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China Tops Europe In R&D Intensity

Unknown Lamer posted about 10 months ago | from the someone-has-to-do-it dept.

China 134

ananyo writes "By pouring cash into science and technology faster than its economy has expanded, China has for the first time overtaken Europe on a key measure of innovation: the share of its economy devoted to research and development. In 2012, China invested 1.98% of its gross domestic product (GDP) into R&D — just edging out the 28 member states of the European Union, which together managed 1.96%, according to the latest estimates of research intensity, to be released this month by the OECD. The figures show that China's research intensity has tripled since 1998, whereas Europe's has barely increased (see graph). The numbers are dominated by business spending, reflecting China's push in the manufacturing and information- and communication-technology industries."

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They produce more.. what? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897085)

They might spend more, but considering all the false papers that come out of China, they're not getting much for their money. They'll continue to pirate our research for the considerable future.

Re: They produce more.. what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897127)

China tops europe in any aspect these days. I live in europe - germany - the economy broke down. Big companies lay off thousands of people, no jobs and if there are then the jobs are paid badly compared to the overall costs in germany. Wellfare betraying people who are in demand, not paying the rent or cost of living correctly. People living from wellfare bein treated like dirt etc.

China, Turkey and many other countries are getting stronger, a healthier economy, creating jobs for people. Still the salery there sucks. But there are jobs today where jobs hasn't been before.

Europe is close to an end.

Re: They produce more.. what? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897169)

Suggest that you move straight to Beijing then. Their economy is so awesome because of the large salaries that they pay those slaves to work in their poisonous factories that spew out counterfeit goods to poison our children with.

Re: They produce more.. what? (5, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#45897647)

Your point could have been made without the racist implicit assumption that "evil chinese" are trying to poison westerners. They just have lax environmental standards, and the people of China are starting to take notice of how badly it hurts their lives, and the government there is begining to cave, just like the early days before the EPA in the USA.

The rise of the East is good for the world, the more places that have an educated middle class, the less room there is for exploitation. It just happens in a way where exploitation goes way up before it goes down.

Re: They produce more.. what? (2)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 10 months ago | (#45897807)

Your point could have been made without the racist implicit assumption that "evil chinese" are trying to poison westerners. They just have lax environmental standards, and the people of China are starting to take notice of how badly it hurts their lives, and the government there is begining to cave, just like the early days before the EPA in the USA.

The rise of the East is good for the world, the more places that have an educated middle class, the less room there is for exploitation. It just happens in a way where exploitation goes way up before it goes down.

Really, you drew the racist card on this? Currently, China has some terrible policies, on their own people as well, and it's driven largely by their economy, not their ethnicity. Nowhere did parent suggest that it's because Chinese people, as a race, (not as a country, government, or culture) are somehow "inferior" to other races, nor did he imply China could never change because of who they are, ethnically. And why has no one ever been accused of racism when referring to American white devils?
Throwing around terms like racist, bigot, and homophobe at the drop of a hat have become the new Godwin's Law.

Re: They produce more.. what? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#45897883)

It was implicit, not explicit. And your usage shows just how retardly abused the phrase "race card" is. It was meant to be a "get out of jail free" analog when invented by wring-wing political correctness. It has no bearing on every single discussion of race, even if misguided, and you need to drop them damn persecution complex, it makes you seem guilty when you're not.

And the "implicit assumption" came from your phrasing, not your intent: "to poison our children with" if you read that again, without going nuts about how someone dared called dear-little-angel-you a r-r-r-racist you'll not the infinitive construction implies intent, which is fucking racist. Saying something racist(or nationalist or otherwise prejudicial) doesn't make you a member of the KKK, it's just wrong, is all.

So please, take this not as an indictment of your character, but a call to consider the meaning of what you say in the future.

Re: They produce more.. what? (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 10 months ago | (#45898277)

It was implicit, not explicit. And your usage shows just how retardly abused the phrase "race card" is. It was meant to be a "get out of jail free" analog when invented by wring-wing political correctness. It has no bearing on every single discussion of race, even if misguided, and you need to drop them damn persecution complex, it makes you seem guilty when you're not.

And the "implicit assumption" came from your phrasing, not your intent: "to poison our children with" if you read that again, without going nuts about how someone dared called dear-little-angel-you a r-r-r-racist you'll not the infinitive construction implies intent, which is fucking racist. Saying something racist(or nationalist or otherwise prejudicial) doesn't make you a member of the KKK, it's just wrong, is all.

So please, take this not as an indictment of your character, but a call to consider the meaning of what you say in the future.

I'm not sure if you realize I'm *not* the parent AC poster that you initially responded to, so it wasn't "my" phrasing. I never said, "poisoning our children". I don't know who the AC is. Maybe you need to make fewer assumptions and pay closer attention?
But you really need to learn the definition of "racist", not redefine it as you see fit. How is "poisoning children" racist? It's just evil, but evil stems from many things. You are the one who decided to be butthurt and assume the parent AC was criticizing China based not on it's economic policies as a government, but on race. Ironically, that's the real persecution complex, the people who go around calling everything racist. It's gotten to be the modern day witchhunt. Before you judge someone, consider where they're coming from.
That said, it's possible he was being racist, but but by no means was that a definite thing, when other factors exist in the equation.

