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From “Made In China” To “Created In China”, A Small Change That Could Have A Big Impact

The “Made In China” label will, in the near future, be replaced by the “Created In China” label.

Having proven themselves to be a manufacturing behemoth, China is now going all out to become an innovation giant.

This change is being brought about by a richer middle class and the realization by the central government that socio-economic adjustments need to be implemented. Less than a decade ago, the label made in China was synonymous with inferior quality and durability. The only thing going for China-manufactured goods was that they were cheap.

Consider China’s push to become a global leader in artificial intelligence. In July of last year, China announced that it intends to spend $22 billion by the end of 2020 to upgrade the country’s core AI industries. And it will spend another $59 billion by 2025 on the same sector.

This push is endorsed from the very top. In a recent televised speech, sharp-eyed observers noted that China President Xi Jinping had two AI books on the shelf behind him.

To assume a position of dominance, China intends to take on the parallel issues of hardware and software development. In a report to the Pentagon, a U.S. think tank acknowledged that China is racing to have a AI Military edge over the U.S. For a country that has defied  international rulings in the past (e.g. the West Philippine Sea ruling), this kind of attitude could be worrying. China’s State Council admitted that “national security and international competition” were the key incentives for this push into AI.

China also recently announced a program to attract foreign talent. With the aim of enlarging the pool of specialized foreign talent, these Certificates for Foreign High-end Talent will give recipients and their immediate families 5 to 10-year working visas.

In contrast, normal working visas have to be renewed every one or two years. These high end certificates are available to top scientists, businessmen, and sports coaches. Foreigners who earn more than 6 times the annual average income as well as postdoctoral students are also welcome.

Figures from 2016 indicated that Japan was the primary source of high-end talent, followed by the U.S. and South Korea. With talent and money, their is little doubt that created in China will mean superior AI and high-end goods instead of cheap and toxic plastic toys.

France has also implemented a similar program to attract U.S. climate scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs disgruntled by the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

With China’s push to attract top talent, the U.S. might find itself playing catch up to its rival from the East.

Do you think the label ‘Created In China’ would affect how you feel about purchasing Chinese goods?



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