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Wirtschaft & Finanzen

Nach dem Niedergang Deutschlands: Wird China die führende Technologienation?

10. November 2017

Byron Wien gehört seit Jahrzehnten zu den schärfsten Beobachtern an der Wall Street. In seiner letzten Mail befasst er sich intensiv mit China. Ich, wo ich doch immer so skeptisch bin bezüglich der Verschuldung des Landes, fand den Kommentar sehr erleuchtend. Zeigt er doch, wie fundamental der Wandel ist, der dort stattfindet. Passt zur Beschreibung von Gunnar Heinsohn aus der letzten Woche, der plastisch den Niedergang Europas (vor allem Deutschlands) mit dem Aufstieg Asiens kontrastiert hat:

  • For some time now I have been concerned about the state of American competitiveness looking out a decade ahead. Innovation has been the lifeblood of our economic success, and nowhere has this been more apparent than in information technology since the advent of the Internet and the Smartphone.“
    Fazit: Wien fokussiert sich in seinem Kommentar naturgemäß auf die USA. Dabei müssen wir im Hinterkopf haben, dass Europa deutlich schlechter dasteht.
  • „(…) many thought leaders believe (Chinas) growth, even at modest rates, is unsustainable and that the country is good at copying the technology of others, but not as strong as an innovator of fundamental technologies on its own. These observers are underestimating not only China’s economic momentum, but also the rate of progress they are making in innovation in all types of technology.“
    Fazit: Skeptiker habe ich hier immer wieder gebracht, so in dieser Woche erneut Martin Wolf.
  • „Based on data compiled by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), there are 214 private companies in the world valued at $1 billion or more, known as unicorns. Slightly more than half (108) are, as you would expect, based in the United States, but 55 are in China, (…) Of the top ten unicorns, China has four (including numbers two and three) and the U.S. has six.“
    Fazit: Das wird bei uns gern übersehen. Außerdem sind die chinesischen „Einhörner“ sehr erfolgreiche Technologie-Start-ups.
  • „China’s innovation has been engineering-based rather than science-based and it is consumer-focused and efficiency-driven. Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent together represent 16% of world net digital advertising revenue and 20% of world net mobile Internet ad revenue. Google and Facebook are the leaders with a combined 43% of net digital and 51% net mobile ad revenue.“
    Fazit: Letztere kommen aber immer mehr unter Druck auf der Werbeseite. China hat hingegen einen deutlich größeren Markt perspektivisch.
  • „In terms of world stock market capitalization, technology companies represent eight, or 40%, of the top 20 companies and two of these (Tencent and Alibaba) are Chinese. Chinese companies have made great strides in consumer applications. There are a billion “WeChat” accounts, Didi (the Uber equivalent in China) booked 1.4 billion rides in 2016 and close to $3 billion payments were made in China through Internet-based companies in 2016. There are 70 million active shared bike users.“
    Fazit: Und diese Firmen werden nun im Westen angreifen.
  • „China will be spending more on research by 2019 than the U.S. In 2014, (…) China was spending close to $300 billion, more than half of the U.S. total of almost $500 billion. Japan has been pretty flat at $100 billion since 2000; the U.S. has been gradually rising from $300 billion in 2000. China was only at $50 billion in 2000 and, according to the OECD, is expected to be over $600 billion by 2024, when the U.S. will still be around $500 billion.“
    Fazit: Nun könnte man meinen, viel Geld alleine bedeutet noch gar nichts. Die Chinesen haben aber auch entsprechend gebildete Menschen, um diese Investitionen zu stemmen.
  • „China’s huge market provides a strong incentive to any company developing an idea with commercial potential. Also the cost of doing research in China is lower than it is elsewhere in the world. Finally, for every stage of venture capital there is plenty of money available from both domestic and international investors. There were only 150 early stage investments in 2009; in 2014 there were 1886. Information technology accounted for 68% of early stage commitments; computer-related and electronics accounted for another 20%.“
    Fazit: Das ist eine Machtverschiebung aller erster Güte.
  • „China’s investment in research goes beyond information technology. Prior to 2010, the country committed almost $10 billion to research with biotechnology a focal point. The Chinese biotech industry has been growing at 30% and is valued at over $10 billion today. There are more than 580 biopharma companies. Chinese scientists have transformed normal adult cells into embryonic stem cells and produced live mice from these lab-produced cells. (…) China is the third largest filer of patents, after the United States and Japan.“
    Fazit: … und dürfte zudem freier Forschen können. Man denke nur an die Hindernisse für Gentechnik bei uns in Deutschland.
  • „As a result of the Thousand Talents Program, which provides grants and tax breaks to Chinese-born academics who return home to work after being educated abroad, original research has escalated. Regulatory reform has also helped by facilitating the movement of drugs from the laboratory to the clinic.“
    Fazit: Damit adressiert China den Punkt von Gunnar Heinsohn, der beschrieben hat, wie China einen Brain-Drain in andere Regionen erleidet. Nun werden nicht alle zurückkommen, gibt es doch auch Vorteile im Ausland, wie politische Freiheit. Dennoch.
  • 2Not only are they investing heavily in traditional research and development, but they are also acquiring natural resources in Africa for future industrial needs. The policymakers have a long term plan for the country’s growth and they are willing to invest the money now to make sure their objectives are met. This gives them an advantage over more mature economies like Europe and the United States that are coping with budget deficits, deferred maintenance and decaying infrastructure.“
    Fazit: Während wir über die Rente mit 63 und soziale Gerechtigkeit fabulieren und uns mit der „Rettung“ des Euro beschäftigen, wird dort Wohlstand der Zukunft geschaffen und nicht vernichtet.
  • „An issue of concern for many investors is the level of Chinese debt, which has risen from 149% to 269% of GDP over the past decade. Increasing debt has accounted for two percentage points of China’s 7.25% growth from 2012 to 2016. There is also the worry that there are a number of non-performing loans on the books of the banks and “shadow” banks, but the adverse effects of these has been deferred by the country’s growth.“
    Fazit: Damit sind wir bei dem einzigen relevanten Problem, das aber auch lösbar ist.

Natürlich hat China erhebliche Herausforderungen zu meistern: Schulden, schrumpfende Bevölkerung, Umwelt, Umbau zu mehr Konsum und weniger Investition. Vermutlich wird das nicht ohne Krisen und Turbulenzen vor sich gehen. Dennoch ist das Land ein ernst zu nehmender Wettbewerber, der unsere Probleme im Westen noch verstärken wird.

Dr. Daniel Stelter / www.think-beyondtheobvious.com