In episode 330, Gareth Nicholson, deputy technology editor on the technology desk from South China Morning Post (SCMP), joined us to discuss the China Internet Report 2020 and its impact to the rest of the world. We discuss the key major trends: the impact of COVID-19 on China tech and how it transform food delivery, the accelerated self-reliance of Chinese companies due to the US and China tensions, the year of 5G for mass adoption in the Chinese domestic market, live streaming and ecommerce, and finally, why the Chinese companies are now moving their US listings back to China. Last but not least, Gareth shared the key trends that he will watch out for in 2021.
Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion:
Gareth Nicholson, deputy Technology Editor on the Technology desk, South China Morning Post.
Since our last conversation, what have you been up to?
Now let’s talk about the report. It’s SCMP’s 3rd annual report, what are some of the key sections and themes that the China Internet report has always focused on?
As we understand that SCMP has been delivering the China Internet Report every year since 2016, what are the key themes which the report have discussed every year till now?
I love how the report starts off with ‘China in a glance’ which provides readers with a general background of the Chinese internet space. The graphic comparisons for the China vs US internet landscapes are helpful. For example, I didn’t know that China has about 3 times the number of internet users at 904M in comparison to US’s almost 300 million (298M). Can you provide us a snapshot on how the Chinese Internet is now compared with respect to the US?
Who are now the key players within the Chinese tech ecosystem, as we notice that Baidu has dropped down to number 11?
Trend #1: Impact of COVID-19 to China Tech Sector
What is the impact of COVID-19 on China’s tech sector?
How did the Ministry of Industry & Information Technology in China respond to COVID-19 pandemic? with plans along the 5 themes: building a strong infrastructure network, applying digital technology in all sectors, enhancing data security, strengthening tech innovation and optimizing broader industry development?
Trend #2: China Accelerated Self-Reliance on Tech
With the ongoing tension escalating between the US and China, how is China doing on the path of becoming technologically self-reliant?
What are some of China’s major challenges?
What is the impact of this move to self-reliance for Huawei and other Chinese companies?
Where are the competencies that Chinese tech firms will need to develop to bridge the gap between them and the US?
Trend #3: The year of mass adoption for 5G
Is this the year for mass adoption for 5G?
What will be the impact of 5G for Chinese tech in the next two to three years?
Trend #4: Live Streaming's 3rd Phase in China
What are the 3 phases of livestream in China and what’s after the 3rd phase?
Trend #5: China companies listing back at home (Hong Kong and Shanghai)
We are seeing a lot of Chinese companies looking to list in HK or Shanghai. Do you see this a part of the great trend due to the tensions between the US and China?
At the same time, we see accounting scandals for example, Luckin Coffee and TAL education and this leads to more scrutiny to Chinese companies, do you think that more and more chinese companies will delist from the US and move back to China?
What topics are covered in the pro-report as compared from the free report?
The show is hosted and produced by Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin) and originally created by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, "The Beginning" from Red Cliff Soundtrack.