This was a subject of much discussion particularly in my Managing Global Innovation class while an MBA student at Tsinghua. Today while catching up on my RSS feeds I learned of a discussion on Innovation in China over at the China Law blog. The discussion concerns a two part article (1, 2) on another site which discusses the current state of innovation in China and compares it to other countries such as South Korea, Israel, and Singapore.
As soon as I started reading it, I knew I should write my professor but I also decided to make a blog posting. My paper for this class also wound up as a blog posting, it concerned Baidu which some people question if they are ‘original’. For instance at Baidu they hate to be called the Chinese Google. I mentioned this paper in my interview with TD Securities and the interviewer had never even heard of Baidu and she had lived and worked in Asia. I pointed out it traded on the NASDAQ and had a successful IPO, but she still had never heard of the company, so I told her it was the Chinese Google. ;-)
Also discussed in the articles was the fact that Chinese students cheat, particularly on their applications to foreign universities. This was used as an example of the problem trust poses in doing business in China. Cheating was a problem at both Tsinghua and Sauder while I was an MBA student and it is by no means limited to Chinese students, that said at Sauder many students complained about their Chinese classmates openly questioning how they could even get admitted to the school. As critical as some native English speakers were of the many Chinese classmates I had at Sauder, some of the Chinese were just as critical of their countrymen/woman.
Update December 2015
Apparently Innovation in China is still a thing people write about.