In the course of only a few years, China has become a first-rank scientific and technological power (in both quantitative and qualitative terms) and is determined to close the existing gap with the US. The International Monetary Fund estimates that by 2026 China will have surpassed the US in R&D spending. Already China is the leading investor in such key strategic sectors as Artificial Intelligence (AI), accounting for 48% of global investment in AI (compared with only 38% in the US and 14% in the rest of the world). Furthermore, China is now shaping the future of global technology at the level of products and users. China is installing more industrial robots than any other country. It has 56 ‘unicorns’ (private technology companies worth more than US$1 billion), although in 2014 it only had eight. China’s growth rate in this area, according to the World Economic Forum, is beginning to be comparable with the US. (…)
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