the voracious demands of domestic consumers for exciting new devices, applications, and services is fueling rocket-speed innovation by the country’s tech industry players. As has happened with bike sharing, successful models that have proved themselves in the domestic market will then be exported overseas.

This shift from export-led manufacturing to domestic-driven innovation is extremely significant – and its long-term ramifications are not yet fully appreciated in the west. Thanks to its huge domestic market, China has already established a leadership position in the global smart phone market and is set to achieve the same feat in electric vehicles and retail and security automation systems. The speed with which the deployment of facial recognition applications is happening in the country provides an indication of what to expect in the future.

Now that the sleeping dragon has awoken, new dynamics are being unleashed that will change the way the global technology market operates. Better to spend more time digging into these new trends than bury your head in the sand.

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