New German Chamber Ticker online: Shifting to a Digital Economy (Summer 2019)

Today’s world is one where smartphones, mobile internet and online shopping are indispensable. China has already become a major player in this digital world, with mobile payments enabling more than 600 million mobile users to conduct peer-to-peer transactions and a mobile-payment infrastructure, which handles far more transactions than the mobile-payment market in any other country with over 85 percent of payments made via mobile. Not only is China providing a large and young market for tech giants, but it has also become a platform for innovation, being home to one-third of the world’s unicorns and major investors in digital technologies.

China is the world's largest e-commerce market, accounting for more than 40 percent of global e-commerce transactions, compared with less than one percent just a decade ago. It is estimated that the value of China’s e-commerce transactions has now even surpassed the sum of the world’s five largest advanced economies, the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and France.

While Chinese consumers are enthusiastically embracing digital technologies, the immense amount of venture capital and policy makers, encouraging the investment in the digital economy, are creating favorable conditions for the rapid commercialization of digital business models, the digitization of industries in China still lags behind that of the United States by a considerable margin.

This may provide a good opportunity for international companies. China's huge internet user base can help international companies test the evolving market, making use of big data and help them to achieve economies of scale quickly.

The digitization of industries and of our everyday life is happening globally. Hence, this issue of the German Ticker will take a closer look at how big data, smart manufacturing, AI and the social credit system will affect the future business landscape in China and worldwide.

We hope you enjoy reading!

Maximilian Butek

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