Over the years, China has picked up an image of being a copycat in technology, creating knock-off products already produced in the U.S or elsewhere. That image is quickly disappearing.
The balance of power in technology is shifting. China, which for years watched enviously as the West invented the software and the chips powering today’s digital age, has become a major player in artificial intelligence, what some think may be the most important technology of the future. Experts widely believe China is only a step behind the United States.
A California woman was arrested on Tuesday on federal charges of conspiring to procure and illegally export sensitive space communications technology to her native China, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement. Si Chen, also known as Cathy Chen, 32, could face a prison term of up to 150 years if convicted of all charges contained in the 14-count indictment returned against her by a federal grand jury on April 27, the department said.
China has launched its first aircraft carrier built entirely on its own, in a demonstration of the growing technical sophistication of its defense industries and determination to safeguard its maritime territorial claims and crucial trade routes. The 50,000-ton carrier was towed from its dockyard just after 9 a.m. Wednesday following a ceremony in the northern port city of Dalian, where its predecessor, the Soviet-built Liaoning, also underwent extensive refurbishing before being commissioned in 2012, the Ministry of National Defense said.
While the United States is still at the top in total investment in research and development -- spending $500 billion in 2015 -- a new Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study released Monday has made a startling finding: A couple of years ago, China quietly surpassed the U.S. in spending on the later stage of R&D that turns discoveries into commercial products.
There are few restrictions on investing in American start-ups that focus on artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles and robotics, the report contends, and China has taken advantage. Beijing, the report says, is encouraging its companies to invest for the purpose of pushing the country ahead in its strategic competition with the United States.
Unfortunately, recent data shows that we are losing ground when it comes to the protection of IP and patents - consequently, we are falling behind in the innovation race. While China has long been seen as a nation which does not respect Intellectual Property and where piracy has been rampant, it appears they may have seen the error of their ways and are increasing their patent protections as we have started to undermine ours.
Unfortunately for the U.S., while America is a big user of robotics it's well behind in the field of robots for industrial manufacturing and stands to lose out on the billions of dollars in purchases of robotics in the years ahead. Japan's Fanuc Corp. is the world's largest industrial-robot producer. Germany-based Kuka is another major player. Last year, China's appliance giant Midea Group snapped up a majority stake in Kuka.
Chinese companies are investing billions of dollars in Western startups, which are working on the latest technology. According to Dodwell, director of the Hong Kong Trade Policy Group and a representative of the APEC Business Council, contrary to the naive notions in the West, China is moving toward global technological dominance.
China's breakneck economic expansion may be flagging, but the country's ambitions in space show no signs of slowing down. Alongside ongoing efforts to rival NASA by placing robotic landers, and eventually astronauts, on the moon and Mars, China's government is increasingly looking to its burgeoning space sector to rival U.S. companies like Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX, which is targeting March 30 for the latest launch of its Falcon 9 rocket..