The four major breakthroughs in modern China

Updated 2017-09-13 11:00:17 CGTN

Ancient China came up with four inventions which had a massive impact on the world - papermaking, gunpowder, printing and the compass.

Fast forward to the 21st Century and four modern-day breakthroughs have revolutionized daily life for millions of people around the country.

First, the high speed rail network. Connecting most major cities, the high-speed railway system has been praised as fast, comfortable and more punctual than air travel.

Second, mobile payment. This has transformed China into a predominately cashless society, where even credit and debit cards are seldom used. The penetration rate of cellphone payments now stands at 65 percent, with everything from high end department stores right down to street food vendors allowing customers to scan a QR code to pay for goods and services.

Third, the shared bicycle system. This has had a massive impact on the way Chinese people travel and single-handedly sparked a bicycle revival in China. Scan to ride, then lock and leave. No docking stations are needed at all! This phenomenally popular model has even been exported to countries such as Singapore and the UK.

And finally, online shopping. In China, not just clothes and books can be bought at the touch of a button...quite literally everything can be found and bought online. Takeout food, laundry and manicure services, flowers, goods storage. The list is, quite literally, endless.

Of these four areas which have revolutionized life in China, entrepreneur Bruce Nikoo says he has been most impressed by the explosive popularity of mobile payments.

"It is not just money; China is creating lots of foundations and programs, they encourage Chinese enterprises, specifically information and communication technology to invest research and development, the key driver behind the new growth trajectory of China is going to be science, technology and innovation," he said.

However, Nikoo did point out that China has been growing so rapidly in the last four decades that some worry further development might be difficult.

In 2016, the State Council issued a national scientific and technological innovation plan to improve the country's technology and innovation capabilities, and to bring comprehensive innovation capabilities up into the world's top 15 by 2020.

In 2015, 213 billion US dollars were spent on scientific research and experiments. Invention patent ownership reached 630 per million people. In addition, the contribution rate of technology to economic growth increased from 21 percent in 2010 to 55 percent in 2015.

Furthermore, the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in China is also thriving. According to Bruce Nikoo, the next wave is going to be AI, and the strategy of every company is going to be an AI first strategy.

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