Innovation

People walk past a mural on 26 May 2020 in New York City. (Angela Weiss/AFP)

How to become a country with deity-like qualities? Learn from the US

Before walking under a cloud of strained relations, China had been an admirer of US innovation, creativity and enterprise. Recent troubles have shown that the US is no deity, but US-based researcher Wei Da reminds us that some of its deity-like qualities are worth emulating. What must China do to elevate itself and put on some deity-like armour of its own?
Not all innovations are created equal; how can the right kind of innovation be encouraged and incentivised? (iStock)

An innovative China has overtaken the US in patent numbers?

Associate professor Kenneth Huang from the NUS Business School observes that by 2012, China had overtaken the US in terms of the number of patents filed domestically. But this does not mean that all the innovations filed were truly novel or valuable. His recent study on Chinese state-owned enterprises shows that self-serving human factors are at play.
The typical person is irrational, rapacious and does not abide by the law. While he keeps the interior of his apartment magnificent, he goes outside and leaves a shambolic mess without a sense of public order. (iStock)

The "hooligan middle class" will drag down China’s economic development

Prof Zheng Yongnian bemoans the “culturally-bereft” middle class in China, and labels them the “hooligan middle class”. He opines that the absence of a cultural middle class is the reason why China lacks originality in technology and innovation, why the intellectual community produces little useful knowledge, and why China has not been able to advance towards qualitative economic growth. He offers the solution.
The US and China have been competing on different fronts. (Jason Lee/REUTERS)

China and the US, who innovates better?

Who is the better innovator between China and the US? Prof Chen Kang observes that both sides are lacking in confidence in their innovative capabilities, and the grass seems greener on the other side. What are their strengths and weaknesses, and how can China and the West overcome their own insecurities to be more adaptable and responsive?