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What Will The Future Wealth Of China Be?

Popularity 9Viewed 3585 times 2015-3-28 12:27 |Personal category:Quote Me|System category:Economy| China, and, its, future, wealth

What will the future wealth of China be?

Who will create it?

Who will own it?


This is a continuation of my previous post about tangible and intangible wealth, titled 'What are we willing to pay for?'


I define 'wealth of an individual/society' as 'the ability to afford to buy outright Goods and Services in addition to the Goods and Services already owned outright.' This excludes the false notion of wealth that can come about by possession of a large number of Goods and Services that are not entirely paid for or obtained under debt.


It is production of large amounts of Goods and Services and Intellectual property in a society and a fair exchange of these - one for another, that makes a society wealthy.


1) We know China is well placed in the ability to produce a lot of the goods that will constitute their tangible wealth. Will this continue? If the production base is to be reduced to protect its environment, will it still be sufficient to generate enough material wealth for its needs?

2) Is China well placed to produce a large number of the trained professionals required to generate the required services? We see new financial services centres being open in China, what about services in other professional areas where China can be competitive? India produces doctors and nurses and exports them. There will be new online medical services in the future that can present opportunities.

3)  We know China is capable or preparing to be capable of creating and nurturing such nests of creativity and innovation in Asia and Africa. What are and where will be the 'Silicon Valleys' or ‘Technology Triangle Parks’ of China?

4) India has its ‘Bollywood’ that already has a large following overseas. It is also gaining some popularity for mixed culture movies in the West. China has action and martial arts movies that were quite popular and they spawned a special genre that has a regular following in the outside world. What about China in the future? What are the potential 'Hollywoods' or its equivalent of China? We know China is capable but can it create hubs and centres of cultural and artistic productions to export to the world, or effectively planning to export existing cultural assets that are spread out?

5) No system of wealth generation (or even governance) can function without an effective, allied media to put forth its news and views. While there are plenty of media organisations around the world that are based or owned by those based in Western countries, we see very little from Asia. I see that there is a need for large new internationally recognised and operational media bases in China and more broadly in Asia and Africa to help support its proper development and wealth creation. Where and who will be the trusted media leaders from China? Western mainstream media is closely aligned to the policies and wishes (directions) from its governments. Though they are supposed to be independent, commercially private and make profits for individuals, they are given ‘strong incentives’ and ‘strong disincentives’ to make them pursue the national interests as defined by their governments.

Different systems need to work out different models. Capitalism based on personal greed or ambition finds an easy way, but mixed systems with elements of socialism and capitalism need to work out an effective system to motivate the media professional to work for the common goals, by aligning their personal goals with the goals of the society. What will the Chinese model be?

6)  How good are Asian countries in each of these areas? What do YOU think?


Background:


Tangible Future Wealth:

With a large population that has yet to achieve a level of material wealth to raise it above poverty or close to some level or parity with the average in developed countries, there will surely be a need to produce a large number of tangible, material goods that will constitute a part of the wealth of Asia. So, a large number of appliances, gadgets, clothes, food items, shoes and vehicles etc. will continue to be produced with a growing market in Asia and Africa. Owning tangible goods, in addition to tangible representations of wealth - gold, land, luxury goods and valuable items will continue to represent wealth always in the human mindset. The total population of all the currently developed wealthy countries will be close to and probably be less than just the population of India or China. So, the amount of tangible material goods that still need to be produced to make Asia and Africa wealthy is much more than what we already have currently on earth.


Still I contend that tangible items will be the minor portion of the wealth of Asia. The major portion will still have to be intangible wealth. As time passes and development proceeds, unless there is a massive, catastrophic disruption of some sort, the proportion of intangible wealth will continue to increase for a long time into the future.


Intangible Future Wealth:

Looking at some of the most valuable intangible items that form wealth in the currently developed countries gives us some idea into the nature of what the future Asian and African wealth might have to look like. Later, in future posts, I discuss what characteristics the future kinds of wealth might need to have to be meaningful and sustainable.

A HUGE amount of the following have to be generated in Asia and Africa in the future, to make their people wealthy in the true sense. Note here again that the number of services and skilled people needed to deliver them in Asia and Africa will be more than what currently exists, the world over.


Professional Services: A large number of trained professionals are needed to deliver services that run any society.


