China’s enthusiasm for new technology, combined with its paranoia about being left behind in a globally intensifying high-tech competition, sometimes leads it to create small bubbles in its economy which may or may not dissipate in the disciplined manner in which the markets they encompass may have emerged in the first place.
For a long time, Chinese companies have been known for copying market-proven products, brands and business models from the West and adapting them for the local market with only minor modifications. Such a phenomenon is known as shanzhai, a Chinese term that was originally used to describe a bandit stronghold outside government control. In today’s slang, it refers to businesses based on fake or pirated products.
Shanzhai has been prevalent in China in recent decades and this has earned China the reputation of being a “copycat nation”. Western media report that China’s preferential policies and regulations to restrict market access, such as the the “Great Firewall” in the internet industry, and the lack of intellectual property protection, give Chinese companies an unfair home advantage to create copies.
While shanzhai is common across a range of products and services, it is particularly prevalent in the internet sector. Chinese internet companies are often compared to their Western counterparts based on the similarity of their business models. For example, Baidu is known as the “Google of China”, Alibaba as the “eBay of China”, and Xiaomi as the “Apple of China”, just to name a few. Continue reading How China’s ‘copycat’ tech companies are now the ones to beat
Donald Trump’s election as the next US president is generating a lot of speculation about US-China relations, especially in investment and trade. People are wondering what the implications will be for both Chinese and US companies.
China-based investment expert Edward Tse, CEO of Gao Feng, says financial technology companies are thriving in China
With the Chinese government keen to encourage innovation the fintech revolution is quickly gaining pace. Financial technologies companies backed by Chinese venture capital raised $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2016, according to accounting firm KPMG.
This represented a 49 per cent share of global fintech investment in the period, bigger than that of North America and Europe combined.
Hunan Cothink will distribute Sawyer and Baxter robots throughout the country
Rethink Robotics has reached an exclusive agreement with collaborative robotics provider Hunan Cothink Robotics Technology Company to distribute its robots to the entire Chinese manufacturing community.
Rethink Robotics and Hunan Cothink originally announced a partnership in February of this year that awarded Hunan Cothink distribution rights in northern and southern China, but the success of the relationship and the demand for Rethink Robotics’ smart, collaborative robots has led to a new, exclusive deal that covers the entire Chinese geography.
China-based investment expert Edward Tse, CEO of Gao Feng, says Chinese manufacturers have progressed from being considered “shanzai” – copycats – to embracing the idea of becoming developers of advanced robotics and automation systems
Chinese electrical appliance manufacturer Midea’s move to acquire Kuka, the German robot maker, could be a defining moment in the evolution of China’s manufacturing sector.
China’s reliance on low-cost, labour-intensive manufacturing to power its immense economy is no longer attractive, mainly due to the rise in labour and other costs.
Kuka says it has generated record levels of business across its units, with almost €900 million worth of orders placed in the second quarter of 2016. The figure represents a 28 per cent increase on the previous year’s profits.
In it robotics division, earnings increased to €25.5 million in the past quarter, says the company in a report.
Kuka, a Germany-based company established in 1898, is one of the world’s leading industrial robot manufacturers.
In recent weeks it has been the subject of a takeover bid by Chinese company Midea, which makes electrical appliances.
Midea says it currently has more than 80 per cent of Kuka’s shares, according to Bloomberg.com, which would seem to mean that Midea now owns Kuka.
Chinese company HIT Robot Group says it is in negotiations with 50 companies it came into contact with during this year’s Automatica exhibition.
In exclusive comments to Robotics and Automation News, an insider at HRG says the company is at various stages of negotiations with the potential partners, and hopes to finalise deals soon with at least eight of them.
HRG claims to be China’s leading robot producer, and says it drew “rave reviews” at Automatica 2016, an international exhibition for automation and robotics in Munich, Germany.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is reported by Reuters news agency as saying she is looking for a “good solution” in response to the Chinese takeover bid for Kuka, one of the biggest industrial robot manufacturers in the world.
Midea, a Chinese producer of household appliances, recently offered $5 billion to take over Kuka, and the robot-maker’s chairman, Dr Till Reuter, has already said the bid “can support our strategy”.