Re: They produce more.. what? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#45898295)

Yeah, I realized that after I posted. Sorry for conflating you with a dickbag.

Re: They produce more.. what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45898897)

People seem to try to bring racist back to the root words, which is a little strange because we don't typically try to insist that awful and awesome are synonyms.

Racism has a meaning, and when you're implying that "the Chinese" as a gestalt are taking action to poison "our children" (not just children, but our, non-Chinese children) it's a racist implication. Even if the speaker is ethnically Chinese.

It's basically an irrational grouping of people. "The Chinese" aren't poisoning "our" children.

That said, it's possible he was being racist

I'd step away from "being racist" to "said a racist thing". I don't know the guy. I know the thing he said this one time. I know where you're coming from, and you're coming from the same place that we are when we say that the Chinese are poisoning our children -- it attributes an extreme motivation to something that isn't in evidence.

Re: They produce more.. what? (1)

jalopezp (2622345) | about 10 months ago | (#45898879)

I also do not think the ggp was being racist. It is a shame because I was agreeing with the gp's point that the rise of the east is good for the world. It will bring prosperity to millions of people who previously had none. What we need most to be worrying about is how to make sure they also obtain the rights and freedoms that we now (or once did :-s) enjoy. China is making greater investments in R&D, and growing them at a much higher rate than Europe? That's great, that benefits us all.

Re: They produce more.. what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897713)

In other words, they offer employees a good enough deal that they take the job and the customers a good enough product that it's sold even overseas. If their customers want to pay for poisonous ink that's their problem, as long as the company isn't violating any Chinese laws.

Re: They produce more.. what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45898543)

Exactly. And all those people who claim that "space exploration" has all these incredible benefits and spinoffs for a society should move there as well. I wonder why they didn't move to Russia in the '60s if they were alive back then...

Re: They produce more.. what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45899753)

Because your country (whatever it may be) never went through an "industrial revolution" and enjoyed the benefits of lax environmental laws?

Re: They produce more.. what? (4, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 10 months ago | (#45897181)

If you think China is better at treating its workers, I have land on the Moon to sell you.

And we're talking research here, not employment. And in that regard, GP is correct - spending does not equal results. China needs some time to develop the proper R&D culture, as it's simply not there yet. It has the spending power, but it lacks efficiency.

Re: They produce more.. what? (4, Informative)

jalopezp (2622345) | about 10 months ago | (#45897707)

You forget that these spending numbers are percentages of GDP, not absolute numbers. In this regard, China does not have the spending capacity. In terms of nominal GDP (World Bank, 2012), the EU spent $3.27e11 (327 short billions) in R&D, while China spent $1.65e11 - only just over half. The US, with a slightly smaller GDP than Europe but a higher R&D expenditure is still winning the spending race with $4.35e11. You'll notice TFA also spends most of its time criticising the quality of Chinese research, consistent with the western notion that academic freedom and a competitive market are integral to scientific and technological progress.

The countries with the highest GERD in the OECD are:

  1. Israel (4.38),
  2. Finland (3.78),
  3. Korea (3.74),
  4. Sweden (3.37),
  5. Japan (3.26),
  6. Denmark (3.06).

source [oecd-ilibrary.org]

Finland! (4, Insightful)

DarthVain (724186) | about 10 months ago | (#45898785)

OK how the fsck is Finland seemingly the best at everything? Seems like whenever there is a top list of something positive about countries Finland is top 5 every time (and Sweden also).

Going to have to move there or something.

Re:Finland! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45899259)

It's in our national psyche to try to be the good student that impresses the teacher. We don't care about stuff genuinely, but when someone comes up with an international comparison, we must get to the top of it. We hope the all-important foreigners will be impressed and think of us fondly.

Re:Finland! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45899911)

It has to do with the fact that Nordic countries have a really high standard of living. Better than most of the western world if you look at things form the perspective of the middle class. Which you rest of the western world is trying to pillage as fast as possible. Even tough in this case its about NOKIA and KONE etc. Finland is only 5 million so few big companies count for a lot. But this brings us to another point.

Because the countries are small in population, there's is a smaller pressure of megalomania in the government. Its not like Finland is going to invade its neighbors very successfully. So that kind of military conquest i out of the question. Other factors include that our banking sector also not playing the megalomaniac game on account on it nearly collapsing already in 1990's because it tried against all odds (much in the same way as iceland). So the onlook is different.

Re: They produce more.. what? (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about 10 months ago | (#45898413)

If you think China is better at treating its workers, I have land on the Moon to sell you.

And we're talking research here, not employment. And in that regard, GP is correct - spending does not equal results. China needs some time to develop the proper R&D culture, as it's simply not there yet. It has the spending power, but it lacks efficiency.

