Canalys CEO sees China tech as trade war winner - Mobile World Live

Canalys CEO sees China tech as trade war winner

04 DEC 2019

LIVE FROM CANALYS CHANNELS FORUM, TAIPEI: Canalys CEO Steve Brazier (pictured) predicted Chinese companies will be world leaders across five major technology sectors within three years, noting a trade war with the US had spurred local innovation.

The executive identified AI, smart cities, 5G, exascale computing and microfinance as the key areas moving forward. He noted some Chinese businesses are arguably already leaders in some of these areas, but said “most people in the West underestimate how advanced China is in many technology areas”.

Chinese innovation had accelerated with the full impact to be felt in three-to-four years, he said.

Huawei, for example, reduced its dependency on US components inside its smartphones and base stations.

But he questioned whether companies in other countries would be able to find a middle ground or if they would be forced to take sides.

More flexibility
Brazier noted the world is becoming more unstable, faced with the twin problems of increased political strife and growing efforts to mitigate climate change. He argued this means “business leaders have to be more flexible” with the certainties of old not necessarily carrying forward.

“And flexibility and the ability to react to change is now becoming the number one business requirement. They have to react to change and they have to be nimble.”

All companies, especially large ones, must to do more to create sustainable and environmentally aware businesses, he said.

Canalys predicts the number of connected devices (covering everything from smartphones to cameras to robots) will almost double from 16.7 billion in 2018 to 32.3 billion by 2023.

Those devices will create a huge amount of data, which Brazier said needs to be managed, stored and backed-up with disaster recovery procedures.

AI went mainstream in 2019, but he argued the big bets haven’t come off. Smaller moves including chatbots, translation and voice-to-text transcription are working, however.

He recommended using AI to augment humans by quickly providing information to increase productivity.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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