China focus on technology could transform world technology

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Chinese FlagChina’s rapid move up the past several Top500 lists is getting attention inside our community and in the mainstream press as well, where coverage is beginning to reflect the changes to markets and technologies that the world is likely to experience as a result of China’s growing investments in, and successes with, high tech.

An article at Bloomberg Businessweek last week is a case in point that includes reference to the recent #2 Top500 machine.

The article lists 5 of the top reasons that China will “rule tech.” Those reasons include: Chinese leadership understands engineering, as evidenced by 8 of 9 of the country’s top leaders (including the president) having engineering degrees (US leaders have law degrees); China has a desire to out-innovate the US; they have a larger pool of talent than just about anyone else; and there is a big move of not just manufacturing but innovation into China.

On that last point, from the article

China’s goal is not to just build TV sets and computer components. It has established what it calls an indigenous innovation policy, meaning it wants Chinese-origin technology that is owned by Chinese companies.

…China’s indigenous innovation policy may be showing results.

One Chinese-owned company, Dawning Information Industry Co., which makes servers for China’s market and some foreign markets, just built the world’s second-fastest supercomputer. The company includes a photo on its Web site of President Hu Jintao during a visit, illustrating the attention China’s government is giving to supercomputing.

China built this system, which it called Nebulae, using Intel chips, but China has its own developing chip technology, and if it follows through on its innovation policy, it’s only a matter of time before a Chinese-origin chip is used in future supercomputers.

(Emphasis mine.) I recommend the article as a quick, critical read, no matter what country you live in.