Wang Yanbo

Assistant Professor, Department of Strategy & Policy, National University of Singapore Business School

Wang Yanbo is an assistant professor in the Department of Strategy & Policy at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, where he is also the PhD programme coordinator. His research and teaching areas are in entrepreneurship, innovation, social networks and political economy. His current projects investigate the productivity of Chinese research scientists, as well as map the population level social networks among Chinese entrepreneurs. Wang has a PhD from MIT Sloan School of Management.

In this file photo taken on 20 October 2019, people walk in front of a screen at the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China. (Aly Song/File Photo/Reuters)

Beijing's tech conundrum in 2021: How to bolster tech sector while reining in the digital giants

Amid greater efforts at achieving greater self-sufficiency in developing core technologies, China will turn to an erstwhile resource it has depended on — the state — to move forward. But will state-controlled venture capital funds be nimble enough to catch the next wave of tech innovations? And judging by the regulatory clampdown on Ant Group and others in recent months, a key preoccupation of 2021 will remain growing the digital economy while trying to rein in digital giants.
Robin Li, co-founder and chairman of Baidu.com Inc., poses during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, on 23 January 2008. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg News)

What happened to Baidu, once China's golden boy of innovation?

Wang Yanbo picks apart news of Baidu’s alleged plans to raise up to $2 billion over three years to invest in a biotech start-up, which would use AI technology to develop drugs and help diagnose diseases. Is this yet another example of business giants flailing into unchartered territory to seek new growth? Wasn’t China’s multi-billion dollar search market Baidu’s to harvest once Google ceased its Chinese operations in 2010 amid cyberattacks and censorship issues?
China and US flags are seen near a TikTok logo in this illustration picture taken on 16 July 2020. (Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters)

Banning TikTok: A 'China Crusade' has begun?

Following TikTok’s shutting down in the Indian market, and the US’s announcement of its ban, countries such as Japan and New Zealand have also begun to consider imposing sanctions on TikTok. Does the crux of the problem lie in the company’s practices over user privacy and information security, or in the geopolitical struggle among the major powers? In the future, will other Chinese technology companies face the same fate as TikTok when they expand overseas?