Depends on your definition of R&D. Certainly China already has a reverse-engineering culture which passes for R&D.

Re: They produce more.. what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897247)

No. Suggest you move to Greece, Spain or one of those EEC Countries that Germany is sucking the blood out of...

Re: They produce more.. what? (2)

Plammox (717738) | about 10 months ago | (#45897375)

Yes, because the Germans forced these countries to run their own economies into the ditch and rack up a gigantic debt...ahem...

Re: They produce more.. what? (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45897611)

Spain, Ireland and a few others were considered models of economic growth and probity before the Lesser Depression. Now of course they're considered "irresponsible" by the same people that lauded them before. Greece is a different story, but put that one aside because it's so different than the others and their economy is so small that it's not of great importance to the EU. Comparing Greece and Spain is absurd.

Germany, despite its other virtues, is a mercantilist country. No wonder they embraced the Euro. Otherwise when the economies of other European countries went south (more than Germany's) the exchange rates of those countries' currencies would have dropped and Germany would have lost much of their current advantage.

Re: They produce more.. what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897873)

'Growth' by spending borrowed money on imported products is not growth.

Re: They produce more.. what? (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45898281)

'Growth' by spending borrowed money on imported products is not growth.

It can be. The US was a major debtor country in the latter 19th century when our industrial growth rate was at its highest. Much of the development of the US, including the "Old West", was financed by the British.

Re: They produce more.. what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897257)

China tops europe in any aspect these days. I live in europe - germany - the economy broke down. Big companies lay off thousands of people, no jobs and if there are then the jobs are paid badly compared to the overall costs in germany.

The statistics say otherwise. Unemployment in Germany is currently quite low and the standard of living is among the highest in the world.

People living from wellfare bein treated like dirt etc.

Yeah, they are really not getting enough free money from the people who are working. Beggars can't be choosers.

China, Turkey and many other countries are getting stronger, a healthier economy, creating jobs for people. Still the salery there sucks. But there are jobs today where jobs hasn't been before.

Indeed. Things are going very well in those countries and although they have a long way to go, they are improving quickly (although economic growth in China is slowing). This is of course great news for the European economy as well: richer Chinese (and other citizens of upcoming economies) means more customers for European products and less competetion for low-skill jobs that are easily relocatable.

Europe is close to an end.

People have been claiming that for decades without any real evidence to support it and it hasn't happened yet, nor are there any signs that it will happen any time soon.

Re: They produce more.. what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45898253)

> Unemployment in Germany is currently quite low and the standard of living
> is among the highest in the world.

Bullshit!

The unemployment rate is quite high in germany. The thing is that the german government has a different view of the things. We here in germany divide the unemployed people with the people who are poor. Unfortunately only the people who are put in the category of "unemployment" are statiscially noted. The ones who are "poor" are not. They are officially not "unemployed" and therefore out of the statistics. After 12 months people who are unemployed are automatically becoming poor because the wellfare system don't care for them anymore. They drive down the social system afterwards. Poor people are not unskilled or dumb - quite the oposite. They have academic skills or are professionals, they only had bad luck and are not able to find a proper job.

We have around 2.5 million official "unemployed" people and around 5.5 million official "poor" people. Ideally this would make a correct statistics of close to 8 million "true unemployed" people (known by the gonvernment). I don't want to know how many "poor" people are not known by the gonvernment living from their parents money or sleeping on the streets.

So in fact we do have an unemployment rate of 10% (8 million out of 80 million citicens) we need to reduct the retired people, children and pupils from it and the rate increases again to 15-17%.

Re: They produce more.. what? (4, Informative)

rioki (1328185) | about 10 months ago | (#45897309)

1. China does not top Europe in any way, the absolute numbers are fully and totally the opposite. The TFA refers to percent of GDP, which is meaningless.

2. Being on welfare in Germany compares to working off you ass on low to medium job in the US. You just need to do the minimum of research on the different programs.

3. There is something called elevator effect, in which the median standard of living is raised. The low end of German income will get you a middle class standard of living compared to 30 years ago. The only shitty practice are the total lack of minimum wage in Germany, where people have a job and get welfare to prop them up.

Yes complaining, that is what we Germans are really good at...

Re: They produce more.. what? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45897433)

The TFA refers to percent of GDP, which is meaningless.

No, it's not. A high proportion of R&D costs is labor. Because of the difference in salaries between different countries, %/GDP matters more than absolute numbers.

Re: They produce more.. what? (1)

climb_no_fear (572210) | about 10 months ago | (#45897637)

The TFA refers to percent of GDP, which is meaningless.

No, it's not. A high proportion of R&D costs is labor. Because of the difference in salaries between different countries, %/GDP matters more than absolute numbers.

Wrong. Since the most research in Europe is carried out in the countries with the highest labor costs, your statement is misleading, as it skews the costs relative to the GDP of the region.

Also, Switzerland is always ignored in these calculations. I know they are not part of the EU but a quick peek at the graph in the original article shows Europe, not EU (I know they state EU in the fine print). Switzerland has a very vibrant research community (think physics, biotech, pharma) and it seems silly to exclude them. But another example of a country with high labor costs which spends a lot on research (and gets something back).

