China becomes the epicenter of technological innovation: top entrepreneur

By Shamim Zakaria Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/2 19:28:40

Business as usual for Chinese tech despite trade war

Photo: VCG

Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit Photo: Courtesy of Web Summit


The US continues to mount pressure on China in the wake of the US-initiated trade war, including blatant attempts to subvert China's economy. Leading global entrepreneurs feel that the world's power dynamic is shifting and China is at the forefront. 

"These are the first signs of a new world; China used to be a little brother but now that little brother has grown up to lead the world," said Paddy Cosgrave, the CEO of Web Summit and the 18th most influential European according to Wired UK.

"When it comes to technology and innovation, China is slated to be the undisputed flag bearer and undoubtedly a global hub for the tech industry," he added.

Cosgrave was on a three-day tour of China, meeting the CEOs of leading tech companies and start-ups. Despite his busy schedule of meetings in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing, he spoke exclusively to the Global Times in Beijing on Tuesday, discussing a range of issues including the trade war, 5G, and what's in store for China in the coming days. 

"The US has for long been the sole consolidation of power, but now things are changing with China as the new global leader. The world market is shifting from the US to China and [the US] can't tolerate this fact," said Cosgrave.

Speaking about the US' ongoing call for its tech companies to shift out of China and the increasing, unwarranted paranoia of Chinese surveillance, Cosgrave said that the US itself has a long history of espionage and still continues to pry; they have no moral right to accuse others.

"If the US has any concrete evidence, they are obliged to share it. Whatever evidence currently exists in the public domain suggests that it is in fact the US that has been spying on the world. National security is just an excuse to dominate other active competitors," he added.

He believes that Americans who consume only US-centric media perceive a completely different trade war. "A mischievous act like tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's telephone was carried out by the US, not China," he pointed out.

The 35-year-old Irish technology entrepreneur is famed for running technology conferences around the word. He describes his work as a matchmaking platform for established companies to meet the newest rising firms. Some of his flagship events are RISE in Hong Kong, Collision in Toronto and Web Summit in Lisbon. These events see the participation of over 120,000 people from more than 170 countries. 

He believes that in the short term the trade war might cast a shadow of uncertainty and adjust estimates for the global technology supply chain, but it will induce long-term benefits for China. 

"This can be referred to as a potential cooling-off period. But thereafter the focus will shift to other emerging markets led by China. This country came from nowhere and is now spearheading and revolutionizing technology with 5G and artificial intelligence," said Cosgrave.

"Look at the mobile payment system in China; it's so convenient for the people. Technology has penetrated every walk of life in China, making life easier, and this is not the same case for any other country," he added.

A recipient of the Outstanding Contribution Award at the 2018 Event Industry Awards in the UK, Cosgrave sees immense potential in the Chinese tech market and believes that eventually the trade war will become disadvantageous for the US. 

He believes Trump seeks to increase his ratings for his reelection in 2020, and predicts that he will strike a deal before polling begins. "He wants to score some political brownie points so that he can chest thump among his voters and say that he successfully managed to secure the toughest trade deal in US history," said Cosgrave.

"China is slated to be the first to roll out 5G, and the US is already falling behind. The US is also on the brink of a war with Iran and current India-US trade relations are little sour. By undertaking so many battles at the same time, the US cannot continue to be a power center for long," he added.

Cosgrave further informed the Global Times after meeting representatives of both established and novice companies in China, he feels that the business environment is totally unaffected and there is a deep sense of optimism among the Chinese entrepreneurs, despite the ongoing trade turmoil in China.


blog comments powered by Disqus