China hosts some of the largest competitors of Google, YouTube and other IT-giants. Still, becoming a global IT force is far away, writes journalist and internet entrepreneur Maria Korolov in Internet Evolution.
On paper, China seems to be an Internet powerhouse: It has a large population, plenty of young people, a growing economy, and the largest number of Internet users in the world –- more than 500 million as of the first quarter of this year, twice as many as the next runner-up, the United States. China also dominates manufacturing.
But the PRC is barely making a dent when it comes to enterprise IT, even as nearby India flourishes. Language differences is one reason, certainly. But a bigger reason why China isn’t much of a threat in IT is its politics, evident in measures taken to restrict communication inside and outside the country.
Internet censorship, currency controls, travel restrictions are some of the constraints. And then the eduction:
My kids went to public, Chinese elementary schools. They were tough: lots of homework, lots of memorization. I had to get special dispensation from the schools to allow my kids to attend, including paying extra fees and allowing my kids to skip the state exams so as to avoid dragging class averages down.
The plus side is that now I have kids who can speak, read, and write Chinese and for whom American schools are a piece of cake by comparison. But when it came time for high school, I brought my kids back to the US.
- The power of innovation on mobile – William Bao Bean (chinaherald.net)
- The conspiracy against China at the London 2012 Olympics – Zhang Lijia (chinaherald.net)
- The two masters of China’s internet companies – Kaiser Kuo (chinaherald.net)