FIIB Debate Series: Is China a Store-house of Innovation?

India’s mighty neighbor- the People’s Republic of China is famous for its own reasons, one being that- it is currently the world’s most populous country. Since the time economic reforms were introduced in 1978, China has emerged to be one of the fastest-growing major economies of the world. As the world tags it as the powerhouse of Asia, China doesn’t disappoint- in 2013, it was the world’s second largest economy (and also the largest exporter and importer of goods).

The FIIB Debate Series this week tossed and scanned the opinions of FIIB-ians on the topic: Is China an Innovation Powerhouse? While the greater segment of the participants was in favor of motion, a few of them had a perspective that went against the hypothesis:

China is an Innovation Store-house

China is innovation driven as they are disciplined. They have been single-minded in their effort to be a super power to take on the US. They have demonstrated this in umpteen ways, be it hosting the Olympics, displaying their sporting superiority, their military might, their aggressiveness over territorial issues, their railway networks and high speed trains, infrastructure development, neo-colonization and exploitation of the African continent and Antarctica, and the like. Innovation is a built-in aspect in each of these strategic moves they have made. Innovation is not merely restricted to the number of patents a country holds. That is quite a myopic view of what innovation really is. It is a culture, a mindset, an all-permeating will to survive, thrive and drive the world rather than be driven by the world. Be it the Great Wall of China, the skyline or multi floor flyovers, the magnetic train or bullet train, tunnels under sea bed or the opera house- the country proves every time that they can leave USA behind in innovation!

China’s Innovation Ranking is fallacious

Although China is leading in terms of economic growth than countries like Japan, the US and European countries; the parameters on which it has become able to top the cake could well be questioned!

The Chinese market is largely booming from the production and supply of counterfeited goods to the rest of world. The forged product market incurs around $20 billion loss to the foreign firms annually. More than 60% of the products in the China Market are counterfeits. What China has grown into today in terms of economy and innovation are largely contributed by this undeniable mix of spurious reproduction process. Hence dubbing it a Powerhouse of Innovation wouldn’t be entirely correct!

Disclaimer: The article has been written by a member of Corporate Communication team at Fortune Institute of International Business-FIIB, but the views in the article are that of the participants and do not reflect the views of the Institute.