In the old days, Chinese companies were known from their copy-cat behavior. But the climate has been changing, notes Shanghai-based lawyer Amy Sommers in GeekWire, and especially the tech companies have become real innovators.
Despite these examples, in recent years there are also many Chinese tech companies like Tencent with WeChat, or Alibaba with Taobao, that are taking original ideas from abroad and improving upon them.
Amy Sommers, a partner at the K&L Gates law firm with more than 25 years of experience working with Chinese businesses, said that for every Chinese e-commerce site that Westerners may characterize as a “copycat,” the Chinese version is often much more dense, multi-faceted, and at the end of the day, actually provides more value to the consumer.
“This is a demonstration of how Chinese companies may in fact be a world-leader that Western companies should be attempting to emulate,” she said.
Sommers added that more widespread use of the Internet in China and the smartphone have resulted in a new phenomenon, particularly for a country with so many people spread across so much land. “A new paradigm has emerged as China has started shifting from producing ‘things’ to producing experiences and connections,” she said.
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