China, a Land for Entrepreneurs

China is leading in many ways, not only with new designs, but also very much in the whole supply chain from rare earth to the streets.

Editor’s Note:  The latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that China’s GDP expanded 12.7 percent year on year in the first half of 2021. What does this mean for entrepreneurs doing business in Chinese market? David Gosset, the founder of Europe-China Forum, discussed with Nikolaj Moesgaard who is an entrepreneurial leader from Denmark. He is co-founder and partner of Impact Intelligence, an AI-driven research company focusing on sustainable development.

China Opportunities, hosted by Mr. Gosset, is a global dialogue with senior officials, business elites and distinguished scholars. The serial interviews are coproduced by China Focus and DG2CI Limited in association with Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies.

David Gosset: It’s always good to be with entrepreneurs. Would you say that China is a land for entrepreneurs?

Nikolaj Moesgaard: Absolutely. China is built by entrepreneurs. Majority of the companies are owned by entrepreneurs. There is so much determination, willingness to grow and explore. Definitely yes.

David Gosset: Of course, we have different kinds of entrepreneurs in different fields. You are in the technology field. Would you say that China is already a powerhouse for innovation?

Nikolaj Moesgaard: Absolutely a powerhouse. There’s so much going on in China. The fact that China allows data to be used to the creators, to train machine learning, is absolutely amazing. I think looking at the new business models that are being developed at a faster pace than anywhere else, when China determines to do something, it happens both from a government level and across many, many startups.

Electric vehicles is a very good example. China is leading in many ways, not only with new designs, but also very much in the whole supply chain from rare earth to the streets. Solar panels is another thing that comes to my mind. They started on the manufacturing side, and now actually providing clean energy all over the world with Chinese equipment. E-commerce and other and more, let’s say, space related to consumers, so much going on, Chinese being influenced and watching things on video, buying through videos, key opinion leaders that are really influencing people’s life, it’s a totally different model than what’s going on in Europe. Fortunately, Europe, the US, other places are catching up, but you have to be in China and really understand what’s going on. So important.

David Gosset: So, you would say that in this field, China is not trying to catch up anymore; China is already leading in this particular field, for example, of artificial intelligence.

Nikolaj Moesgaard: Absolutely, they are leading. There are some discussions from time to time – when is China leading, when is the US leading along these lines, but China is definitely leading in certain fields. It’s also interesting that so many students from China have started in the US, have worked with the biggest tech companies, either still work in the US now for Chinese companies or return back to China. That’s very interesting.

David Gosset: You have something very special. You come from Denmark, you have had a great education outside of China, but you also studied in China. Would you recommend people across the world to come to study in China?

Nikolaj Moesgaard: Definitely, and I would say it’s almost not an option, not to come to China. If you want to understand what’s going on in the world in the future, you have to understand what’s going on in China. The future, the growth in the coming decades, it’s in Asia, very much influenced by China, both policy-wise, economic-wise and even company-ownership-wise across Asia. And then in Africa, where there will be a significant growth as well, China is playing a strong role. So, absolutely. Coming to China to study, you actually have a chance to go deeper and really learn what’s going on. You make some of the best friends in China for studying and working together. Socializing in the school program, it’s a must.

Nikolaj Moesgaard: Thank you very much. You come from the country of Hans Christian Andersen, and he used to say that life in itself is a fairy tale. Your life is already a fairy tale, certainly a fairy tale, but with Chinese characteristics. Thank you so much to be a part of this land of opportunities.

Nikolaj Moesgaard: My pleasure. Thank you so much.

David Gosset: Thank you.