Innovation

Onlookers watch the launch of a rocket transporting China’s second module for its Tiangong space station from the Wenchang spaceport in southern China on 24 July 2022. (CNS/AFP)

Rocket scientists in China's party leadership: Countdown to the 20th Party Congress

The rapid rise of “the cosmos club” has paralleled China's rising aspiration to take on a prominent role in the international “space club”. Li Cheng, director of the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution, takes a closer look at the career paths and institutional associations of emerging rocket scientists in China’s national and provincial leadership.
People walk along a street in Beijing, China, on 17 July 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

China can overcome the middle-income trap with technological innovations

Academic Ding Ke believes that the Chinese government is making efforts in using innovation to drive further development of the country and avoid the middle-income trap. But this would prove difficult amid heightened China-US tensions and the trend of economic decoupling.
An aerial view of the Hainan International Convention and Exhibition Center in Hainan province, China, 24 July 2022. (CNS)

Here’s how Hainan can become the next financial hub

Hainan is set to become China’s first free trade port and has great potential to beef up its financial offerings. Academics Pei Sai Fan and Chen Jingwei present a number of suggestions that could boost the Chinese province’s standing as an international hub for financial and regulatory innovations, green financing and connectivity.
A pedestrian walks past a sign for China Broadnet 5G services in Chaoyang district, Beijing, China, 27 June 2022. (CNS)

China's 5G ambitions undiminished by pandemic and sanctions

While China has accelerated its push to build the infrastructure and to promote 5G among telcos and subscribers, it still faces a shortage of exciting new 5G applications that will draw in a constant stream of consumers or find wider industrial use. Amid a hostile external environment, it also faces some challenges in rolling out 5G and other advanced digital technologies through the Digital Silk Road. Nonetheless, it plans to go full steam ahead.
This aerial photo taken on 8 May 2022 shows a farmer planting red pepper seeds with a machine at a field in Bozhou in China's eastern Anhui province. (AFP)

Agricultural technology companies: A new highlight of China's economic growth

Technology expert Yin Ruizhi notes that one sector in which technology is lacking is traditional agriculture. Due to the scattered nature of the sector, it is difficult to implement technological solutions to production and sales. However, tech company Pinduoduo holds the power to integrate the market and reach buyers and sellers across the country.
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.