First off, China is a fascinating and amazing place full of opportunity, innovation, and a lot of people. I mean a lot of people. Over 1.3 billion to be exact.

There is so much going on at any given time, it’s hard to keep track of it all. Lots of people see China as just a manufacturing hub with lots of products being built there, but China has a lot more going on other than manufacturing.

Don’t get me wrong: Manufacturing does make up over 40% of GDP, but I think it’s time we shed some light on a few industries showing flares of innovation and opportunities for disruption. These industries will help shape and define China’s future.


It’s no surprise that retail is dying and lots of stores and businesses are going bankrupt and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. Within the next few years, China is on pace to do over a trillion dollars in e-commerce sales as more than half a billion people shop online in China.

One way to combat this rise in E-Commerce sales is to study consumer habits and the latest technology trends, then adapt your business model to fit what is needed in the marketplace.

Don’t continue to operate like you have 30 years, instead think of how you can implement new business models and innovations into your company to position it for the future.

A company in China that is setting the standard is Suning that just opened its second unmanned store. The way the store allows customers to purchase is through a facial recognition payment system. All customers must download an app in advance, use the facial recognition function, link their bank card, and they are all set up. To enter the store, you scan your face and you’re set.

Talk about innovating and changing the face of retail. As I mentioned before, Suning is taking the latest advancements in technology and applying it to their business model. This allows them to have zero employees operating out of their location, alleviating a lot of the headaches and hiccups a traditional retail environment entails.

Freight & Logistics

A centuries-old industry that hasn’t changed a whole lot. If China is responsible for a lot of the world’s manufacturing of raw goods, it needs to be able to transport and ship all these products efficiently around the world. Hence, why the shipping and logistics industry is important.

This is an industry ripe for disruption and lots of opportunities. A major problem in the freight industry is the lack of ability to track packages. Most carriers are only responsible for one leg of the journey and therefore it’s very confusing to know where your shipment is, when it will get to the destination, and what company or who exactly is handling your goods.

A company looking to change this is ShipChain, where they are creating a platform using blockchain technology to help address multiple problems within the industry. I see a natural fit for blockchain technology and logistics because the technology allows for more transparency, increased security through encryption, and the ability to see every transaction on an open ledger system.

Hopefully, the days of losing cargo, not being able to track shipments, and huge markups from brokers and dealers will soon be over. If this is the case, everyone involved will win.

Artificial Intelligence

According to the Financial Times, China is positioning itself to create a $150bn artificial intelligence sector by 2030 going toe to toe with the US. This is not an industry or technology that China is sleeping on and I don’t think you should be either.

Artificial intelligence is going to get rid of a lot of jobs in the next 10-20 years and there are a lot of companies innovating and doing really cool things within the space, especially in China.

One that has my attention is iCarbonX, a company that is taking all of our health data and using artificial intelligence to recommend to us improvements to our health. Crazy right?

iCarbonX wants to be able to track our health on a more frequent basis and pick up on patterns in our health that may be warning signs of illness or disease. Think of it this way, through their platform, app, and devices iCarbonX will be able to help tell its users if they need more of a certain vitamin, or maybe their cholesterol is a little too high.

This is a life-changing technology that is coming into society and something I feel can truly save people’s lives. AI is powerful and iCarbonX is at the forefront of a lucrative AI revolution.

If you are sleeping on any of these industries, I suggest you start taking them more seriously. Blockchain technology mixed in with artificial intelligence and facial recognition software will be the building blocks behind the Alibabas and Amazons of the next generation.