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Who's the Tech Copycat Now?

It's difficult for many Americans to shake their mental image of Chinese knockoffs peddled on street corners. And for years that described Chinese technology, too. Local companies set up shop by copying eBay, Google, Apple and other foreign technology companies.  

But China has moved way past its knockoff phase. Now Chinese companies are setting global trends in technology products or business models in areas such as supercomputers, technology-enabled transportation, digital payments and artificial intelligence. China's technology companies and its homegrown tech ideas are spreading everywhere. The world is cribbing from China now. 

The U.S. and other countries have seen a flurry of apps that are inspired by Meitu, the Chinese app that pretties up selfie photos. American startups are copying China's fleets of on-demand bicycle rentals for getting around crowded cities. Apple and Facebook are trying to remold their messaging apps in the image of China's ubiquitous WeChat. Before there was Tinder for hookups, there was similar dating app Momo in China. Every company that makes drones is following the lead of China's SZ DJI Technology.

The influence of Chinese tech in the world arguably started with telecommunications equipment company Huawei Technologies Co. It branched first into Europe and forced stodgy local rivals such as Sweden's Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent of France to cut prices and copy Huawei's more advanced methods of updating older gear with fresh software. (Some European officials have said Huawei has benefited unfairly from Chinese government subsidies, a claim the company has denied.)

More recently in India, Chinese smartphone brands including Xiaomi and Vivo are among the top sellers in the rapidly growing Indian smartphone market, and China's e-commerce king Alibaba is helping digital payments and online shopping catch on quickly there.

China's tech titans are trying to conquer most of the world. The U.S., however, has been tough for many Chinese tech companies to crack, and many have simply stayed away for now. But some younger Chinese companies are setting up shop in America first. 

If you have a tween in your household, you know Musical.ly, an app that lets people make smartphone videos of themselves lip-syncing to popular songs. The Shanghai-based startup essentially took features and ideas that were already popular in China but hadn't hit U.S. shores yet. One tech investor said Musical.ly might not have survived in China's deadly competitive web-streaming market, but America was a blank slate. 

And even U.S. companies are taking proven Chinese tech advances and applying them at home. Apple would never say so, but a new ability for people to text in iMessage to send money to their friends or babysitters is borrowed from popular features in China.

virtual tip jar for people to make money when they stream videos of themselves live on the Google-owned site. People can pay a few dollars or more to get noticed by enhancing the comments they write about the video -- adding a splash of color, and making sure the response stays at the top of the video comment flotsam. It may sound silly, but these kinds of digital rewards are how live streaming has made millionaires out of some Chinese video stars. 

It's tough to generalize, but China's growing influence on the tech world stems from a few factors. First, the country's more than 730 million smartphone-crazed internet users are an ideal proving ground for technology, and new ideas are stress-tested mercilessly. As soon as one bike rental company sprung up, for example, many others followed, and only the best will survive.

China's government has also spent oodles to support the domestic technology industry, and officials throw the government's considerable weight behind innovations. Some technology executives are betting driverless cars may catch on first in China because the government seems more receptive to allowing the technology on public roads.

Of course not every technology that thrives in China will translate to the rest of the world. Paying with smartphones remains a niche activity in the U.S. because credit cards are ubiquitous and easy to use. But even if most Americans will never use WeChat or a Xiaomi smartphone, China's influence is reshaping the technology everyone uses every day. 

Think about how Japanese automakers such as Honda introduced low-cost reliable U.S. models in the 1970s, and forever changed the American car industry. That is similar to what is happening now in technology. Welcome to the era of technology Sinofication.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

原标题:美媒:中国科技不再“山寨” 世界都在“剽窃”中国

海外网6月28日电 美国彭博社网站27日发表题为“Who's the Tech Copycat Now?”(《现在谁是技术抄袭者?》)的文章,称中国科技已经走出模仿模式,而现在,美国和世界其他国家开始“剽窃”中国产品。

文章称,对许多美国人来说,街角兜售的中国冒牌货给他们的印象很难被撼动。而且,多年来中国科技行业也在做类似的事。中国本土公司模仿易趣(eBay)、谷歌、苹果等外国科技公司。

但目前,中国已经走出这种模仿模式。中国公司在技术产品和商业模式方面正在引领全球趋势,特别是在超级计算机、科技交通、数字支付和人工智能等领域。中国的科技公司和本土科技创意正在各个地方铺开。世界现在开始从中国“剽窃”了。

报道称,从手机APP到共享单车等业务,再到无人机,世界各国都在模仿中国。

文章指出,美国和其他国家都出现了多种受“美图”启发的APP;美国创业公司也正在模仿中国火热的单车租赁业务;苹果和脸书也在依照中国聊天软件“微信”来改进他们的通讯APP。在约会软件Tinder出现之前,中国已经有类似的app名叫“陌陌”。此外,所有无人机公司都在追随中国的大疆科技公司。

中国智能手机品牌畅销世界

报道称,中国科技公司在全球的影响力大概可以说是起源于通信设备公司华为。它先是在欧洲扩张,然后迫使瑞典的爱立信和法国的阿尔卡特朗讯等竞争对手降低价格,并模仿华为更先进的技术来利用新软件更新旧设备。

在印度迅速增长的智能手机市场,包括小米、Vivo在内的中国智能手机品牌早已跃上畅销榜。中国电商“帝王”阿里巴巴也在努力使数字支付和网络购物在那里流行起来。

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世界上最有价值的科技公司,两家中国公司在内

中国创业公司在美国抢占先机

文章称,中国科技大亨们正在努力征服全世界,但对它们来说,美国却是一片较难开辟的土地,有的公司干脆就离开了。不过,一些更年轻的中国公司却在美国占据先机。

如果你家有一个青少年,那你一定知道Musical.ly。这款app能让人们用手机拍摄演唱流行歌曲视频。它属于一家上海创业公司。这家公司也是利用了已经在中国流行开来的创意。一名科技投资人说,Musical.ly可能很难在中国网络流媒体市场的残酷竞争中活下来,但在美国,该领域却是一片空白。

美国公司模仿中国先进科技苹果、YouTube在列

不仅如此,美国公司也在模仿中国的先进科技并将它们应用在国内。苹果不会承认这点,但iMessage里能给朋友或保姆发钱的创意的确是来自中国。

YouTube正在推广一种虚拟小费,视频制作者可以由此赚钱。人们可以花费几美元或更多来加强自己写下的评论的吸引力,比如添加颜色,或者确保评论停留在所有评论的顶端。这听起来有点蠢,但这就是中国一些视频直播明星成为百万富翁的途径。

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中国有7.31亿网民,智能手机使上网人数大幅增加

中国政府注重创新支持科技产业

虽然很难予以概括,但中国在科技世界日益增长的影响力的确源于一些因素。

首先,中国拥有超过7.3亿智能手机端网络用户,这对于科技来说是个理想的试验场,新创意也会经受无情的考验。比如,当一家单车租赁公司兴起,许多别的公司会追随,但只有最优秀的才能幸存下来。

中国政府也为支持国内科技产业付出很多,许多官员看重创新。一些科技高管认为,无人驾驶汽车会最先在中国流行,因为政府似乎更乐于接受这种利用在公共道路上的技术。

当然,并不是所有在中国兴旺的科技都能在世界其他地方推广开来。手机支付在美国仍然很小众,因为信用卡已经非常普遍和便捷。不过,即使大多数美国人从没用过微信或小米手机,中国的影响力正在重塑每人每天都在使用的科技。

文章最后称,欢迎来到科技中国化时代。

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