On the enablers of what makes Chinese tech trends take off
Certainly agree on the education part. I'm curious what the gov. thought about rise of ed-tech. The rise of after-school tutorial/online tutorials etc. certainly hints that public education is terrible. Not good for the gov's face. Will the gov. see ed-tech as a threat?
One of the cool patterns I've noticed on Douyin are the rural live-streamers. I watched a Mongolian business owner sell dried beef goods via livestream while playing traditional Mongolian music in the background in rural Inner Mongolia.
Per your essay, I definitely get the "creating economic infrastructure / institutions" framework by strengthening rural economies via livestream tech. It's definitely something I wish the US capitalized on more in its rural areas.
seriously some great stuff. can we get a preview of what the paid content might look like? i'm very certain i'd pay.
Lillian, do you know if there is a theory or school of thoughts that focuses around enabling factors rather than leaving them as secondary considerations? In line with your mention of the "one-size-fits all" approach of the IMF, I find there is a similar approach in investing with an obsession on "value". As in, a value-driven approach would look at "Chinese tech" opportunities and assume that the underlying value is based on the same characteristics they share with other non-Chinese tech based companies. Meanwhile, it is those characteristics and the conditions of the market (as you so appropriately point out here) that actually dictate the return on investment. I find this to be such a common point, considering enabling factors as primary factors, that I have to believe there is a school of thought that is built on this.
Thanks for the insights, but I see there are many "egg and chicken" dilemmas when we try to isolate contexts from phenomena. Many of the factors are interwoven. Since you mentioned in posts that you studied international development. One topic I am always curious about that is relevant to international development is that how the poverty-entrepreneurship relationship plays out in China. I remember research pointed out the only 30% of netizens receive monthly income over RMB 5,000 (around US$ 700). And many of them may originally leaded a modest if not improvised life (sole proprietorships, freelancers, or unemployed).
Some scholars suggest that poverty may induce people's risk-taking behaviors.
Take Livestream E-commerce as an example, the cost of setting up a Livestream is near zero, with the prevalence of broadband networks and mobile phones, the barrier is further lowered. This permits critical mass adoption. And has a higher chance for low-income people to adopt, learn and make profits.
I wonder whether this could be an angle that worth looking into in the future.
All in all, thanks for your insightful coverage. I will definitely follow it.
Another sound article. Two questions:
1. Other than Edtech (love the breakdown there), what other verticals do you see as having particularly unique Chinese characteristics, particularly curious on your thoughts on healthcare
2. In my observations, closing the trust gap seems to differ based on demographics/geography. What are unique mechanisms for closing that in China?
Sorry if these questions are rather vague/open-ended questions, but those are the ones that surface upon an initial read. Thanks. Btw really appreciate the way you lay out your premises and contextualize your arguments, its nuanced.