Do you see a trend? Do you hear footsteps? The total value of China’s internet economy is already bigger than America’s. And China’s economy now is so cashless that many women no longer carry purses or men wallets — just a cellphone with mobile apps — to buy anything, or even donate to a beggar.
And don’t get me started on the biggest emerging work and services tool in the world — artificial intelligence. China’s plan is to catch up to America in A.I. and surpass it as soon as possible, and it’s well on its way. Because with A.I., the more training data you can feed the machine the faster it learns, the more patterns you can see and the more algorithms you can write to improve products and services or invent new ones. Because China has so many more people than we do, and so many more of them use mobile apps for their daily lives, China’s ability to amass giant data sets and train more machines faster is considerable.
“If data is the new oil, then China is the new Saudi Arabia,” remarked Kai-Fu Lee, author of “AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order.”