Don't Believe Beijing: China Really Does Rival The U.S.


Kenneth Rapoza, Senior Contributor, Forbes

Nov 30, 2018


China's government scoffs at the notion that they rival the U.S. in anything. They're years behind, everyone in China tells you. They've got to be joking. Have they seen their country lately?


After a 10-day trip to China, my first virgin-eyes impression is that China is as advanced as the U.S. They are developing fast in everything tech: artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain, high tech telecommunications systems infrastructure and internet of things. In some cases, they are even more advanced.


SenseTime is China's real-life Big Brother. Its founder, Tang Xiaoou, once recognized as a Google scholar, is on his way to becoming a billionaire.


Liu Qiangdong, better known as Richard Liu here, is already a billionaire. At the 7-Fresh grocery store in Beijing, not far from Liu's, there's this fruit stand that looks awfully similar to anything an American would find at a Trader Joe's or Wholefoods. It's organic. It's small farm friendly. But here at 7-Fresh you can scan a barcode and find out where the apples came from, thanks to a blockchain system they're running. Meanwhile, over my head is a small assembly line of green shopping bags filled with online food orders. It's the Jetsons. I don't think they have this at Wholefoods. I've never seen at an Eataly in Boston or New York. They surely don't have anything like it at Stop & Shop, Kroger's and Star Market. It may all be a cheap contraption designed by those desperate to impress. Push the wrong button and the whole thing falls to pieces. I don't know. I do know that I haven't seen anything like it in the U.S...