In this year’s Singapore Week of Innovation & Technology (SWITCH) hosted on the 11th of November, we are honored to participate in the ‘China – Singapore Technovation Ecosystem Summit’, as Gleematic’s founder, Christopher Lim, is featured as a speaker.
Our founder, Christopher Lim, shared his thoughts and experience on expanding into the Chinese market, as well as the difference compared with the Singaporean market:
“The first thing is speed, the Chinese market is very fast”, said Christopher. In China, companies are expected to be fully prepared in regards to materials, videos, and training, with everything being fully translated. Whereas in Singapore, companies work at a different pace and culture.
‘Second thing is scale, China is a very big country compared to Singapore,’ Christopher adds. Sometimes it requires the company to niche down to the specific cities and areas to focus on. With cities that have a huge population, this creates many opportunities, allowing niche players to penetrate and compete in the market.
Both markets of Singapore and China have their own similarities but are very different in terms of dynamics. China’s values are rapidly changing compared to a few years back, companies need to learn and adapt to the unique culture and protocol.
In terms of the technical comparison and differences between Singapore and China’s deep tech companies, ‘I think the main difference in the market segmentation and the approach’, Christoper replied. China already has its own large Deep Tech enterprise, such as Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent. They tend to create similar products, aiming to increase the market share for their user base. In Singapore, Deep Tech and AI sphere is considered to be a role model in terms of how government, private institutions, and educational institutions can cooperate. This is our similarity in terms of aiming to use the highest and deepest technology to solve our consumers’ problems.
From the customer’s perspective, China companies usually have a large profile of various customer groups as they launch “good enough” tech-product. As for Singapore, we focus more on ‘deep tech’ as our customers are perfectionists.
More featured speakers
The forum also consisted of speakers with diverse professional backgrounds, each presented their own unique angle to discuss the topic of ‘technology innovation ecosystem in China and Singapore’:
Mr. Feng Tian, Dean of SenseTime Intelligent Industry Research Institute, presented his take on ‘AI innovation, ethics, and governance’. Mr. Tian stated that it is crucial for current AI technology to develop an inclusive and sustainable framework, in order to improve the well-being of humankind. He’s given the example that AI can be used to aid the education system using AI robots as part of the school learning system, implemented in medical institutions while fighting COVID-19, and devices created to aid the disabled, etc. Showcasing that AI technology can be used in a broad spectrum of human activities while creating value and sustainability for the overall human environment.
Professor Yeo Kiat Seng, Associate Provost of Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), presented his thoughts on ‘reimagining Jobs, higher Education and Research collaboration in the digital century’. Professor Yeo stated that ‘we are experiencing and riding on a wave of global economy uncertainty’. In order to create a stronger economy, global trends in education will need to shift. This can be done by educating students to develop skills that can be adapted through jobs in cross-industries, cultures, and companies in this globalized economy. Companies need to explore under-served markets and opportunities that are beyond their core, this will enable companies to sustain relevancy within the changing economy.
Professor Lu Xiang Hua, Professor of Fudan University School of Management, presented her findings on ‘management challenges and solutions of China’s Sei-Tech innovation enterprises’. Professor Lu mentioned that in order for China to achieve further development, the nation would need to self-develop its own sci-fi industry as the only way to prosper in the current international state.
She also presented how Fudan University School of Management is currently leading China’s research of Sci-tech Innovation Enterprise Management. This is done through developing original Sci-tech Innovation Management theories and courses with Chinese characteristics.
James Lee, Managing Director of Vertex Growth Fund, shared Vertex’s approach to global innovation, cross border collaboration, as well as thoughts on opportunities across China and Singapore. Mr Lee mentioned that South-East Asia presents an attractive and open market, for China’s technology companies that seek overseas expansion. Cross-border partnerships and open innovation would be crucial to delivering mutually beneficial outcomes.
Dr. James Ong, Founder & Managing Director of Artificial Intelligence International Institute (AIII), shared their comment on the report of ‘AI Sustainable Development (2021-2022)’. Dr Ong emphasizes that the next phase of AI innovation will need to focus on the sustainability of technology, science and research. In addition, we have to think about how to correctly deploy AI in a commercially viable model and create the right impact.
We would like to thank the organizers for giving us this opportunity to share our experience on expanding in China as a Singaporean company, as well as our fellow speakers for the insightful exchange on their sharing on AI and technological innovation within both markets.