Growth Challenges

Next-Gen Innovative Shenzhen


Dr. Lauren Johnston

Co-Founder and Director, Education & Economics, Sinograduate


In late 1996 Tony Blair as then UK Opposition leader famously said, “Ask me my three main priorities for government and I tell you education, education, education”. In more visionary an echo of that call, speaking at the biennial conference of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) in June 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for China’s science and technology development to be directed to  “Innovation, Innovation and Innovation”. A fresh glance at newly and first-ever citywide innovation zone Shenzhen suggests China’s ability to respond to Xi’s call is more advanced than most outside of China realise.  

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Xi’s Impossible Trinity – Innovation, Anti-Corruption and Political Stability


Dr. Lauren Johnston

Co-Founder, Sinograduate; Director, Economics & Education

In economics the impossible trinity describes how governments can set only two of three macroeconomic policy variables despite that are each otherwise independently desirable. Those three variables are a fixed exchange rates, independent monetary policy and free movement of capital.

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Is Hebei crowned Cambridgeshire 3.0?


Dr. Lauren Johnston

Co-Founder, Sinograduate; Director, Economics & Education


Pollution, congestion, population density and sky-high housing costs are among factors inspiring an emerging joint development plan for neighbouring Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province. This would involve relocation of some activities from Beijing to surrounding areas. A recent China Daily article, ‘Move colleges out of capital”, suggests this might include relocation of some universities. Here we take a leap forward, and ponder if Hebei might even be earmarked to become Cambridgeshire 3.0.

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As Xi tours Europe, China's Patents Exceed the Continent’s Best Innovator, Germany


Stephane Oertel

Co-Founder & Director, Geopolitics, Sinograduate


Chinese President Xi has begun a European tour to take in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and the European Union. His trip coincides with the release of 2013 data revealing that China has shot ahead of Germany for the first time in terms of patent filings.

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Powering China: Nuclear Roll-Out Readiness in 2014


Dr. Julian F. Kelly & Steve Kidd

Co-Founder & Director for Science, Sinograduate; Director & Principal Analyst at East Cliff Consulting (UK)


China continues to tackle its enormous electricity generation needs using a number of energy sources.  Nuclear power is a key part of the supply strategy due to its large,  constant, emission-free output.  The nuclear power plant construction schedule in China is unprecedented in its scale. 

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Preventing ‘Retiree Overhang’ from Destroying Prosperity


Dr. Lauren Johnston

Co-Founder and Director, Economics and Education, Sinograduate


Five years since the onset of the financial crisis most Western economies are still struggling to return to healthy growth and employment levels. This week Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, asks whether Europe and Japan will indeed ever recover their “animal spirits”[1].

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China's Patent System: A Brief Introduction


Dr Zhifeng Yin

Post-doctoral Researcher, Dept Agricultural & Resource Economics, University of California Berkeley


China passed its first patent law in 1984. This started a process of building a patent system closer to that of Japan and Europe. Three kinds of patents have been granted since then: invention, utility model and design patents.   

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Innovation Squared in China: Empty Patents and Hollow R&D?


Angus Nicholson

SOAS Student and Tech Writer Hobbyist

Before Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang’s appointment to the top of the CPC, few noticed the changing signage on the streets of Beijing and around China. For decades the Communist Party has directed its people with slogans, placed on bridges, public transport, and various public locations.

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A Tang Tied Future


Dr. Lauren Johnston

Co-Founder and Director, Growth Challenges and Education, Sinograduate

China’s need to shift its growth model toward domestic consumption and innovation, and away from physical investment and export driven growth is increasingly common knowledge. For most in the West the idea an innovative China however is new, at least within their lifetimes.

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China's Integrated Nuclear Energy Future


Dr. Julian Kelly

Co-Founder and Director, Science and Energy, Sinograduate


China is in the middle of a remarkable phase of nuclear power plant construction - unsurpassed in history.   This is understandable given that nuclear energy is the only credible means of producing dozens of gigawatts of emission-free electric power capacity with high load factors. 

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