Digitized in China: Exporting New Realities

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Gareth Bowen, head of SAP Ariba Greater China.

Made in China. These three simple words define the country and its impact on the global economy. Or do they? For centuries, China has been the largest manufacturer in the world. And it has led the way in developing innovative processes that have fundamentally transformed production and supply chains. But China is changing. And a new lexicon may be in order: Digitized in China.

From Weibo, WeChat and Dianping to Didi, Taobao and JD, there are more social sites in China than any other country in the world. Chinese consumers use these sites to share, shop and consume in totally new ways. Talking has taken a back seat to texting. Wallets have been replaced by mobile devices. Hailing cabs is now done online.

Digital technologies are enabling innovation that is not only reshaping our personal lives, but redefining entire industries. And China is at the forefront of many of them. You don’t need to look much further than companies like Huawei, Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu for proof of this.

Over the next year, this digital transition will accelerate. And China will lead the way. Here are three things you can expect:

1. The Business and Consumer Worlds will Collide

Companies across China are looking for ways in which they can run faster, simpler and smarter. Much like the social applications and networks that consumers use to manage their personal business, Chinese companies will tap into cloud-based applications and business networks to digitize their operations and manage everything from buying and selling to managing cash in a more efficient and effective manner.

2. The Universe will Get Bigger

Empowered by the easy and borderless collaboration that networks enable, Chinese companies will scale their operations and open new worlds of opportunities. In support of the One Belt and One Road initiative, corporate buyers will discover, connect and collaborate with a global network of partners to expand beyond sourcing materials locally. And suppliers will connect with profitable customers globally who are increasingly doing business online, opening new markets and revenue streams.

3. The Chinese Economy will Diversify

Chinese companies will leverage the massive investments the government is making in the building blocks of the Internet economy such as cloud computing, wireless communications, new digital platforms, big data analytics and the Internet of Things alongside business networks to fuel the next generation of smart manufacturing. Driven by more efficient, flexible and sustainable processes, companies will stimulate domestic demand growth and reduce the country’s reliance on exports, creating a more balanced economy.

Technology and networks have fundamentally altered the way we live and work. China has been instrumental in this digital transformation. And it will continue to drive it through investments in innovations that push the limits of what is possible and change the way business gets done.

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First Voice

  1. Jason Gabbard:

    At Counselytics, we have experienced a tremendous reception in delivering our technology to the local market. The opportunities there are incredible, in some ways more enticing than in the USA. Firms do not have decades of legacy technical infrastructure, which makes it easy to deploy new tech, and they have a great appetite for AI-like technologies including machine learning.

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