The best example to supports this statement is WeChat. WeChat is not only a social media tool that integrates about 20 separate apps that I use today on my mobile. In addition WeChat is THE payment method in China. Literally everywhere you go, you can pay with WeChat. With 800 million internet users and 500 million smartphones sold per year, digital connectivity is getting embedded everywhere. Eat your heart out Apple Pay and Google Pay!
The Chinese Government also goes full speed for digital: The Chinese National Bank is the biggest investor in blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.
From the Belgian entrepreneurs that work and live in China, we get feedback that the digital technology is booming, and evolving extremely fast. But all this stays relatively unknown and hidden under the radar outside China, so we Europeans only know half of the evolution news.
China seems still behind on health and life sciences. From the visits to some accelerators in Shanghai, China is your ideal market if you are a technology start-up in this area.
But other from that, China is mostly interested in Europe for its luxury brands: The growing middle class population wants to drive a BMW or a Mercedes too; tourism from Chinese people to Brussels, Paris, London, etc. has doubled over the last years. Boeing and Airbus are preparing a boost in production to ship the vast amount of tourists to Europe soon...
Even on educational level, with a focus on engineering, technology and mathematics, China is bypassing US and Europe. This is considered as a serious threat, but we should rather learn from it, and start acting as well: education and training is key in a fast changing world.
In short, I was so much more impressed from this tour than from our tour we did 2 years ago in Boston and New York. The Chinese drive, will to succeed and speed of execution doesn’t seem to stop any time soon. China is no longer a copy-paste economy: They are now in the driving seat of innovation.
“Made in China” has clearly become “Designed in China”.
Maybe this is the right moment for MultiMinds to be part of this evolution. Why not...
A last but important side note. China was impressive. But part of the inspiration that you take back home comes from the interaction you have with your fellow travellers. A diverse group from start-ups to international companies, from service to technology companies, from academic world to investors, ... Perfect recipe for great discussions!!