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China's tech industry catching up with Silicon Valley "faster than expected": economist

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-02-20 18:15

LONDON - China's technology industry has been catching up with the United States far faster than expected, with e-commerce and mobile payments already overtaking America, The Economist reported.

For example, China's venture capital funding was less than 10 percent of the United States' five years ago. But the latest data shows it to be more than 80 percent.

China's artificial intelligence papers cited by third parties grew to some 90 percent of that of the United States, a sign that it's catching up in hard science, the report noted.

China's e-commerce transaction level was already neck and neck with that of the United States five years ago. According to latest data, it's about 175 percent of the United States'.

China's mobile payments totaled 81 trillion yuan (about $12.77 trillion) as of October 2017, the world's largest volume, according to the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. It was much more than the volume for the whole of 2016, which stood at 58.8 trillion yuan.

However, despite the rapid growth, the article noted China's weaknesses in the technology industry, saying China's tech companies are worth only about one third of America's, and they generate relatively little revenue abroad.

China is still 10 to 15 years away from reaching tech parity with the United States, the report said.

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