From Made in China to Innovated in China

This winter, I will be traveling to Beijing on an AT&T New Media Fellowship to investigate innovation in China. Specifically, I am intrigued by the role of the government in shaping innovation. Beijing has set ambitious targets for China to become a world leader in Science & Technology, and wants China to be the country where the world's next Silicon Valley is located. Contrary to the US, the Chinese government has been extremely hands-on and involved when it comes to encouraging innovation in the private sector. 

Is the role of the government in promoting innovation constructive, or does picking industrial champions, and choosing winners and losers lead to unintended, negative effects?

Location

Beijing
China
  • Kai Herng Loh | January 20th, 2012
    Americans concerned about China's rise routinely point to China's lack of freedom and democracy as a major obstacle in her drive to become a global superpower. The argument goes that China will always play second fiddle to the United States as long...
  • Kai Herng Loh | January 14th, 2012
    Peking University and Tsinghua University, sometimes referred to as China's Harvard and MIT respectively, are located in the Haidian area of Beijing, about 45 minutes to an hour away by subway from Tiananmen Square, the center of the city. They are...
  • Kai Herng Loh | January 11th, 2012
    During the course of this project, I've had the privilege of conducting interviews with some really influential people in China. Some are top academics or researchers, and inevitably, they all work at either Peking or Tsinghua University, said to be...
  • Kai Herng Loh | January 5th, 2012
    Picture Above: I had the opportunity to interview Enge Wang, the Vice-President of Peking University. This winter, the AT&T Fellowship has been a great opportunity for me to not only visit a foreign country, but to study it in-depth. Though...
  • Kai Herng Loh | December 24th, 2011
    Merry Christmas! I'm in China, where the consumerism part of the Christmas spirit is going strong indeed. The bustle and very evident prosperity around me tells me that China is indeed having a very good year, just as it has had in the past thirty...
  • Kai Herng Loh | December 23rd, 2011
    I didn't have any interviews lined up yesterday, so I took the chance to visit the 798 Art District in the western area of Beijing. This used to be a military factory, but after the factory was decommissioned, artists moved in to take advantage of...
  • Kai Herng Loh | December 12th, 2011
    Ever since Silicon Valley became synonymous with creativity and technology companies like Microsoft and Google, countries around the world have come to realize the economic benefits of concentrated, creative ecosystems in different high-tech sectors...