Expert: New quality productive forces in China bring new opportunities to world economy

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China's accelerated efforts to foster new quality productive forces demonstrate its huge potential for economic transformation and will bring new opportunities for the world economy, said Zhou Muzhi, a professor at Tokyo Keizai University, in a recent interview with

Zhou talked about several major new driving forces of the economy, including the semiconductor industry, artificial intelligence, new energy vehicles (NEVs), cross-border e-commerce platforms, as well as other high-tech innovations.

Speaking of the semiconductor sector, Zhou said the industry is embracing an upgraded development in China thanks to government incentives, increased investments by relevant enterprises, and particularly the enormous demand from the world's largest semiconductor market.

Zhou pointed out that Japan was once the world's largest semiconductor powerhouse but has gradually declined partly due to a lack of sustained investment. But he also noted that Japan still leads in many cutting-edge technologies and controls key parts of the global semiconductor supply chain. 

When talking about the importance of AI technologies in driving economic transformation and empowering emerging industries and economic digitization, Zhou said China is one of the countries with the highest penetration of AI globally. China's strengths in AI technology research, big data, and application scenarios make it an AI powerhouse worldwide, he said.

The continued development momentum in the industry not only reflects the Chinese government's openness to high-tech development but also the society's receptivity and tolerance for new things, Zhou said.

In recent years, China's automotive industry has made remarkable progress, especially in 2023, when China's auto exports surpassed Japan's for the first time, ranking first globally. Zhou said that China's auto industry has seized the opportunity brought by electric vehicles (EVs) and established strong international competitiveness, not only in the areas of batteries, motors, electronic controls, and autonomous driving, but also in the R&D and production of EVs themselves. 

"The strong export momentum of China's NEVs is just beginning, and we should expect to see robust performance from China's auto industry in the coming years," Zhou said.

Zhou also noted the progress of Chinese cross-border e-commerce platforms like SHEIN and TEMU in the Japanese market. Since its launch in Japan in July last year, TEMU has been growing rapidly, with its monthly user number increasing by 2.2 million. In January, TEMU's Japanese user base surpassed 15 million. 

Zhou said that these e-commerce platforms have broken down traditional retail barriers through their innovative business models. They connect overseas markets with Chinese manufacturing directly, offering foreign consumers more convenience, lower prices, and better variety, he said. 

Zhou said the rationale of global corporate competition has completely changed today, with high-tech and innovation-driven enterprises emerging as a new force leading and transforming the world economy. 

After analyzing the top 100 companies by market value in China, the U.S., and Japan, Zhou pointed out that in China, 82 companies founded after 1980 are in the top 100, compared to 32 in the U.S. and only five in Japan. Chinese leading companies are notably younger and more tech-oriented, and their prospects are promising, Zhou said.

The professor also said that the negative views on China's economy in overseas media are misguided, and there should be more focus on the tremendous driving force that new quality productive forces bring to China's economic development and the golden opportunities for mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation with China.

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