Innovation

Students take part in an evacuation drill in a primary school in Kunming, Yunnan province, China, 11 May 2022. (CNS)

China wants to create a new democratic system. Is that possible?

Domestic and external pressures compel China to face the issue of democracy. With growing affluence and diversity in the population, the government needs to find a way to incorporate various views that goes beyond the Mao-era “mass line”. In forging a new path, the Chinese Communist Party is feeling its way around bringing about a socialist neo-democracy, or what has been verbalised as “whole-process people’s democracy”. But what stands in the way of putting thought into action?
Astronauts (from left) Ye Guangfu, Wang Yaping and Zhai Zhigang wave during a ceremony ahead of the launch of the Long March-2F Y13 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft and them in China's second crewed mission to build its own space station, at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China, 15 October 2021. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Can commercial space programmes take off in China?

EAI academic Qian Jiwei notes that as China’s space capabilities increase, the field is being opened up to private companies. This move is likely to spark off greater innovation and efficiency for the industry and give China a leg up in the space race, but challenges exist in offering targeted policies and managing innovative outputs.
This photo taken on 28 November 2021 shows candidates queueing to take the national examination for admissions to the civil service in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province. (AFP)

Are China's youths leaving the internet sector for the public sector?

With the ongoing pandemic and last year's crackdowns on internet giants, some young people are switching tracks and moving from the private sector — especially the internet sector — to the public sector, which is still thought of as a stable career. Will this lead to a loss of talent for the internet sector? Zaobao journalist Liu Liu speaks to young people and academics for their views.
People wearing protective masks walk on a street in Shanghai, China, 14 January 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

China needs timely and professional financial supervision and Singapore's experience may help

China must guard against pursuing too much financial development too fast, says NUS academic Pei Sai Fan. Only when a fine and delicate balance is struck between financial development and financial supervision — taking both financial innovation and financial stability into account — can the innovative development of the financial sector project its positive energy and dutifully serve the real economy. In that endeavour, it will be important for regulatory authorities to recruit and retain professional talents who embrace innovation, know much about fintech and are au fait with ways of growing the emerging digital financial sector as well as the market and financial risks.
SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks on a screen during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, 29 June 2021. (Nacho Doce/File Photo/Reuters)

Elon Musk and the new China-US space race

A Chinese space station’s near-collision with Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites has Chinese internet pundits wondering if this is another ploy by the US to contain China’s space progress and steal China’s space technologies. Is a new China-US space race in the offing? Zaobao’s China Desk examines the issue.
Xiamen is known as “Egret Island” and the “garden on the sea”. (CNS)

The case of Xiamen: Are special economic zones in China no longer special?

Despite having a head start in being established as a special economic zone (SEZ), Xiamen’s economy lags behind other cities in Fujian province such as Quanzhou and Fuzhou. Coupled with disproportionately high property prices, Xiamen is not doing as well as other places like Pudong New Area and Shenzhen either, which started their development spurt later but have overtaken Xiamen. Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing looks at how Xiamen can turn things around.
Projects like The Sandbox are centred on NFTs. Players themselves can create their own digital assets in the game – such as costumes and weapons for their avatar – as an NFT. Players can likewise own virtual “land” in The Sandbox’s universe, similarly in the form of NFTs. The land units are represented in a map that forms The Sandbox metaverse. (The Sandbox/SPH)

If Chinese video producers and gamers can become metaverse creators

In this second article in a series on the metaverse, technology expert Yin Ruizhi says that video creation platforms like Douyin and Kuaishou, as well as sandbox games such as Mini World, might give an idea of how users can help create the virtual world in the metaverse if the financial and creative bar is lowered such that participating is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
The China-US tech competition is intensifying, with experts saying that the US should maintain its lead, at least for now. (Philip Fong/AFP)

Technology and innovation race: US losing edge to China?

Observers of China-US competition have commented that a tech war is rapidly becoming the decisive battleground in the big power rivalry for global dominance. While there have been reports saying that the US may lose this war, visiting senior fellow at the RSIS Dr Cung Vu thinks that given the US's recognition of the importance of technology, and China's recent acts of reining in its tech companies, the US should continue to lead.
An employee gestures next to a Lenovo logo at Lenovo Tech World in Beijing, China, 15 November 2019. (Jason Lee/Reuters)

Lenovo's IPO withdrawal: Why Lenovo is no longer the golden boy of the Chinese tech industry

Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu notes that Lenovo’s aborted bid to get listed on Shanghai’s STAR Market is telling of it being held back by a lack of R&D and innovation. Is this emblematic of other companies in China’s manufacturing industry who went for low-hanging fruits in the early days instead of planning for long-term technological development?