Shaun Rein

Leading business analyst Shaun Rein has been selected by CPA´s in Australia as on of the top-10 daring thinkers of 2016. Author of The End of Copycat China: The Rise of Creativity, Innovation, and Individualism in Asia, his thoughts on China´s innovative road into the future has triggered off his selection, reports

In the Black:

For most of the past four decades, China’s economy has grown solidly with a model based on heavy investment and cheap production. But that model is broken, says Shanghai-based researcher Shaun Rein, and the environment in China is ripe for innovation.

China already has successful innovation stories to tell – digital giants Tencent and Alibaba among them – as the country leads the world in its mobile-first approach to the digital economy.

But for innovation to really take hold and for businesses and entrepreneurs to feel confident enough to invest, Rein says China needs to focus on IP protection, regulation and education.

He cites US sandwich chain Subway as an example of a business where IP protection went wrong. Entrepreneurs copied the idea and established near-identical franchises across China, making millions off a name to which they have no legal or financial right.

Rein says a lack of certainty around regulation and a fear that state-owned enterprises will be given priority have made potential investors wary.

“China’s version of Uber got hit with new regulations because the state-owned taxi fleets didn’t like the killing they were getting in the marketplace,” he says.

Rein says boosting the education offering in China should also be a priority to grow homegrown talent that Chinese companies can recruit to build their businesses.

What they can’t build or create themselves, Rein says they will buy.

“The Chinese will become the bank roller,” he says. “They are buying technology.”

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Shaun Rein is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers´request form.

Are you looking for more experts on innovation at the China Speakers Bureau? Do check out this list. 

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