Disrupting innovative innovation is holding China’s computer industry back, writes sociologist Tricia Wang on her weblog. “We need more coverage of the Chinese tech scene from writers like Markoff and Barboza who avoid Western-centrism and more writing from experts like James Landay who can provide a nuanced insiders perspective.”
The three things holding China’s computing industry from creating disruptive innovation is the 1.) lack of trust between individuals, groups, and institutions, 2.) lack of organizations that foster creativity and community, and 3.) lack of common myth among technologists, engineers, and programmers…
The future of computing lies in individuals and groups who will collaborate across social and industry boundaries, and know how to handle the unique constraints of technology usage in China as welcomed challenges. And this is why Lindtner’s workon XindanWei and Xinchejian is so fascinating, because her research suggests that innovation in China may not come from the computer industry as we know it, it may come from these loose forms of transnational Chinese who breathe design, art, and tech. And my research on non-elite users and shanzai culture suggests that disruptions from the bottom up can contribute to the innovations in the field at large. Both of our research point to different dynamics of innovation than seen in the West.
In the meantime, we need more coverage of the Chinese tech scene from writers like Markoff and Barboza who avoid Western-centrism and more writing from experts like James Landay who can provide a nuanced insiders perspective. It’s an exciting time to be a witness to how processes of trust building, creative development, and storytelling are being worked through in China as its economy is challenging the existing global order.