China's Grey Tech Economy

My August installment of Discontinuities for Current Intelligence, “Mirror World: China’s Evolving Tech Sector,” focuses on the dynamics of that country’s burgeoning technology manufacturing market—in particular its black and grey markets. Shifting from the world’s factory to an often murky place of both counterfeit and innovation, China’s growth will impact how we develop technology elsewhere, and may set off a tech arms race for control of the world’s communications and computing power in the next few decades. An excerpt:

“The geopolitical implications of this diverging highway are important at cultural, economic and political levels. As CEOs in businesses that have grown fat on a largely monopolar world can already tell you, the advent of a strengthening second center of power eats into already cloudy future market opportunities. It also has the capability to reshape demand based on different sets of values—those of Shanghai and Beijing casting a shadow on or displacing Madison Avenue and Sandhill Road. On a political level, China’s multi-lane technology future will fuel growing insularity and further stoke a return to regionalism. Just as the Chinese are uneasy about long-term use of Western components for military applications, there are rumblings in Washington about insecurity in technology supply chains flowing to the West from China. This is likely to be inflamed even more as field reports from an escalating East-on-West cyberwar become more alarming.”


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