Farewell
to China

... as I knew it, and welcome to a new world.

Looking back at an immersive and mind-boggling experience touring China in September, 2018: Beyond the Western media attention and limited exposure to Chinese culture, it has personally been quite enlightening to dive into Chinese every day life, witnessing the economic and cultural transformation this rich and diverse country is going through - and what remarkable achievements in technology it has made so far.

This would've not been possible without the kind support of the Foundation for German Chinese Culture (Stiftung Deutsche Chinesische Kultur), fostering the exchange and helping build the bridge between Germany and China.

Beijing & Blockchain

First stop was Beijing. It was an honor to speak at a major Blockchain conference and high-level startup event. The Blockchain Technology & Application Competition 2018 was kindly hosted by the National Mobile and Internet Innovation Contest. I was deeply impressed by line-up of startups and their expertise and technological maturity in the areas of Blockchain implementation, prototyping and architectural design for service applications. I enjoyed discussing industry use cases and disruptive potentials of Blockchain in FMCG, automotive, data driven businesses, financial industries as well as public services. Beijing was rounded off by my first TV interview for Beijing TV. What an experience! Thank you to the China Office of Communications.

Chengdu & Belt and Road Initiative

After Beijing came an invitation to the international Belt and Road conference hosted by and with a personal welcome of the mayor of Chengdu, Lou Qiang. This proved to be a great opportunity to discuss on stage with a panel of international guests: The economic, technological, and integrational challenges of the roughly $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative and building the foundation for sustainable international growth and exchange in the future. Chengdu, with a metro area of nearly 16 million people and a GDP of over $230bn, is a green and modern capital of the Sichuan province (82mn inhabitants, the size of Germany), and is undergoing an impressive transformation. As a major hub in transportation and logistics, Chengdu is eager to establish international businesses, attract ex-pats and experts, and strengthen Chengdu's infrastructure and capabilities as a crucial anchor in the Belt and Road initiative. Thanks to the Hungarian embassy, Lili Siklós, and to David Kovacs for his kind support.

Mianyang & Industry 4.0

The tour continued to Mianyang, where I had the great opportunity to speak at the China-Germany Summit on Intelligent Manufacturing 2018. My speech was on Industry 4.0, identifying the driving technology trends, and discussing the challenges of vertical and horizontal integration within IT and technology-driven production landscapes - as well as a very candid debate on dependencies between countries, across industries, suppliers, market dynamics, technologies & platforms all the way to education and how we can get students ready for the transformational developments ahead. During the succeeding panel talk and the Q&A with talented and engaged students, it was clear we need to actively invest into our future: education. Going beyond technology, encouraging them to learn German (and English) but also taking the impulse home to Europe to promote Chinese lessons in Western schools. We need to make sure that our future generations can communicate with each other.

My take-away after these conferences - and many meetings, lunches, and dinners later: Despite cultural differences, I can only encourage to go visit and have a taste of China, engage with business partners, dive into the rich cultural landscape and learn. I can guarantee that Chinese are equally sincerely curious and grateful. A path I look forward to continue in the time to come.

about the author

Growing up between cultures and looking back at a career in IT, Technology, Media, and Innovation as an Executive and strategist for Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders has given me a unique perspective. In my article series “Journey to the Future” I want to open perspectives and help develop a deeper understanding, to enable readers to become their own explorers in this flow of change and complexity.

Growing up between cultures and looking back at a career in IT, Technology, Media, and Innovation as an Executive and strategist for Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders has given me a unique perspective. In my article series “Journey to the Future” I want to open perspectives and help develop a deeper understanding, to enable readers to become their own explorers in this flow of change and complexity.