The cloud computing ecosystem in China continues to grow. That’s according to a new report.

The findings from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), as reported by the Xinhua News Agency, said that the cloud market size rose almost 40% in 2018.

In total, the Chinese cloud market was said to be worth 96.28 billion yuan (£11.14bn) in 2018, up 39.2% from 2017.

But, perhaps even more interestingly, the market is expected to double in size between now and 2022 and is forecasted to reach 173.1bn yuan.

What can we learn from this growth?

While these stats are no-doubt interesting to tech geeks like the people at Cloud Geeni, there is a reason why we are sharing this information.

Over the last few years, China has transformed itself to become a hive of technological innovation. And today, rather than just catching up, it has leapfrogged the West when it comes to ideas and innovation.

For example

  • Government initiatives such as “Made in China 2025” are advancing the country’s tech and increasing ideas-driven innovation with government policies providing preferred tax breaks to IoT manufacturers
  • China is already using artificially intelligent (AI) news broadcasters
  • Smart fleets of bicycles and public transport embedded with Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are making urban transportation smarter, more accessible and more efficient
  • Debit cards are rapidly falling out-of-fashion due to new mobile payment options. In fact, according to reports, mobile payments are so widely accepted that even street beggars take payments via phone and QR codes. In China, there were £24million mobile transactions in 2012. By 2016 that figure rose to £9.8trillion.

“China skipped the PC and the credit card; smartphones were the way many people were exposed to the internet for the first time. So today, products aren’t just mobile first, many are mobile only.” Connie Chan, general partner, Andreessen Horowitz

Is China’s way of life the future?

Most probably. In fact, looking to the future, we can expect to see far less division between online and offline with AI, apps and big data all becoming the norm. And these all rely on the power of the cloud.

Crucially, when looking at China, it also becomes apparent how integrated technology is. For example, rather than an app for everything, there is ONE app for everything. That multi-purpose app (WeChat) integrates messaging, social media and payment functions and has more than 1.1 billion global users. Only this week, The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) launched its WeChat public account as a new channel of policy communication with the public. Although there are concerns that WeChat is being used as a tool for oppression with monitored, collected, stored, analysed, censored and accessed by Chinese authorities.

Despite such problems, when it comes to tech, China is innovating rather than imitating. So, businesses of all kinds should be looking towards the East if they want to get a glimpse of what is becoming possible when it comes to technology.

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