China’s tech sector saw huge developments in 2017, and spending on tech here is predicted to grow 8% in 2018. Here we look at some of the reasons why and how: expect to see continued overseas development in part due to the government’s Belt and Road Initiative; customer service will become critical as changing customer life-cycles in digital businesses show signs of maturity; ecosystems will reign supreme, and even currency shifts will have an impact. Meanwhile, companies will have to find a balance between resource allocation and talent acquisition.

According to Forrester’s “China Tech Market Outlook, 2018-2019”, China’s technology spending could reach $234 billion in 2018, up 8%. Much of this is due to the pursuit of reform in China and strong growth in software, consulting and outsourcing. We looked at various predictions and spoke to Forrester’s analyst Charlie Dai about factors affecting China’s increasingly global tech industry.

Perhaps we should have been paying more attention to the impact the government’s Belt and Road Initiative (B&RI)—the project that aims to re-energize China’s ancient trading paths—is having on tech. We have already covered how it may help the export of Chinese tech firms’ business models and sharing economy. The report shows, however, that from a more macro perspective, changes attributed to this project are impacting tech much more: China’s tech market growth isn’t just about its tech companies.

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...