Chuang Jien!

(for those of you wondering, Chuang Jien is Chinese for Innovate)

As the second largest country in the world, and the most populated with a potential local market of 1.3 billion (2012 census), China’s technological clout has never been in question.

500 m internet users, 300 m mobile internet users, 900 m mobile subscribers, a mobile internet market of $1.7 b, and a “demo-to-download” speed of less than 3 months.

Happy New Year, Goodbye 2012 (8)

Innovating China

China’s biggest strength has become applying concepts to a creative and uniquely Chinese context. They have an eagerness to learn, the audacity to take risks, and the sincerity to admit what works and drop what doesn’t. Facebook and Zynga, for example, are actually learning from the mistakes and successes of Chinese monetization experiments,which span an unprecedented spectrum.

Having invented the printing press, compass, and gun powder, it is no surprise that scientific self-sufficiency is China’s goal. But while their strategy to transform from “serving as the world’s factory” to “becoming pioneers in global innovation” is impressive, their homegrown scientists have too often been labelled blatant technology thieves.

With 40% of Chinese games on Android, and 20% on iOS, clearly copycats, the Chinese define themselves as having an unrivaled imagination in 2nd generation innovation, namely making incremental improvements and adaptations for the Chinese market.

Before we accuse them of stealing our intellectual property, let’s look at many of the Western innovations that we worship: the Palm Pilot vs. the Newton, the iPod vs. the Rio, Facebook vs. MySpace,…

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