Re: They produce more.. what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897575)

That's 'cause we took out any of you with any fight left in you 70 years ago.

Re: They produce more.. what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897687)

TF title refers to intensity which isnt meaningless.

Re: They produce more.. what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897729)

Maybe Germany and other European countries ought to stop importing 3rd worlders screaming asylum and guaranteed to be lifelong welfare cases by the boatload to be able to support their own people. Maybe if you stopped importing second worlders willing to work for less than anyone , you'd at least have the jobs that can't be exported.

Then you wouldn't be on here whining about it. But no, you (collectively) keep voting in yhe politicians that give you this shitty deal.

Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45898217)

German economy broke down?
Haha, when did that happen!

No I don't think you are in Germany at all.

Re:They produce more.. what? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897203)

The thing they seem to export the most of is grad students.

Re:They produce more.. what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897765)

Some of the grad students did go back to China while some of them stay. It would be hard to deny that there won't be some turning back to China if the economy here went to shit and their former friends were doing well.

Some of the Grad students were sons and daughters of the officials and went on became part of their party. Since engineering is considered to be a political neutral field, guess what they studied? When the ruling party of a country have engineering background, they would be more willing to spend money into R&D, going to the moon etc.
Since the party don't really have to worry about if they are going to be in power every 4 years, they can look into much longer terms. BTW Most of their programs are on 10 years time line.

Re:They produce more.. what? (1, Insightful)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 10 months ago | (#45898335)

Those who spew racial stereotypes are ignoring the all-important Luddite factor. Europe may spend almost as much money as China on R & D, but given a continent full of people who pride themselves of not buying genetically modified products, what's the point of doing research on genetics? Afterf a year when Germany has just opened a record number of new coal-fired power stations to replace its foregone nuclear capacity, why should Europe keep spending money on that Large Hadron Collider when the discoveries flowing from it will be going into new energy projects to be built in China? In the UK, even the newest bullet train line is running into echo-Luddite opposition. If your company contracts for building rail infrastructure, wouldn't you rather bid in a country whose commissars can just point to a place and say, "The new maglev lines goes there..."?

Re:They produce more.. what? (1)

m00sh (2538182) | about 10 months ago | (#45898417)

They might spend more, but considering all the false papers that come out of China, they're not getting much for their money. They'll continue to pirate our research for the considerable future.

Why do we assume that China will have to come up the exact path we have been through?

The whole models of quantity of research papers as the measure of research output is old an dated.

Plus, most Chinese would probably publish in Chinese journals.There is no point submitting to US based journals for free and then paying hefty fees to be accessible to others.

Re:They produce more.. what? (1)

ranton (36917) | about 10 months ago | (#45898979)

They might spend more, but considering all the false papers that come out of China, they're not getting much for their money. They'll continue to pirate our research for the considerable future.

It would be an interesting to do research on just how influential the research coming out of China is. One pretty simple method would be to find out the ratio of Chinese research papers that are cited by European research, and vise versa. That would be a pretty good metric of how much research is just fluff, and how much is useful enough to be used by others.

This [gbtimes.com] article seems to back up the assertion that the quality of research coming out of China is rising, but still isn't as good as research coming out of the west (and Japan). Both Germany and the United Kingdom by themselves have more citations than China, so China must be far behind the European Union as a whole. China's average citation rate is 6.92 compared to the world average of 10.69, so they are well below average.

Re:They produce more.. what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45899673)

lol, did you even read the article?

"An even more encouraging statistic is China’s position in the top four of countries whose scientists’ research was the most cited between 2003 and 2013. This suggests that the research produced in China is as good as any in the world."

why do you hate chinese so much? you're a joke.

Re:They produce more.. what? (1)

ranton (36917) | about 10 months ago | (#45899867)

lol, did you even read the article?

"An even more encouraging statistic is China’s position in the top four of countries whose scientists’ research was the most cited between 2003 and 2013. This suggests that the research produced in China is as good as any in the world."

why do you hate chinese so much? you're a joke.

The paper goes on to give the numbers I mentioned in my post, that their citation rate is 65% of the world average. And note that this is a comparison with the world average, not the top countries.

I wasn't hating on the Chinese, as I even linked to a post that gave praise to Chinese research. But I did want to point out that the country still has a long way to go. The top researchers in China are apparently doing very well, but there must be a huge amount of very questionable research for their average to be so low. The good news is that China is making a very strong push to improve their research, which has obviously paid large dividends over just the past 5 years. It will almost certainly just continue to improve from here.

Its worse than that (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#45897089)

Its worse than that. They actually make things rather than patenting concepts. its a good thing that we can get them to pay up for "implementing" the vague concepts we come up with,

Re:Its worse than that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897151)

Its worse than that. They actually make things rather than patenting concepts. its a good thing that we can get them to pay up for "implementing" the vague concepts we come up with,

Quite correct, they don't come up with anything new on their own. They just create cheap, poorly made, knock-off copies of things created elsewhere.

