Foreign media look at China’s “new four major inventions”: China’s ability to accept new technologies is strong
The British BBC website published an article on April 3, saying that China’s “new four major inventions” include high-speed rail, mobile payment, e-commerce, and shared bicycles. Although the technology based on the “New Four Inventions” does not originate in China, China is leading in the promotion and application. This shows that China is faster than in other countries in accepting new technologies.
How did the word “new four great inventions” come from?
The “New Four Inventions” seems to be a survey conducted by Beijing Foreign Studies University in May 2017. The survey asked 20 people from different countries to list the Chinese technologies that they “most want to bring back to the country.” The top answers are high-speed rail, mobile payments, e-commerce, and shared bicycles.
The “New Four Inventions” will remind people of the “four great inventions” of ancient China, namely papermaking, gunpowder, printing, and compass.
China has always attached great importance to technological innovation because China wants to become an “innovative country” by 2020. According to the World Economic Forum, China’s investment in research and development is second in the world, second only to the United States.
The technology of the “new four major inventions” does not originate in China.
But these technologies did not originate in China and were invented decades ago.
There is no standard definition for “high-speed rail.” The EU believes that the speed of the new track reaches 250km/h, and the speed of 200km/h in the old track can be called “high speed.”
According to the International Union of Railways (UIC), the first high-speed train service began in 1964, the Japanese Shinkansen or high-speed train.
Before the start of the 2008 Olympic Games, China opened the first high-speed rail to connect Beijing and Tianjin.
In 1997, Finland presented the first cases of payments using mobile devices. However, some people think that mobile payment started when Apple paid for it in 2014.
In 1979, the British Michael Aldridge proposed the concept of online shopping. Through a technology called Videotex, Aldridge connects a regular TV to a local retailer’s computer with a telephone line.
But e-commerce is popular in the 1990s because Amazon and eBay established their website in 1995.
The concept of shared bikes was introduced to Amsterdam in the 1960s. But to prevent aggression, the police confiscated these bicycles. The first large-scale shared bicycle program took place in European cities in the 1990s, and Copenhagen was the first city to introduce.
But Chinese companies like Mumbai and Xiaohuangqi are at the forefront of the “indefinite parking” shared bicycle industry. People can use their smartphones to locate bicycles and park them anywhere.
China’s absorption and adaptation capacity exceeds that of other countries
However, China has surpassed other countries in the uptake and adaptation of these four technologies.
China now has the world’s largest high-speed rail network of about 25,000 kilometers and plans to double by 2030.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China, the total amount of mobile payments in China in the first ten months of 2017 reached US$12.7 trillion, ranking first in the world.
In February this year, Liu Xiaoming, deputy director of the Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China, said that there are currently 23 million shared bicycles in China, with 400 million registered users.
According to a 2010 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, China has more than 700 million Internet users and is the world’s largest and fastest-growing e-commerce market.
Xu Gongcheng, a scholar at Xiamen University, said: “Some people think that the technology based on the ‘new four inventions’ does not originate from China. This is true. But China has used these technologies to make new inventions.“