The horse race reporting that is American technology vs. Chinese technology


The media love these stories as the easily play into the horse race narrative of US vs. China - especially in the tech sector. You can see a whole new batch below:

Economist: How does Chinese tech stack up against American tech?

McClatchy: China sets goal of rapidly surpassing US as artificial intelligence race heats up

NYT: The US-China rivalry is, more than ever, a fight over tech

WSJ: Why Washington is so obsessed with China’s Huawei

In the recent past American media only saw Chinese tech firms at best as copycat producers and at worst as industrial spies. However, the narrative is now shifting to a new dynamic as America's technology sector fears that China is reaching tech parity. 

In reporting recently, McClatchy added this spicey sentence to its article comparing the AI efforts of China and the United States: "It set up a broader race between China and the United States over artificial intelligence, a competition that could mold the future of humankind just as the widespread arrival of electricity did in the last century.

The conventional wisdom for editors and headline writers is that such language drives clicks, makes globalization a simple win-loss transaction, and ensures there can only be one winner when it comes to global technology. 

Let's remember competition is good - it is good consumers, it is good for companies, it is good for countries. 

Marc A. Ross specializes in global communications and thought leader management at the intersection of politics, policy, and profits. Working with boardrooms and C-Suite executives from multinational corporations, trade associations, and disruptive startups, Marc helps leaders create compelling communications, focused content, and engaging presentations.