Re:Its worse than that (3, Insightful)

JazzLad (935151) | about 10 months ago | (#45897243)

We used to say this of Japan.

Re:Its worse than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897329)

Really? Why?

Re:Its worse than that (4, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45897549)

Really? Why?

Because Japan's economic growth after WWII did depend heavily on inexpensive knock-off copies. That only changed several decades after WWII, when their economy had reached a higher level.

There are also important difference between Japan and China though. Japan heavily emphasized quality. The Deming prize for improved quality is awarded in Japan, and it's quite prestigious. Ironically it's named for W. Edwards Deming - an American. He had some excellent ideas for quality improvement that the Japanese took very seriously. Unfortunately many American manufacturers didn't (especially car companies).

Another difference is that Japan always discouraged foreign direct investment.

Re:Its worse than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897749)

Another is that China can learn from the mistakes of Japan. For example they can not bow to American pressure to make their currency unatractive like Japan did and end up with lost decades.

Re:Its worse than that (3, Informative)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45898135)

For example they can not bow to American pressure to make their currency unatractive like Japan did and end up with lost decades.

In other words, it's ok for China to be mercantilist and keep their currency artificially low, but wrong for the US to object to it.

As for "bow[ing] to American pressure", would that include the US threatening to impose tariffs and quotas on Chinese imports? As a sovereign country the US can do that. Don't bother giving me any nonsense about "violation of international agreements", because China has been in such blatant violation of so many agreements for so long that it's laughable.

You're also completely wrong about what caused Japan's lost decade(s). It was caused by a collapse of stock and real estate bubbles. It's similar to what happened here more recently, except that fortunately for us, they didn't happen at the same time. And as absurd as our real estate bubble was, it was nothing compared to Japan's. It got so ridiculous that the valuation of the grounds of the Imperial Palace was higher than for the entire state of California.

Re:Its worse than that (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#45897769)

Really? Why?

Because Japan's economic growth after WWII did depend heavily on inexpensive knock-off copies. That only changed several decades after WWII, when their economy had reached a higher level.

There are also important difference between Japan and China though. Japan heavily emphasized quality. The Deming prize for improved quality is awarded in Japan, and it's quite prestigious. Ironically it's named for W. Edwards Deming - an American. He had some excellent ideas for quality improvement that the Japanese took very seriously. Unfortunately many American manufacturers didn't (especially car companies).

Another difference is that Japan always discouraged foreign direct investment.

This is so true - I remember the panic by the British motorcycle industry when they realised that whet had started as cheap knock-off copies of Nortons and Triumphs had changed to models that were more reliable, refined and better quality than the originals.

Re:Its worse than that (1)

m00sh (2538182) | about 10 months ago | (#45898503)

Really? Why?

Because Japan's economic growth after WWII did depend heavily on inexpensive knock-off copies. That only changed several decades after WWII, when their economy had reached a higher level.

There are also important difference between Japan and China though. Japan heavily emphasized quality. The Deming prize for improved quality is awarded in Japan, and it's quite prestigious. Ironically it's named for W. Edwards Deming - an American. He had some excellent ideas for quality improvement that the Japanese took very seriously. Unfortunately many American manufacturers didn't (especially car companies).

Another difference is that Japan always discouraged foreign direct investment.

Quality control is a well studied field now. China could easily improve quality control if they decide to raise prices. It's not a mysterious field anymore, not anything more than Henry Ford's manufacturing.

The future is possibly automation. If production gets more and more automated, then China will be increasingly marginalized because robot manufacturing will be undercut cheap labor. If Apple could make iPhones with robots in the US for a similar price to China, they would do it in a heartbeat.

Re:Its worse than that (2, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 10 months ago | (#45897303)

Fortunately for them, Capitalism doesn't care. If it can be sold, it doesn't matter where it was created, how poorly made it is or how much was the idea stolen.

Re:Its worse than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897347)

Its worse than that. They actually make things rather than patenting concepts. its a good thing that we can get them to pay up for "implementing" the vague concepts we come up with,

Quite correct, they don't come up with anything new on their own. They just create cheap, poorly made, knock-off copies of things created elsewhere.

That's for customers to decide.

Re:Its worse than that (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 10 months ago | (#45897415)

Mostly. For now. They have advanced rapidly.

Re:Its worse than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897459)

Just like everyone else. Stealing and releasing variant knock offs is the concept that human society is built on. Did GM come up with the concept of the wheel? After someone figured out how to make a sharp rock, did all the other people just give up on that Idea? No, the changed it a thousand ways and eventually we progressed.

  Saying that whoever first came up with an idea has some sort of ability to stop all progress in that field is a bad idea for society and only benefits the plutocrats. Why do you think the wealth gap has increased so much in the US? Why do you think China is progressing so fast?

Re:Its worse than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897185)

Very good at making copies of Windows, fake infant formulas, etc.