Intellectual property:

This will consist of two major areas –

1) A great number of high quality ideas, scientific discoveries, technical innovations and an ongoing ability to generate new ideas and innovations in every field of human endeavour. The ability to patent, legally protect, incubate the idea and bring it to market, sell and improve from feedback will determine the value and competitiveness of this kind of wealth.

2) A great number of interesting, engaging artistic expressions - in music, literature, drama, movies, art, TV programs, food and culture among other things.


MEDIA:

There will be a great need to market, showcase, advertise and sell ALL kinds of Goods and Services and intellectual property, to increase their appeal and value and hence national wealth. This requires a wide-spread media with many outlets and inputs. The Internet makes this easier in some ways but also more challenging in other ways. With so many alternatives and even spurious 'junk' websites flooding the marketplace, it takes a lot to earn a reputation and keep it. This also requires trained professionals with good motivation and ethics in large numbers to serve their society.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (14 comments)

Reply Report Dr.Bill.Shen 2015-3-28 19:33
The industrial model in china has started gravitating towards a service-centered model. Free market will drive the balance of demand and supply. Universities are dynamically calibrating its production line according to market changes. For example, many years ago you could only find economics departments in universities, but these days, you can find many brand new institutes such as management science, finance, financial engineering, and etc.

Media is a different story. If your contents are not politically related, you can pretty do whatever you like. I use this market information system called "Wind" for real time streaming of all financial data, and it is as good as Bloomberg and Reuter.
Reply Report KIyer 2015-3-29 06:17
Dr.Bill.Shen: The industrial model in china has started gravitating towards a service-centered model. Free market will drive the balance of demand and supply. Unive ...
Bill, thanks for your comment.
Yes, there is one kind of business and finance media like Bloomberg, WSJ etc that put out business news and numbers that are read by followers. Yes, China and Asia need to get their equivalents and probably already have. I am however talking about another kind of media that is the most influential, from the West. It is the 'popular media'. I believe the popular media in the west is actually more influential in driving business and finance, than the financial media that usually simply reports dry or mostly outdated facts or  opinions.

Most consumers in the West and East do not watch or read Bloomberg or WSJ. Most consumers watch mainstream media 'News', 'documentaries', TV programs - Sitcoms like 'Friends', 'Big Bang Theory', 'Sex and the City', 'Seinfeld', 'Simpsons', 'Cheers', 'Oprah' etc, Reality TV shows, Hollywood movies, James Bond movies etc.

These are the biggest drivers, advertisers and pushers of many Western brands for products and services. They are well integrated with businesses and government policy for creating a brand name for the countries and their products. They are very sophisticated, designed for popularity and even little kids will recognise the McDonald's golden arches in a movie or a TV show. Mobile phone usage, activities and services are constantly 'pushed' through these media. Not just products but national political goals and views are constantly propagated to a wider audience and given the feel of 'common' popular view in Western countries. It can be very misleading, but after a while it becomes a self-fulfilling and self-propagating prophecy.

Asia has nothing close to this in terms of scale or sophistication. India has a fledgling popular media that does this within India. I suspect China too has something, but I never see them anywhere on the international horizon. This is an area of popular media that has to tie in with national policy and business goals.

That is where I wonder where Asia will get its version of FOX News or CNN or BBC. While we may not agree with what they put out, it will take something similar to challenge them or create an alternative to put forward a more balanced view and Asian interests to balance the picture.

What in your opinion are the Chinese or Asian equivalents to western popular media?
Reply Report Dr.Bill.Shen 2015-3-29 11:49
In China, CCTV and China Daily are similar to FOX news. I do not see anything else as alternatives. In terms of popular commercial and religious activities, you can do that freely, as long as you can pay for the ads you want to air, and you do not poke fun on Beijing.

Advertising and media consulting firms are all over places. You can market your products through all kinds of platforms, tv, radio, train, street led screens, and etc. you can even put up alcohol commercials, which is not possible in many western countries.
Reply Report Igo 2015-3-30 09:34
What a topic!
Reply Report seanboyce88 2015-3-30 10:37
I am starting to think these days the wealth of a society should be valued by the quality of the society and the people in it, rather than material wealth.

