Spotlight: Los Angeles conference sheds light on U.S.-China tech, entertainment industry trends

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-29 04:31:11|Editor: yan
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by Julia Pierrepont III

LOS ANGELES, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Participants in Silicon Dragon's Los Angeles Conference 2019 this week, which focused on U.S.-China trade, tech and mobility innovations, shared insights on U.S.-China technology and entertainment industry trends.

Rebecca Fannin, CEO and founder of Silicon Dragon, which publishes news of technology, venture capital and startup trends in emerging markets and hosts forums in innovation hubs globally, told Xinhua China is evolving very rapidly.

"Now technology is a race of two superpowers, which didn't exist 10 years ago, and includes sectors like AI, the sharing economy, drones, robots, autonomous vehicles, EV, mobile communication, AR/MR and digital entertainment," said Fannin, author of the recent highly-regarded book, "Tech Titans of China."

Fannin contended that China has taken great leaps in the last decade, skipping the computer laptop phase and going straight to the top of the global mobile pack.

"Anything to do with mobile, in particular: payments, commerce, chatting, and messaging, is way ahead in China," she asserted. "China is very digitally savvy. It has a young population that is quick to adapt to new ideas."

She felt the numbers show that the Chinese have been far quicker at adapting than Americans and that has important ramifications. "The United States needs to pay more attention to what China is doing because they are getting ahead," she said.

She also believed the tech innovation out of China was not going to slow down because of the trade conflicts -- it could actually speed up as China becomes more reliant on its own technology.

"The trade war is more likely to marginalize American technology," she said. "As we try to shut China out of the tech race, that will only force the country to develop its own tech internally and make them entirely independent of U.S. technology in the future."

"The United States has to step it up to maintain parity with China. We are becoming too isolationist, looking too inward. We have to look beyond the U.S.," she told Xinhua. "We only have two neighbors Mexico and Canada -- and we are fighting with both of them. China has a dozen neighbors and is making friends and doing deals with all of them."

She opened the floor to a rousing debate by members of the A-list panel who had sharply different views on the state of U.S. and Chinese technology and the impact of the trade war on tech and entertainment.

Bennett Pozil, executive vice president of the U.S. East West Bank, felt the impact of shifting capital market and the U.S.-China trade friction has had a strongly negative effect on the entertainment industry in particular.

"The stock market in Shanghai, Shenzhen has been down 10 percent, while Chinese entertainment companies have been down 35 percent and some over 60 percent. That's startling," he said.

"Co-production is down also because there are local issues that need to be worked on in China. Movies, TV, and mobile dramas have been made that are unable to be distributed. That money has been spent, but not recouped-- that's a serious cash flow issue."

Chris Fenton, senior adviser to IDW Media Holdings, advised that people-to-people interactions are still key to overcoming the business and trade challenges between the United States and China. "Go back to Ping-Pong Diplomacy when players got on the wrong bus and ended up opening China to the United States."

"We did 'Looper' and 'Iron Man 3' in China. The personal interaction between U.S. studios and the Chinese studios and crew was amazing, similar to the Ping-Pong Diplomacy moment," he said.

He encouraged participants from both countries to continue to collaborate on culture, arts, technology, or for that matter any sort of investment.