Re:Its worse than that (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897821)

The ironic thing is that a lot of "cheap Chinese" goods is specced like that from the company importing things.

If I wanted something done right, with proper tolerances, materials, and labor, a Chinese factory can do the job. It will cost more than just doing the absolute cheapest possible work, but the end product will be better.

However, that is where China loses its edge. If I want a good product, I can have it made in the US, Germany, UK, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Israel, Russia, Japan, or almost anywhere. If I wanted to make it dirt cheap and cut every corner imaginable, then China is good at this.

So, when people blame China for shoddy items, in reality, the blame is usually on the importer who specced the crap to be made in the first place.

This is something I learned the hard way. I am working on some manufacturing, and if I want to have it done in China, I either hand over everything to a company there, or partner there with the Chinese firm having 51% ownership of the endeavor.

Instead, I'm probably going to bite the bullet and get what I needed produced domestically, or buy the plastic injection machinery and do it in-house. An added benefit for that is that I don't have to care about my stuff being stacked up on a highly polluting ship (the tar used in those big cargo ship engines is extremely toxic stuff), so I can state better environmental responsibility.

Re:Its worse than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45899873)

Let me guess, your country has no counterfeit, piracy, theft or other crimes? Must be nice.

Re:Its worse than that (1)

jalopezp (2622345) | about 10 months ago | (#45897841)

China's production of patents has increased tremendously in the last few years, despite the fact that most of these remain unused. It's all right there, in TFA.

by percentage perhaps (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897115)

2% of 9 trillion isn't more than 2% of 13 trillion. Even then, as a US citizen I'm impressed with how Europe is taking care of her citizens, I may not be willing to eat the tax rate that comes with that but it's still impressive. How's China doing with those 1 billion peasants that have a third world standard of living? Maybe they could use some of that 180 billion to up their poorest citizen's lifestyles? Well, then they wouldn't be quite as available as migrant worker organ farms, nevermind.

Re:by percentage perhaps (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 10 months ago | (#45897363)

Well, 2 things.

The willingness to spend on R&D gives some idea on where the country will be in 10 years. Yes, some of it is spent reverse engineering things that have been built, but some of it is being spent on the industries of tomorrow. Take almost any small northern European country (Finland, Norway, Denmark) as a counter example. They are small countries1 so the absolute dollar amount spent on R&D is small, yet the high percentage spent on R&D has bought a respectable level of income.

As for poverty, it depends if you are have a glass half full or half empty type of person. IIRC, China over the past 25 years has moved 250 million people from extreme poverty (Less then $2.00 a day) to middle income ($8,000 a year).

Re: by percentage perhaps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45899621)

"How's China doing with those 1 billion peasants that have a third world standard of living"

Since the beginning of economic reforms, China has brought hundreds of millions of citizens out of absolute poverty (making under $1 per day).

Meaningless values are meaningless. (5, Insightful)

rioki (1328185) | about 10 months ago | (#45897141)

Is it just me or are the given values borderline meaningless. The given values are percent relative to GDP, so they basically indicate the willingness to spend a higher portion of their cash flow for R&D. On an absolute scale this meaningless, a small country could spend 50% of their GDP on R&D and still have less output than a huge nation spending 1%. Then again, raw money value also does not translate to actual scientific progress.

Re:Meaningless values are meaningless. (4, Interesting)

Mr. Droopy Drawers (215436) | about 10 months ago | (#45897183)

agreed. The method in which this is calculated really isn't described either. Even though I'm in a development role, we're pressured to demonstrate "research" when we're really just assembling code.

US/Europe need to actually produce real stuff. Anything else is just proprietary fodder for others to take.

Re:Meaningless values are meaningless. (1)

ananyo (2519492) | about 10 months ago | (#45898691)

Proportion of GDP spent on research is not a 'meaningless' number. The EU spent a great deal of time trying to (unsuccessfully) urging its member states to push their total spending up to 3%. They've since realized that no single metric can adequately measure a nation's capacity to innovate in science - but this measure is still part of a basket of metrics that it's perfectly reasonable to use to examine a country's commitment to science.
To be clear - there's little evidence that spending a lot of money science will get you a Google or a Genentech, but on the other hand, a fair bit of evidence that spending nothing will make it extremely unlikely. ie science spending is necessary but not sufficient.

Re:Meaningless values are meaningless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897231)

Plus China is lying about it's GDP, so % of WHAT? Shadow banking invested in ghost cities? airports in the hinterland?

Re:Meaningless values are meaningless. (3, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 10 months ago | (#45897479)

When the third largest economy in the world (or second depending on how you put Europe together) is outspending you on metrics that lead to future growth it absolutely is a meaningful metric. As to scientific progress, this isn't just about science, it's about economics as TFA mentions this is all R&D and much of it in China is companies spending on developing existing knowledge into better, cheaper products.

As an example take solar cells, we've had them for decades and while new research might be upping the maximum possible efficiency by 1-2% per decade at this point the Chinese have been reducing the cost per watt by 90% per decade, which is more important overall?

Re:Meaningless values are meaningless. (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 10 months ago | (#45897547)

When is the last time Europe put a rover on another world?

Face it, there are 3 major world players. US, China, Europe.

Re:Meaningless values are meaningless. (1)

jalopezp (2622345) | about 10 months ago | (#45898275)

It'll be a few years. [wikipedia.org] You mean to list the EU as the third power there? We can go by numbers:

GDP

  • Europe: 16.7 trillion
  • US: 15.7 trillion
  • China: 8.3 trillion

Population

  • China: 1362 million
  • Europe: 507 million
  • US: 317 million

Aircraft carriers

  • US: 10
  • Europe: 5
  • China: 1

Nobel Prizes (ignoring Literature and Peace)

  • Europe: 442 (317)
  • US: 323 (290)
  • China: 7 (4)

Re:Meaningless values are meaningless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45899913)

Good to see your priorities are all in order and listed "aircraft carriers" as some sort of metric.

Re:Meaningless values are meaningless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897863)

I don't think that it is meaningless: it is a measure of how committed a country is to investing in R&D, normalised for their economy. The absolute amount is of course of interest, but I think that this metric shows how valuable a country considers innovation to be relative to other expenditure.

Re:Meaningless values are meaningless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897927)

Yes a willingness to spend a higher proportion of their efforts towards research. If only there was a word for that, like maybe intensity or something...
I'd also hardly call the 2nd biggest economy in the world small.

Re:Meaningless values are meaningless. (1)

rioki (1328185) | about 10 months ago | (#45898097)

The reference to small nation was an example that %of GDP is only of relevance if the GDP is in the same ballpark. The amount of money spent in research is at best a weak indicator of actual research advancement.

Re:Meaningless values are meaningless. (3, Informative)

bluegutang (2814641) | about 10 months ago | (#45898289)

Percentages relative to GDP are available too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_research_and_development_spending [wikipedia.org]

The list goes as follows:

1. Israel 4.2%
2. South Korea 3.74%
3. Japan 3.67%
4. Sweden 3.3%
5. Finland 3.1%
6. United States 2.7% ...
14. China 1.97%

China's figure is still pretty impressive since it is the only developing country over 1% (you would expect developing countries to have low values, since providing for basic necessities is a more pressing need than in rich countries).

Re:Meaningless values are meaningless. (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about 10 months ago | (#45898419)

Is it just me or are the given values borderline meaningless. The given values are percent relative to GDP, so they basically indicate the willingness to spend a higher portion of their cash flow for R&D. On an absolute scale this meaningless, a small country could spend 50% of their GDP on R&D and still have less output than a huge nation spending 1%. Then again, raw money value also does not translate to actual scientific progress.

Not to mention that costs are much higher in Europe and the west than in China making actual money value comparison equally irrelevant.

Re:Meaningless values are meaningless. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 10 months ago | (#45898571)

This data is useful if we're going to start another science race of some kind. Maybe the "Green energy race" or the "cure cancer race." Us vs China vs the EU. It'll totally be exciting for us nerds. And major bonus: we'd get useful tech out of it like we did with the space race.

National pride hasn't disappeared. From what I hear, it's increasing in China at least. If national pride isn't harvested for something useful to all of us, then it will undoubtedly be harvested by selfish people in the military industrial complex. And we'll get nothing more out of it besides more bombs and maybe a bunch of dead people. Quite possibly a ruined economy too.

It's not so hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897193)

When you have a very relaxed attitude towards human rights and don't believe in (social) equality.

Re:It's not so hard (2)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 10 months ago | (#45897353)

So it is hard.

Maintaining control while having a relaxed attitude towards human rights and no social equality isn't trivial. If it was easy, every other country would be doing that.

Or you believe that power abides by human rights (more or less, and only when it's not convenient to forget them) because of the goodness of its heart.

Eventually, China will have to deal with revolting masses just like everyone else; and it will probably use a mix of some tiny rights, lies, misdirection and propaganda, just like everyone else. Because, after all, all countries are forced to use human beings as their main work force.

Re:It's not so hard (1)

freax (80371) | about 10 months ago | (#45897919)

> Or you believe that power abides by human rights (more or less, and only when it's not convenient to forget them) because of the goodness of its heart.

This is actually more or less what Spinoza learned Western Europe in 1670.

Example English translation:

"If men’s minds were as easily controlled as their tongues, every king would sit safely on his throne, and government by compulsion would cease; for every subject would shape his life according to the intentions of his rulers, and would esteem a thing true or false, good or evil, just or unjust, in obedience to their dictates. However, no man’s mind can possibly lie wholly at the disposition of another, for no one can willingly transfer his natural right of free reason and judgment, or be compelled so to do. For this reason government which attempts to control minds is accounted tyrannical, and it is considered an abuse of sovereignty and a usurpation of the rights of subjects, to seek to prescribe what shall be accepted as true, or rejected as false, or what opinions should actuate men in their worship of God. All these questions fall within a man’s natural right, which he cannot abdicate even with his own consent."

