In this engaging opinion piece by former SCMP staffer, Tom Holland “Beijing’s Made in China 2025 Plan isn’t dead, it’s out of control” he highlights China’s target to reach “70% self-sufficiency in critical components across a range of high-tech industries” and goes on to say “as of the middle of last year, they had set up 1,940 “government guidance funds” to finance technology investment. On paper, these are modelled on the sort of private venture capital funds that financed the early development of Silicon Valley’s tech giants. In reality, however, they are government-run bodies set up to direct capital to chosen sectors in accordance with government policy”.
We’re currently running two projects for Australian owned technology companies which are tapping into the ‘environmental protection’ and ‘clean energy’ sectors in China and, as with the vision for all sectors, our research and planning is made easier by China’s ‘top down’ planning approach, meaning that (a) their vision for each sector (especially in food, healthcare and environmental protection) is well documented, prioritised and resourced (b) funds have been allocated to support local companies attract foreign innovation and technology, and (c) targets, milestones and goals have been set for 1, 3, 5 and 10 years. No guess-work necessary!
The message is clear. Foreign entrepreneurs and innovators need to commercialise their ideas in China and ‘go global’ from there if they want to tap into Chinese investment. Sitting at home and hoping it will come to you is getting a lot harder now.