As indicated by the title, this is a must-read, especially for the international audience. South China Morning Post, Abacus, and Edith Yeung (Proof of Capital) co-authored the report. It gives us an excellent overview of the vast landscape, that is China internet. If you have been following news about China for a while, perhaps you don’t find the reporting particularly surprising. Still, I find the overall comparative analysis writing style (between China and the US) and its data-rich nature very informative.
I like the industry (or sector) deep dive because of its comprehensive coverage from 5G to autonomous vehicles to gaming, smart devices, etc.
The four main themes for 2019, according to the report, are:
- How the rest of the world is copying digital innovations from China. This is not new news, especially if you travel to China and other Western markets often. China is a world-class, digitally advanced market.
- 5G Race: I didn’t know that telecoms companies in China already piloting at scale with more than 160 million people in key cities
- AI on a mass scale: AI by itself is not inherently “good” or “bad”, it is the application of it by human that may have different implications. China is (not surprisingly) racing ahead with AI. With its vast amount of data (not just online data but real-world data), comparable computing power and strong engineers, I agree with Lee Kai-Fu that China may surpass the US and become the world superpower in AI.
- Social credit: To me, this should perhaps sit under theme number 3, AI on a mass scale.
The report is free to download. And I hope you enjoy it.