IT Reshoring News

September 12, 2018

Is China Burning Out its Own Research & Development?

China is pushing research & development relentlessly forward, grabbing as many researchers worldwide as they can. They're treating R&D like a race they must win at any expense. They're rushing past Safety and Truth in the process.

China is making a huge push into research & development. But are they pushing too hard?

In the past few years, China has actively recruited scientists & researchers from across the world. They're paying for lab equipment, plenty of staff, professional assistance…anything needed to file patents, publish scholarly papers, and drive innovation overall.

China Increasingly Challenges American Dominance of Science – Washington Post

Why China is Emerging as a Tech Superpower to Rival the U.S. – Fortune

These two articles frame it in terms of competing with America. We think that's not exactly the case. China wants to beat the world, not just America, in the innovation race.

While scientific discovery fuels much of the modern world and is an arguably non-political topic, we have one concern about China's efforts.

They're getting sloppy. Very sloppy.

China’s problem with fake research papers – The Globe and Mail (CA)

What Does China’s Rise in Patents Mean? A Look at Quality vs. Quantity – Economic Research, St. Louis Fed

A number of phony papers, bad patents…essentially, China is trying to control innovation by ignoring rigor and sacrificing safety.

Now, China has taken recent steps to clean up the publishing fraud. But that still leaves years, perhaps decades of these faked papers & low-quality patents.

They're treating innovation as a political weapon. That's not what R&D is meant for…and the repercussions have a ripple effect worldwide. A severe one.

This calls many genuine Chinese innovations into question. It will take years of study & testing by the international community to root out fraudulent papers. Meanwhile, researchers who did honest work in China may face tarring with an "untrustworthy" brush.

Not to mention safety. What happens if a faked medical test gets incorporated into surgical procedures? You have thousands of lives at risk.

"Innovation Before Anyone Else" Risks Too Much

The U.S. is not blameless in this situation. We've spent decades outsourcing work to China and India…from manufacturing to cutting-edge technological development. Giving the Chinese many opportunities to acquire IP and develop expert IT skills.

Unfortunately, they have capitalized on this opportunity in a dangerous manner.

We value American innovation, of course. But we also value safe, repeatable research steps. Nowhere is that more important than in the R&D that builds our future.


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