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China Is Growing in AI and Blockchain as U.S. Dominance Slips


A survey of the global startup ecosystem found that China is growing as a top player in the tech industry, as the number of high-valuation young firms rises and the country surpasses the United States as a source of patent applications.

Global Startup Ecosystems Report 2018, an analysis of more than 60 startup ecosystems in 24 countries by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, was released on April 17 at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Istanbul.

The survey found that four years ago 14% of the world’s unicorns were based in China. In 2017 and 2018 so far, that percentage stood around 35%. A unicorn means a startup valued at more than US$1 billion.

The share of U.S.-based unicorns has fallen from 61% to 41% percent of the overall global number in the same four years. The report called China “the primary growth driver” in startups globally.

Education on the rise

Chinese entrepreneurs are rapidly increasing their knowledge in production, as measured by parents, especially in artificial intelligence and blockchain, the survey found.

While American blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) startups have more venture capital, China has surpassed the United States in patent applications. Chinese businesses held four times as many AI-related patents and three times as many blockchain and crypto-related patents as of 2017.

“A major way we see the map of entrepreneurship changing globally with new hubs of excellence is the increase of activity in Asia and the decline of U.S. preeminence,” the report states. “The United States and Silicon Valley are still the top value creators in the global startup ecosystem—but their dominance is not as sharp as it once was.”

The report also found that early-stage investment in advertising technologies, gaming and digital media is declining. Adtech, for example, has seen a roughly 35% drop in funding over the past five years.

But the report says investment is growing in advanced manufacturing, robotics, agricultural technology, blockchain, and AI.

Survey background and Taipei’s role

The survey amalgamated the voices of more than 10,000 startup founders as well as data from startup database Crunchbase and data company Orb Intelligence. The results are geared to inform public and private decision makers about how to build vibrant startup ecosystems.

A 240-page report summarizing survey results includes startup, investment, and policy insights from 45 cities including Taipei.

Business Next is the first Taiwanese network partner of Startup Genome, a U.S.-based organization that researches startup ecosystems. The Taipei-based media group acted as a representative of Taiwanese startup ecosystem and contributed to the survey during the second half of 2017.

News source is from Business Next.