"Owning tangible goods, in addition to tangible representations of wealth - gold, land, luxury goods and valuable items will continue to represent wealth always in the human mindset." - sadly however I think your line here is spot on.

as for intangible wealth, "A great number of interesting, engaging artistic expressions - in music, literature, drama, movies, art, TV programs, food and culture among other things." I hope to see this come true. I think artistic wealth is vastly underrated the world over due to the fact that it's effects are more influential and not quite so obvious as a new phone.

Good article
Reply Report voice_cd 2015-3-30 10:52
Thanks for sharing your opinion here. We have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2015-3-30 11:56
The future of wealth? Intellectual capital!
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2015-3-30 11:58
seanboyce88: I am starting to think these days the wealth of a society should be valued by the quality of the society and the people in it, rather than material we ...
I agree. I am preparing an article on having too much stuff!
Reply Report KIyer 2015-3-30 12:25
seanboyce88: I am starting to think these days the wealth of a society should be valued by the quality of the society and the people in it, rather than material we ...
Thanks for your comment Sean! I agree that intangible wealth and arts need to be more valued in the East. That is not to say anything about how tangible wealth is valued in the West still and will always be. It is often that which was looted over many conquests and colonization. It is still 'treasured'.
Reply Report KIyer 2015-3-30 12:26
ColinSpeakman: I agree. I am preparing an article on having too much stuff!
Look forward to that Colin.
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2015-3-30 12:27
KIyer: Look forward to that Colin.
I should add... And good health .. A previous wealth enhanced by a better environment!
Reply Report Newtown 2015-3-30 20:33
KIyer: Bill, thanks for your comment.
Yes, there is one kind of business and finance media like Bloomberg, WSJ etc that put out business news and numbers tha ...
China has very little of the types of tv programs which are major "drivers" of advertising and consumer marketing. There is a Chinese version of the western fanchise "The Voice" and the homemade dating show "If You Are The One" is extremely popular. However, all such entertainment programs are closely monitored by the central government in its role as censor and self-appointed guardian of public morals. This has meant that "If You Are..." had a Party member appointed to the show several years ago to act as a chaperone figure and to limit any salacious or "unChinese characterisitcs" polluting the show.

A series such as "Sex and the City" would never be shown in China as overt depictions of sex and / or any improperly suggestive intimate behaviour ( e.g. homosexuality ) are entirely censored. A few years ago the government even cracked down on female Chinese news readers having dyed hair color as this was seen as a display of modern fashion ( and individuality  ?) gone too far.

Instead viewers generally have to endure a steady diet of tv stodge:  limitless remakes of Chinese historical epics ( elaborate costumes, big hair, summer palaces, and overdriven melodrama ); endless remakes of the Monkey King ( again a very famous part of Chinese literary history but hardly exploitable merchandising material ); and mind numbing exegesis of heroic Chinese soldiers battling the nasty Japanese.

Most of the war, sword & sorcery, and kung fu films made on the mainland are terrible ( dominated by their special effects to the detriment of any worthwhile storylines ) and have not fared well outside of the mainland ( "Raise the Red Lantern" and " Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" being notable exceptions). It is generally only Hong Kong films in these and a few other genres which have achieved critical acclaim, excepting those with the ubiquitous Andy Lau.

In sum, China still has very many controls on its mass media ( e.g. newspapers sanctioned by government authorities, government telecom monopolies, restrictions on the import of foreign books, magazines and films, Google exiled to HK, no Youtube or Twitter on the mainland, internet censorship, nationwide regional and city television broadcast by government CCTV stations etc. etc. ). The government thus seeks to control the hearts and minds of Chinese people via these restrictions. It is almost impossible to see this imperative being compromised by the demands of an open and freely competitive commercial media market as exist in many western countries.
Reply Report Ted180 2015-3-31 10:49
A very good start to your new thread! I'm quite confident that China will manage to mix socialism and capitalism better than most of the "West" has. I see democracy developing (gradually and cautiously) in China under the quite wise leadership of the new leadership of the CPC. I see the "controls" as being "temporary" and "necessary" because Chinese society is going through a major change. There is potential for disorder because the property-owning middle class is not yet large enough. It is the ownership of property (which can be destroyed in upheavals) that makes people oppose disorder.
Reply Report ampraxu123 2015-3-31 21:11
An systematic analysis. Good job!

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