China Digital Summit Fouzou 230“It is the compelling obligation for big companies to compete in core technology,” insists Jack Ma of Alibaba, market cap $451B, at the first Digital China Summit in Fuzhou. $457B Tencent chairman Pony Ma said "it is urgent for Chinese enterprises to make breakthroughs in the ownership of core technology." Baidu, probably world #2 in Artificial Intelligence, takes the market cap to $1T.

Xi Jinping sent a message to Fuzhou, calling for "Breakthroughs in core technologies." Chinese companies directly support policy and will come through here. Xi also called for, "promoting the upgrade of infrastructure." China Telecom responded by promising 2M 5G cells.

China has the talent and the funding.

I just met Benjamin Koo of Tsinghua. He came to the U.S. to get a Ph.D. from MIT, worked here a few years, and now has returned to China. A slew of Bell Labs veterans are now working in the Middle Kingdom.

China has budgeted $100B just for memory chips.  The state-backed National Integrated Circuit Investment Fund just raised $32B. Shanghai has pledged $7.5B.

In wireless standards, nothing goes through 3GPP without the approval of the Chinese. IEEE 802.11, which makes Wi-Fi standards, has a very strong Chinese presence. The ITU standards are dominated by C-J-K: China, Japan, Korea.

The ZTE decision was an historic mistake, inspiring China to move even faster.