Why Is China Better At Innovation?

People don’t really say “Made In China” as if it’s a bad thing anymore. The ones that do are misinformed.

I just finished my Regulation of FinTech  class at the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Law School. I came in expecting to get answers or a comprehensive legal framework on, well, FinTech, but came out with some answers, and a lot more things to think about. The title above is just one of those questions.

It does not require a lot of digging to confirm that China has gotten better and bigger at innovation in the past few years, though I admit that’d been under my nose for some time. Alibaba, for instance, is bigger than its Western counterpart, Amazon, in several ways. Just see:

And it’s not just Alibaba. Chinese companies like Haier is taking a huge lead in IoT:

One could go on. But the point is not the what but the how.

This wasn’t an easy question to answer in class when it was raised, and even my Chinese classmates could not point to a single reason. They can attest, however, to how they grew up with these innovations happening right before their eyes.

I don’t pretend to offer an answer, but I’ve come across two articles that attempt to give an informed explanation on this. Some people would say these are speculations, but at least it starts a conversation that doesn’t seem to be happening right now. (Or at least not that I’m aware of.)

This article, Do China’s Technology Titans Encourage Innovation, Or Do They Stifle It? says that the rapid pace of innovation can be attributed to the major land grab phase China is undergoing, which at some point will mature and reach a plateau. Another one, China Is Innovating Faster Than You Imagine, attributes innovation in China to Darwinian competition, leaving competitors no choice but to innovate or die.

Of course the hope behind all this intellectual speculation is to deduct a model, a principle, a theory of some sort–just about anything–that developing countries can hold on to and hopefully emulate.

Or perhaps that’s precisely what developing countries like the Philippines need to let go of: the idea that theories gleaned from other contexts are worth replicating. Maybe we just need to look inwards at our strengths–which is an admittedly incredibly and almost impossibly optimistic thing to say. But that’s a different story altogether.


PIPA, SOPA, and what they mean for the future of the Internet

Two pieces of legislation are currently making its way in the US House of Representatives and the Senate. The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and the Personal Information Protection Act, or PIPA, will potentially change the way users exchange and facilitate information in the Internet.

The SOPA and PIPA will work together to oblige internet service providers to block websites that posts or links to copyrighted content. Search engines like Google and Yahoo! likewise cannot display results from websites that violate the proposed law.

Continue reading “PIPA, SOPA, and what they mean for the future of the Internet”

Pottermore to continue the legacy of Harry Potter?

The release of last Harry Potter movie was, for many people, the end of a 10-year journey that started with the first Harry Potter movie. Its worldwide screening was a milestone in itself–breaking record sales, spawning thousands of joyful and sentimental tweets, and getting some of the best reviews for a Harry Potter film yet.

But now that the Harry Potter movie series is officially over (or is it?), fans and perennial viewers are asking themselves: what’s next?

Continue reading “Pottermore to continue the legacy of Harry Potter?”

Google Shuts Down Google Health and PowerMeter

Google has decided to pull the plug on its two products, Google Health and Google PowerMeter. When Google Health was announced, its goal was to consolidate people’s personal health information and allow them to integrate it with other health domains, such as Drugs.com, DiabetesHealth, and American Heart Association among many others. The service allows such information to be available not only to the user but also to his friends, relatives, and even doctors.

Continue reading “Google Shuts Down Google Health and PowerMeter”

iMessage in iOS 5: The End of Paid SMS?

Apple recently announced the release of the iOS at WWDC. Touted as the most advanced mobile operating system, the iOS 5 has more than 200 new features. From brand new features like the Notification Center and the iMessage to updated ones like the Safari browser and the Photos app, the iOS 5 will give Apple fans with an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch 3rd and 4th generations, the iPad and the iPad 2 something to look forward to this coming fall.

Continue reading “iMessage in iOS 5: The End of Paid SMS?”

Did you miss the Billboard Awards?

There’s no use crying over spilled milk. If you missed the Billboard Awards for whatever reason (such as you falling asleep or being totally ignorant that there’s such a thing as the Billboard Awards!), Billboard wants to assure that you can catch up. Thanks to the the social media accounts of Billboard.com in full swing, you can experience the Awards as completely and richly as if you were in the event itself.

Continue reading “Did you miss the Billboard Awards?”

Facebook Spams and Scams, and What You Can Do About It

Like most evils in the world, Facebook spam exists because we allow it to. Although Facebook’s taking spam-generating accounts and posts seriously, you have to be responsible as well and stop being an accidental agent of Facebook spam.

Believe me, this is a lot more difficult than it sounds, and assuming that you’re two steps ahead of these sneaky scams might be the biggest mistake you’ll make. After all, behind these spams and scams are hackers whose preoccupation is to create ingenious ways of breaching Facebook’s admittedly flawed security system. I learned this the hard way myself, after being blindly lured into clicking a link on iPhone 5.

Continue reading “Facebook Spams and Scams, and What You Can Do About It”

News Sites Get their Traffic from Google, Facebook

Have you ever wondered where news sites get their traffic from?

It’s no big secret that journalism has taken a radical turn with the dawn of digital news. Until recently though, the statistics on how news sites are gaining readership compared to the more traditional newspapers hasn’t been clear. But with figures from Nielsen, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence has conducted a research on the behavior of visitors of news sites.

Continue reading “News Sites Get their Traffic from Google, Facebook”

The Informed Filipino Voter: A Myth or Reality?

With the national elections less than three months away from today, you just know I’m going to HAVE to blog about it at some point in time.

In the same class that made me start this blog, we were asked our opinions on whether or not the Internet would change the way the Philippine election is wired.
Continue reading “The Informed Filipino Voter: A Myth or Reality?”

Freelance Writing for a Dirt Cheap Price?

One thing I regularly do when I’m online is to check different websites where freelance writing services are bought and sold. If you’ve been in the freelance writing market as long as I have, then you probably know the sites I’m talking about–www.odesk.com, http://www.elance.com, http://www.getafreelancer.com and so much more.

Continue reading “Freelance Writing for a Dirt Cheap Price?”