Skeptics say that Chinese brands like Chery will never surpass foreign rivals unless they can embrace fundamental principles of innovation – open communication, risk-taking – that require more than cash. This extends to creative industries, such as music, film, and fashion. “We get these endless things from the government saying there should be more innovation and brand building,” says Paul French, chief China market strategist at market research firm Mintel. “But there isn’t anything behind it. The problem is that no one really wants to invest in innovative design. It’s very market-led. So if reports come to the stores that red shirts are selling, they’ll tell their in-house designers to design more red shirts. This means the designers don’t get a chance to do anything.”
“I don’t think anyone in government understands creative industries,” French adds. “They spent 60 years driving creativity out of the system. To reintroduce it in 10 minutes is a bit hopeful.”
Skeptics are not holding back China’s internet companies, who have been developing plans to go global over the past few months. The China Weekly Hangout will focus on their plans, and their chances to succeed, together with Steven Millward of Tech in Asia, on September 5. You can read our announcement here, or register at our event page here, if you want to participate.
Pundits have often argued China’s government controlled media would never find an audience outside their own country. But the China Weekly Hangout discovered on March 7 they were wrong, in a discussion about the advances different Chinese media groups make in Africa with veteran journalists Eric Olander of the China Africa Project, and Lara Farrar, previously working for both the China Daily and CNN. Moderation by Fons Tuinstra, president of the China Speakers Bureau.