China and Fintech: Reverse Engineering Western Technologies?

In this article, our guest writer, Luke Hatkinson-Kent, a Freelance Financial Writer, discusses whether China may eventually stop copying ideas and technologies from US tech companies. If you like his work, you can reach him at [email protected].

Competition is key to any market or economy, whether local, national or international. The rivalries are great for accelerating growth and innovation, as companies big and small attempt to break new ground daily. After all, this edge is the very fuel of business, discovering a new niche that will surely send customers into overdrive for the latest new gadget, product or service.

However, this desperation for success can ultimately incite some businesses to cut corners, flouting originality and instead ripping off their competitors. Consequently, theft can masquerade as innovation, with subtle differences allowing the alleged frauds to join the market on equal footing. Of course, hacking is not unfamiliar in the world of technology, but what happens when the ideas themselves are stolen?

The crux of this argument can be narrowed down to two countries; the US and China.

 Will China Innovate?

Despite being a manufacturing superpower and the world’s second largest economy, China is widely accused of extrapolating ideas from others operating overseas. Consequently, a deep divide is formed, particularly in how the USA and China perceive one another technologically.

Judging by China’s high status on the global economic stage, they certainly have the means and resources of funding their own innovations. The stark divide is allegedly characterised by the ‘vision’ of the US against the ‘hard work’ of China, when sophisticated technology demands a combination of both. Despite a long list of replications, China are capable in striking out for new ground should they use their resources effectively.

Of course, China may never be able to shake this history of doubling unless they innovate fast. However, it’s already happening now.

 Fraud in Fintech?

China has begun to adamantly distance itself from its copying credentials. Surprisingly, the big western companies such as Twitter and Facebook have begun adopting quirks from China’s WeChat, putting the shoe firmly on the other foot. Consequently, change is undeniably inbound and is starting at the top.

While grand inventions from China are reasonably on the horizon, the power of segregation via brand still stirs drama and accusations of copy. For example, Apple loyalists accuse Chinese company Xiaomi of copying presentation styles, despite tech companies everywhere adopting these quirks in homage. Admittedly, it’s uninspired marketing, though likely to syphon credibility to a completely fresh and vulnerable product.

Additionally, trade itself can cancel out any doubled products. Companies such as Oanda provide an accurate view into the global market, opening it to new opportunities and retail investors worldwide. Additionally, with further solutions in over 51 currency payments, such services can incite fair and lucrative trade over blatant copying, pitting China in the perfect position moving forward in their inventions.

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