Silicon Dragon’s Top 10 US-China Tech & Venture Trends In 2019

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Here’s my list of the top ten trends of 2019. Stay tuned for 2020 predictions next week.

  1. China tech has finally gone mainstream and recognized as a force globally after years of being considered inferior or just copy-cats of American innovations.
  2. Chinese business models have started to filter into the U.S. such as AI-driven, 15-second video app TikTok, which has created quite a controversial stir over censored content or not.
  3. A Copy from China to the U.S. phenomenon replaced the former Copy to China practice that was a hallmark of China’s internet boom a decade ago. Starbucks copied the on-demand delivery startup Luckin Coffee. LimeBike copied Chinese bike-sharing upstarts Ofo and Mobike.
  4. China moved ahead aggressively in new technologies such as 5G telecom, artificial intelligence, drones and robotics, outspending the U.S. in several key sectors. China already had leapfrogged the U.S. in use of mobile payments with Alipay and WeChat Pay, and the New Retail digitalized shopping experience.
  5. Long-time US-China collaboration and cooperation in tech became a politically charged issue as Washington, DC regulators cracked down on Chinese investment in the U.S. over security issues and intellectual property protection.
  6. Several Chinese tech companies got caught in the cross-fire between Washington, DC and China’s Silicon Valley. A ban was put on U.S. sales to many leading Chinese AI companies. A block was put on U.S. companies selling to Chinese telecom giant Huawei when trade talks broke down.
  7. Chinese tech companies started to develop more of their own technologies and become less reliant on the U.S. as a source as frictions over China and the U.S. tech superpowers escalated. Huawei developed its own operating system for its phones. The pressures are leading to a decoupling of the supply chain and a possible “Splinternet” in dual standards for technology.
  8. China’s venture boom fizzled as investments in Chinese startups fell by about half in the first six months of 2019 compared to a year earlier. Likewise, China venture investment for U.S. startups nearly dried up and restrictions were placed on Chinese venture firms investing in America.
  9. China IPOs in New York were strong despite talk of a ban on Chinese listings in the U.S. But the action looked unlikely to reach the 8-year high level mark of 2018, when 31 Chinese companies went public on Nasdaq and the NYSE.
  10. The tech titans of China consolidated their power by moving into new economic sectors outside their core focus and expanding to new geographies such as Southeast Asia with acquisitions.