China’s struggle for tech ascendancy, with Dan Wang of Gavekal Dragonomics


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This week on Sinica, Kaiser talks with Dan Wang, a Shanghai-based analyst at research firm Gavekal Dragonomics, who also contributes a regular opinion column to Bloomberg. Combining firsthand knowledge of China’s tech sector with broad erudition and a humanist’s perspective, Dan offers a unique take on China’s innovation ecosystem, the country’s efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in technology, and the role of economic growth, fundamental optimism, and inspiration in China’s rise as a tech power.

13:53: The outsize importance of economic growth

25:02: An overemphasis on digital technology

33:55: Reciprocity and technological codependence 

49:12: Technology is more than just tools and patents


Dan: The works of Marcel Proust, and the ham and mushrooms of Yunnan Province. 

Kaiser: The Netflix series Flavorful Origins and Great State: China and the World, by Timothy Brook.

Read Dan’s 2020 annual letter: