Microsoft's Zhang: China will represent the future of innovation

Summary:Does China have the resources and talent to become the next hotspot for innovation, research and development?

Does China have the resources and talent to become the next hotspot for innovation, research and development?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Ya-Qin Zhang, chairman of Microsoft's Asia Pacific research and development group believes this is the case.

Zhang argues that Chinese engineers are more than capable of matching America in terms of innovative work and research. At the WSJ's Unleashing Innovation conference in Singapore, he commented:

"The scale of innovators and the scale of the market will converge and eventually make China a key [innovation] center in the region. There's been more copying than innovation [previously], but that's going to change."

The chairman also noted that China has invested approximately 2.1 percent of its gross domestic product in research and development over the past five years. However, it may not be finance which scuppers China's attempts at becoming a hotbed for innovation, but cultural norms. In particular, communication and debate practices need to be addressed, according to Zhang.

Professor of innovation and leadership at INSEAD agreed, suggesting that China needs to "foster provocative questioning" if the Asian country is going to advance and become a more attractive target for investors in research and development.

(via WSJ)

Image credit: Yee Tong


This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.