If China's leaders wants to control their country's population, they better start reading Spinoza very very very well. Power does abide by human rights. See how many regimes that don't abide by human rights have ended with their population revolting compared to how many regimes that do abide by human rights having their population fully under control since WOII and some even longer. QED.

It's by the way something the US also better starts learning. Because the way things are going now ...

Re:It's not so hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45898021)

Unless of course most is done automagically

Re:It's not so hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45899129)

China has been around long enough for a couple thousands years one form or the other. Pretty sure that controlling revolts was something they have dealt with before.

Re:It's not so hard (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 10 months ago | (#45899679)

France had been around long enough for a couple thousands years one form or the other. Controlling revolts was something they had dealt with before.

And yet the king's head rolled.

Even to the eyes of the most cynical, society evolves in one sense only. Maybe with ups and downs, but at the end, no form of government has achieved total control with optimal advance. Once China reaches the still more powerful countries, sooner or later, it will have to deal with the same problems they live with nowadays.

There will never again be an emperor, nor a feudal king, and dictators are already sad figures condemned to disappear in a big lack of interest.

Re:It's not so hard (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45898169)

It's not so hard ... When you have a very relaxed attitude towards human rights and don't believe in (social) equality.

True as that criticism about China is, what does it have to do with R&D spending?

wrong (-1, Troll)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 10 months ago | (#45897197)

Actually it's called stealing and stealing since that's all they do. They just hack and steal and reverse engineer and clone everyone else's tech.

Re:wrong (1)

JazzLad (935151) | about 10 months ago | (#45897275)

They actually don't even have to reverse engineer that much since we're stupid enough to not manufacture things anymore and have them do it for us.

Re:wrong (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 10 months ago | (#45897283)

What does it matter how it is called? Morals have no impact in the confrontation between nations. It's not the rightest country that wins wars, it's the one with the mightiest military.

If China can reach the technology level of competing countries by stealing it, that's how it will happen. Once the play field is level, other strategies will have to be applied.

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897285)

so that just means they are spending R&D on better ways to steal?!

Re:wrong (1)

number17 (952777) | about 10 months ago | (#45897301)

Actually it's called stealing and stealing since that's all they do. They just hack and steal and reverse engineer and clone everyone else's tech.

Yes, hacking, stealing, and reverse engineering are likely included within the R&D budgets.

Did you just get to the party now? I now know my country does it [www.cbc.ca] .

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897403)

Have you missed the whole NSA thing? The US does it too.

Go China Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897223)

I'm tired of US/EU dominance, I want China to lead humanity from now on!

Yeah baby!

Captcha: cliche

Re:Go China Go (-1, Offtopic)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#45897289)

I'm tired of US/EU dominance, I want China to lead humanity from now on!

Yeah baby!

Captcha: cliche

that's still not enough for you to lay that Chinese chick.

Once again.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897365)

You best get used to the idea. The next century belongs to china. (super unpopular to say so. but it's still true. denying it won't stop it either)
They are covering the ground most places took centruies to cover... In decades.

And they don't have those pesky 'rights' and 'freedoms' and 'environment' to get in the way right now.

It would be a great idea to tell your little kids to learn chinese. Forget that french and spanish crap they give you in highschool.

It's either adapt.
Or get our shit back together and get back to the top and stay there. But given our current problems.... I don't see that happening. Hell we spend more time arguing over stupid shit like gay rights, abortion, and other non serious issues. While spending trillions to 'free' countrys who will always hate us. We have no long view of the future. And it's about to bite us in the ass.

Re:Once again.. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45898195)

You best get used to the idea. The next century belongs to china.

Funny, that's the same thing they said about Japan in the 80's.

It's tough to make predictions - especially about the future.

Re:Once again.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45898471)

What? You believe US > Japan?

You are out of your mind lol...

Cold War non-sense (1)

snookiex (1814614) | about 10 months ago | (#45897487)

When the Chinese realize that the US and Europe are slowing down by their own choice and they don't need to do anything to catch up, they will stop this "race" and settle for keeping a nice, well armed army.

At least that's the story they will tell everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897527)

In reality, this is only a cover for all the proprietary tech and formulas they steal. And then attempt to patent it first in their own native China and then subsequently in the US. Basically using our whole system against us. I went to a number of their tech conventions, and everything I have seen over there has been copied or stolen out right and what I didn't recognize, my colleagues pointed out to me and remarked the same

hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45898225)

What is R&D? Is it like S&M?

How much cash is poured into spying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45898529)

What percentage of that is intelligence gathering?

China's research is garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45898913)

Anyone working in science knows that you have to view research papers that come out of India and China with a humongous amount of trepidation due to low standards of higher education (esp. in India) and fraud (esp. in China).

Paying for R&D (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45899929)

Do they count the payments to Snowden and others like him as R&D?

Shill. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45900027)

Shilling pretty hard for Communist China OP.

FTFY (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 10 months ago | (#45900663)

"China Tops Europe in Arcane & Unverifyable Propaganda Statistics From an Authoritarian Communist Country"

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